What Saith the Scripture?
Seek the LORD
"The LORD is good unto them that wait for Him, to the soul that seeketh Him."
by Katie Stewart
We enjoy the "good" things that come from God. "And thou shalt rejoice in every good thing which the LORD thy God hath given unto thee, and unto thine house" (Deuteronomy 26:11). Our lives are enriched and increased by His loving generousity. "They that seek the LORD shall not want any good thing" (Psalm 34:10). And our message to others should communicate our confidence in our LORD's goodness. "That the communication of thy faith may become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus" (Philemon 1:6). But the motive for our love of the LORD Jesus isn't a selfish seeking of what we can get from Him-- Heaven included. Love's motivation is never selfish. "Charity envieth not ...seeketh not her own" (1Corinthians 13:4-5). True Love, "rejoiceth in the Truth; beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things" (1Corinthians 13:6-7). Love's motivation is giving-- not getting. Love seeks the LORD, and joys in the Truth of Him, believes Him, hopes in Him, and endures all things just for Him. Love seeks Him-- not His benefits. The "good" that we seek is not the inevitable "good" that He gives. The "good" we seek is the "Good" that He is!
After all, if there is any "goodness" in this world, the sum-and-total of it lies in the three Persons of His Godhead. "For in Him [Christ Jesus] dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily" (Colossians 2:9). One Part of His Godhead directs us toward Another Part. The Holy Spirit reveals the Son pointing to the Father as the Ultimate Definition of Good. "Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou Me good? there is none good but One, that is, God" (Mark 10:18). Obtaining the "Good" inheritantly found in God is a secondary blessing to seeking the LORD. "But seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and His Righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you" (Matthew 6:33).
The Kingdom and His Righteousness
"The soul that seeketh Him" seeks that which is important to Him. Whatever is important to His Kingdom and pertains to His Righteousness is preeminently important to Him. Therefore, seeking the LORD certainly includes seeking that which benefits His Kingdom and justifies His Righteousness.
Scripture-based Judgment enforces God's definition of "Righteousness" to a self-willed World. "With my spirit within me will I seek Thee early: for when Thy Judgments are in the Earth, the inhabitants of the World will learn Righteousness" (Isaiah 26:9). The LORD's purposes for mankind are that we desire Him, and that we equate right-doing in the same way He does. "I the LORD speak Righteousness, I declare things that are Right" (Isaiah 45:19). Our agreement with Him bonds us together in a common cause which justifies all His actions and intentions concerning Heaven and Earth. "Seek ye the LORD, all ye meek of the Earth, which have wrought His Judgment; seek Righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the LORD'S anger" (Zephaniah 2:3). The Righteousness of God rescued you from Hell's pit. "Hearken to me, ye that follow after Righteousness, ye that seek the LORD: look unto the Rock whence ye are hewn, and to the hole of the pit whence ye are digged" (Isaiah 51:1). It is God's Righteousness that causes you to "sow to yourselves in Righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the LORD, till He come and rain Righteousness upon you" (Hosea 10:12). God's Righteousness causes tremendous joy in His people, because His right-doing benefits us to the highest degree possible, and causes us to "rejoice in the LORD, ye righteous; and give thanks at the remembrance of His Holiness" (Psalm 97:12).
The Kingdom of God is benefitted by the increase of a man's soul added to its population. "Let all those that seek Thee rejoice and be glad in Thee: and let such as love Thy Salvation say continually, Let God be magnified" (Psalm 70:4). Whether this side of Heaven, or past Heaven's gate proper, the Salvation secured by the repentant heart of a man newly given over to his Saviour, is one of the sweetest savours enjoyed by the Kingdom. "O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in Him" (Psalm 34:8). Even the Angels partake of this feast. "Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over ONE sinner that repenteth" (Luke 15:10). The new-found joy of babes in Christ that "have tasted that the LORD is gracious" (1Peter 2:2-3) is the joy that is shared throughout the Body of Christ. "They that sow in tears shall reap in joy" (Psalm 126:5). And no less so, than by the Saints already in His Heavenly Kingdom. "I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in Heaven over one sinner that repenteth" (Luke 15:7). The fervent prayer of all who love and seek the LORD, is, "Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done in Earth, as it is in Heaven" (Matthew 6:10).
Thy Will Be Done
God's own Word teaches His will. From the very Mind of God we know that He desires us:
That His "will be done in Earth, as it is in Heaven"
(Matthew 6:10) is our goal. While on this side of Heaven, we should redeem whatever
time we have with Him by trying to know Him better, by understanding how to please
Him, and by seeking that which fulfills His will for us and for those around us.
To discern His will for those around us, we first need to discern if they are seeking
Him. Worlds eternally separate "Seekers of the LORD" from those who do
Defining Characteristics of Those Who Do Seek the LORD-- and of Those Who Do Not
In the same way that "the fruit tree" yields "fruit after his kind" (Genesis 1:11), a man is known by the "fruit of his doings" (Jeremiah 17:10). "Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? 17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit... 20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them" (Matthew 7:16-18,20). And, "even a child is known by his doings" (Proverbs 20:11).
The LORD has done everything in His Omnipotent Power to try and turn the hearts of men. "For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil" (1 John 3:8). No one could ask more of Him Who shed His last drop of blood to pay our sin debts (past sins committed) and redeem us from sin's grip (present and future freedom from the necessity to continue sinning). [See our article "Must We Then Sin" "-- http://Whatsaiththescripture.com/Fellowship/Must.We.Then.Sin.html --for more on this subject.] "Who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works" (Titus 2:14). No one could have a more loving father than our Heavenly Father, Who "spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all" (Romans 8:32a), and then Promises an eternal tomorrow of security and peace, for "how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?" (8:32b).
However, the LORD cannot prevent sin in those who, by their free will, refuse Him. "Then said He unto the disciples, It is impossible but that offences will come: but woe unto him, through whom they come!" (Luke 17:1). There are a few who will listen and obey, but most will not. "Many are called, but few are chosen" (Matthew 22:14). Walkers in the Light are like their LORD. "God is Light, and in Him is no darkness at all" (1John 1:5). Walkers in the Light are completely Light. "If thy whole body therefore be full of Light, having no part dark, the whole shall be full of Light, as when the bright shining of a candle doth give thee light" (Luke 11:36). Those who walk in the Light can discern those who hide in the dark. "But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the Light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is Light. 14 ...Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee Light" (Ephesians 5:13-14). Christians, by definition, have the discerning Light of Christ to manifest wickedness. "Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them" (Matthew 7:20). The Book of Proverbs is excellent at showing the contrasts between the wicked and the righteous. They are night and Day.
His ways are Spiritually woven into the character of those who truly seek Him.
His ways are foreign to strangers.
It is not only POSSIBLE for Christians to discern those
who don't seek the LORD, but it is IMPOSSIBLE for Light Walkers not to discern
Dark Hiders. When honest hearts seek-- they find.
Seeking and Finding
The LORD's will for all humanity is "that they should seek the LORD, if haply they might feel after Him, and find Him, though He be not far from every one of us" (Acts 17:27). The Promise to everyone who sincerely seeks Him-- whether sinner or saint, whether babe or one of "full age" eating "strong meat" (Hebrews 5:14)-- the Promise is the same. "Every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened" (Matthew 7:8). "6 Seek the LORD, and ye shall live... 7 Ye who turn Judgment to wormwood, and leave off righteousness in the Earth, 8 Seek Him that maketh the seven stars and Orion, and turneth the shadow of death into the morning, and maketh the day dark with night: that calleth for the waters of the sea, and poureth them out upon the face of the Earth: The LORD is His Name" (Amos 5:6-8). We seek Him. We find Him.
To those of us who have found the LORD Christ Jesus, we know Him to be our "Good Shepherd" that "giveth His Life for the sheep" (John 10:11). He understands us with Omniscience. "As a shepherd seeketh out his flock in the day... so will I seek out My sheep, and will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day" (Ezekiel 34:12). "I am the Good Shepherd, and know My sheep, and am known of Mine" (John 10:14). Jesus knows when even one of us leaves His side. "How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray?" (Matthew 18:12). He seeks us. He finds us.
The self-serving seeker deceives himself, and those around him, that he loves God with a servants heart. But "he that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory" (John 7:18a). A true seeker is "he that seeketh His Glory that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him" (John 7:18b). Jesus warns us that He truly does KNOW us and understands us. He knows His sheep. He knows your heart. "I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings" (Jeremiah 17:10). He will not be made the fool. "The LORD is with you, while ye be with Him; and if ye seek Him, He will be found of you; but if ye forsake Him, He will forsake you" (2 Chronicles 15:2). Count on it! For the LORD values His Word above His Name. "For Thou hast magnified Thy Word above all Thy Name" (Psalm 138:2). And considering "there is none other name under Heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved" (Acts 4:12), that value is higher than any! "Come, and let us join ourselves to the LORD in a Perpetual Covenant that shall not be forgotten" (Jeremiah 50:5).
"1 O give thanks unto the LORD; call upon His Name: make known His deeds among the people. 2 Sing unto Him, sing psalms unto Him: talk ye of all His wondrous works. 3 Glory ye in His holy Name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the LORD. 4 Seek the LORD, and His strength: seek His face evermore. 5 Remember His marvellous works that He hath done; His wonders, and the Judgments of His mouth... 7 He is the LORD our God: His Judgments are in all the earth. 8 He hath remembered His Covenant for ever, the Word which He commanded to a thousand generations" (Psalm 105:1-5,7-8).
Harvest of Light, Gladness
"Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart"
Righteousness is often costly to the man who keeps to it at all hazards, but in the end it will bear its own expenses and return an infinite profit. A holy life is like sowing seed: much is going out, and apparently it is buried in the soil, never to be gathered up again. We are mistaken when we look for an immediate harvest; but the error is very natural, for it seems impossible to bury light. Yet light is "sown," says the text. It lies latent: none can see it; it is sown. We are quite sure that it must one day manifest itself.
Full sure are we that the LORD has set a harvest for the sower of light, and they shall reap it, each man for himself. Then shall come their gladness. Sheaves of joy for seeds of light. Their heart was upright before the LORD, though men gave them no credit for it, but even censured them: they were righteous, though those about them denounced them as censorious. They had to wait, as husbandmen wait for the precious fruits of the earth: but the light was sown for them, and gladness was being prepared on their behalf by the LORD of the harvest.
Courage, brothers! We need not be in a hurry. Let us in patience possess our souls, for soon shall our souls possess light and gladness.
-- http://Whatsaiththescripture.com/Spurgeon/Faith.Checkbook/Faiths.Checkbook.Preface.html --
A Daily Devotional by Spurgeon
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