By Bulus Silas Bossan
“You have said, ‘Seek my face.’ My heart says to you, ‘Your face, Lord, do I seek’” (Psalm 27:8, ESV).
Unable to make progress in the spiritual journey, many Africans settle for intellectually entertaining, emotionally tantalizing information. Large crowds of people pay money to listen to great speakers. Miracle workers promise “deliverance” and material blessings.
The same is true around the world. People are increasingly filling their lives with social media feeds, games, and entertainment. We live in an age of distractions. But is anyone out there looking for God?
At the heart of what it means to be human is a huge question mark: Who am I and why am I here? We long for identity and purpose, but we face the endemic condition of guilt, fear and emptiness. As a result of our broken condition, we search for answers.
The problem is that we look for answers in all the wrong places. Many search for identity and purpose in people, things, fame, wealth and power—in created things rather than the Creator. But the Holy Spirit, through the Scriptures, says: Seek God.
In many passages, seeking God is presented as the overarching dynamic of our relationship with Him. In Psalm 24:6 we read, “Such is the generation of those who seek him, who seek your face . . .” And in 1 Chronicles 28:9, David says to Solomon, “If you seek him, he will be found by you.”
What might the Holy Spirit have in mind when He calls us to seek God? How should we seek God? I believe it begins with the heart. God is sought primarily by a growing, passionate desire for Him. The heart that seeks God is characterized by a desperate dependence on God, a shameless audacity in knocking at His door (Luke 11:8). Seeking God involves repentance (turning away from idols other than God).
Seeking God also involves waiting. The heart hopes in and waits for God while believing that God is at work and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him (Hebrews 11:6). When Jesus bids us to ask, seek and knock, He also calls us to wait until He shows up. This is the beauty of what we see in 2 Chronicles 15:4. “But in their distress they turned to the Lord, the God of Israel, and sought him, and he was found by them.”
God also seeks us! As Roy and Revel Hession put it in their little book We Would See Jesus, “Just as water is ever seeking the lowest depths in order to fill them, so is Jehovah ever seeking out man’s need in order to satisfy it.”
Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153) said something we would do well to remember today. “God is perhaps sought more worthily and found more easily by prayer than discussion.”
The many blessings of seeking God are obvious. So why don’t we do it more?
Bulus became an International Vice President of The Navigators in September 2018. A Nigerian, he previously served as Regional Director of the Navigator work in Africa. Bulus and his wife, Salama, have four adult daughters.