The Pursuit of God
Psalm 27: 1 - 6 All of us are seekers. Within all of us there are those things which we desire. We all have goals; we all have dreams. And we are all hopeful that those dreams may one day come true. What is it you seek? Are the things which we seek worth seeking? Some of the things we seek may not be in the Lord’s will for us. Some of those things may even hurt us were we to acquire them. So we must be careful to evaluate what we seek in light of the worthiness of that thing. We must also ask ourselves the question of why we seek those things. The fact is that all of us are involved in the living of life. But in the process, we find that things don’t always go smoothly. The road of life has many a bump, many a pothole. And as we weave our way around the hairpin curves and over the steep hills, we find that some things which we thought were important no longer seem so important. We come to understand that there is more to life than meets the eye. All of us struggle and have problems. Everywhere people are hurting and are in need. And what the world holds forth to meet those needs are only shallow substitutes of the real thing. It is the real thing for which we are to seek. That should be our priority in this day. We must seek that which will make life worth living. David was a man beset with the affairs of life. He had enjoyed some measure of success in His life, yet that success was not without its problems. Not only did David have personal problems, he also had people problems. On more than one occasion there were people who were set against him, seeking to take his life. David knew what it was to struggle with the serious issues of life. But David also knew what it was important to seek. And in this passage of Scripture, we see revealed for us life’s most important priority. We see here that one thing above all others after which we are to seek. 1. The Focus of Our Search What should be the focus of our search? Well, it should be the same thing as that for which David was seeking. That was communion with God. Above all else, David desired to be in the presence of God. He knew that he could find strength in His presence. He knew that "In His presence there is fullness of joy." From the context of this passage of Scripture, we understand that David had been facing some difficult circumstances. There were those who were against him, who opposed him on every hand, who did not wish to see him in any position of rule in the kingdom. Consequently, they made war against him and fought him constantly. Some of his opposition was extremely formidable, and it was enough to cause any man to be afraid. You might say David was under a good deal of stress. Yet in the midst of this, he knew where to turn. He knew that in God’s presence, he would find the strength and spiritual stamina he needed to face these trying situations in life. This is an important lesson for us. We must also realize that it is only in God’s presence where we find the strength to face the affairs of life. Just as in the midst of the parched desert of daily living David found an oasis in God’s presence, so also can we. The aim of our heart ought to be to desire to seek God’s presence in our lives. We must desire intimate, daily communion with Him because it is only in that life of communion that we will have our needs met. At the end of Isaiah 40, it says, "They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint." As we eagerly wait upon the Lord, basking in His presence, enjoying communion with Him, the promise is that we will renew our strength. Actually in the original, it says that we will "exchange" our strength. The idea is that through communion with God, we trade our strength for His. Then we can mount up with wings as eagles. Then we can run and not grow weary. Then we can walk and not faint. In John 15, Jesus emphasized over and over again the need for the believer to abide in Him. There we see the key to the Christian life is our abiding in His presence. As we commune with Jesus and enjoy fellowship with Him, all of our needs are met. Jesus likened it to the branch abiding in the vine. We, as branches, are tapped in to the source of our strength. And as we remain in that abiding relationship, we are privileged to draw upon His life-giving strength, His power, His resources. That is the key for the Christian — a life of abiding in unbroken fellowship with Jesus Christ our Lord, our Saviour, and our Friend. There is nothing sweeter than communion with Jesus Christ. As we seek Him in prayer, through the reading of His Word, and through our daily walk with Him by faith, there comes a very real inner strength. It is an inner assurance that He loves us and that He is there for us. We come to understand the reality of His promise, that He would never leave us or forsake us. We come to know Him as our friend. There is nothing any sweeter than communion with our Lord. If there is one thing lacking in the lives of many believers, it is this communion with Christ. If you find you lack power in your life, or peace, or joy, then pause for a moment and consider your communion with Christ. Do you desire to spend time in His presence? Do you desire to come to know Him? Do you take the time to enjoy fellowship with Jesus Christ and to abide in Him through prayer and through His Word? We must all understand that the focus of our search, that the thing we need to seek after, is communion with Jesus Christ. 2. The Fruit of Our Search Just as communion is the focus of our search, so communication is the fruit of our search. By communion, we are brought into His presence. As we enter His presence, we enjoy His fellowship. And as we fellowship with Him, we enjoy a genuine divine-human communication. This is very similar to the communication we enjoy as we share time with one another. As we relate to one another, we get to know one another better. Not all of the communication we share is verbal communication, however. Some things we come to know by simply being around one another. By observation and by interaction, we come to understand one another. The same is true for our relationship with Jesus Christ. As we spend time in His presence, in communion with Him, we place ourselves in the position for Him to share with us and for us to share with Him. David said there were two goals for his seeking the Lord. The first was to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD. David desired to enjoy the presence of God. He understood the value of taking time to enjoy his relationship with God. Too many Christians don’t take time to smell the roses. In other words, we are in such a hurry to get to where we are going, that we don’t take time to enjoy the trip. What a waste it is when we reduce following the Lord to merely the fulfilment of certain duties. Following Jesus cannot and should not be reduced merely to Christian principles. Following Jesus is more than attending church, doing church work, giving our money, studying our Sunday School lesson, and doing good works in the name of Christ. Perhaps following Jesus should include all of those things. But those things ought to be done because of the joy we feel as we enjoy our relationship with Jesus Christ. We do good works and fulfil our responsibilities because we love the Lord. Unless we serve Christ out of this motivation, our service will soon become too heavy a burden for our flesh to bear. Many Christians need to learn the value of what it means to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD Take time to enjoy the glory of the Lord. Consider His love for you. Take time to think about how patient He is with you. Look closely at His mercy. Analyze His compassion and tender care. We all need to spend time looking at Christ from every conceivable viewpoint. As we would take a diamond and hold it to the light, slowly turning it to enjoy all of its glory as the light passes through each facet, so we need to carefully consider Jesus. He is altogether lovely. We need to take time to enjoy Him, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD David’s second goal for his communication with the Lord was to seek him in his temple. The word "seek" here can be translated "inquire." David knew that God desired to communicate with him, and David’s desire was to hear the voice of the Lord. One of David’s goals was to inquire of the Lord, and to meditate upon His Word. David saw this as a very great need in his own life. He is the one who said, "I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you." He also said, "I will meditate on Your precepts and regard Your ways. I shall delight in Your statutes, I shall not forget Your word." For David, God’s Word was precious. It was more precious than gold. And God’s word ought to be precious to us. Jesus said, "Learn of me..." Jesus desires to speak to us and His speaking brings forth faith and deliverance and healing and restoration and joy. Oh, to hear the voice of the Lord. That’s what we need today. That’s something worth desiring. That’s something worth seeking after. Jesus said, "Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God." God’s Word is necessary for us to live. We must not only have communion, but communication with the Lord. 3. The Form of Our Search Just as communion is the focus of our search, and communication is the fruit of our search, so commitment is the form of our search. We must be committed in our effort to seek the Lord. What we desire from God, we must seek earnestly. David said, "One thing I ask of the LORD." David had a goal and he sought it earnestly. He knew what He wanted. He had a single eye. He had ordered his priorities and knew what was important. He had an earnest commitment to follow through until his desire was attained. But we must not only seek it earnestly, we must seek it determinately. He said, "this is what I seek." He exhibited the kind of determination that indicated he was not going to give up until he obtained the object of search. Like David, we must seek the Lord earnestly. We must seek Him with determination. There must be a commitment to seek His presence. If we do seek Him earnestly, and with determination, then we will seek Him successfully. We will do so because we seek Him according to His will. Jesus Himself said, "Seek and you shall find." Jeremiah 29:13, Isaiah 55:6. When we become serious about seeking the Lord, we are promised that we will find Him. But we must be serious. Someone said that God doesn’t answer prayer, He answers desperate prayer. We must remember that it is the fervent prayer of a righteous man which avails much. Therefore, in order to seek the Lord successfully, we must be committed to seek Him with all our hearts. With all of life rushing in upon us, with the busyness of our schedules, with the pressures of our jobs, with the requirements of raising a family, of being a good husband or wife or father or mother, with the problems and difficulties which life brings, there is really only one thing we cannot do without, and that is a living, dynamic relationship with Jesus Christ. The one thing after which we must seek is the one thing which will give us strength to rise above difficult circumstances, the pressures and the stress, and become the man or woman God desires us to be.