“Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as He was walking in the garden in the cool of the day. . .” (Genesis 3:8, NIV)
“I revealed myself to those who did not ask for me; I was found by those who did not seek me. To a nation that did not call on my name, I said, ‘Here am I, here am I.'” (Isaiah 65:1, NIV)
A common way that non-religious or even newly converted people talk about salvation involves the phrase “finding God.” It is not a bad sentiment. It expresses the fact that we are all on a journey of discovery in our lives, and we search until those needs are satisfied. As Christians, we recognize that only God can fill the emptiness that all of us experience. So, it is not surprising that people ask us if we have “found God.”
The good news is that, according to Scripture, finding God is not as difficult as we try to make it.
In fact, the God of the Bible is a God who is constantly and consistently pursuing us! God is a seeker. In Genesis, God takes the initiative to interact with His disobedient children. In Isaiah, we see a God who pursues those who are unaware or even unwilling to know Him.
God wants to introduce Himself in person.
God comes calling for us, even (especially) when we are at our most desperate. John Wesley referred to this phenomenon as “prevenient grace.” Prevenient grace is grace that comes before: before we are even aware and certainly before we are worthy of such an encounter.
As Scripture unfolds, we see a God who continually seeks to encounter a sinful world with redemptive grace by working through a nation and its leaders, but they often fall short. So, God, in the person of His Son Jesus Christ, makes a personal visit, in the flesh, to encounter His people: “The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us” (John 1:14). Now, in the Age of the Spirit, God is seeking to use His Church to deliver this face to face invitation.
Can we look around this week and ask God where He is trying to send us in His ongoing pursuit of the lost, hurting, and marginalized? How can we become better instruments of God’s grace-filled initiative? How is God pursuing us, so that His Spirit may reveal an area of growth and transformation in our own lives? The God who seeks is still seeking!
Prayer for the Week:
Thank you, loving Father, for coming to us even when we did not come to you. May we be sent by your Spirit out into our world to be a face-to-face encounter with the love of your Son Jesus Christ. In His name, we pray. Amen.
Charles W. Christian is managing editor of Holiness Today.
Written for Coffee Break with Holiness Today