RSS

Tag Archives: seeking the Lord

Image

A Study of Psalm 34 (Part 6)

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on June 4, 2022 in Psalm 34

 

Tags: , , ,

Image

A Study of Psalm 34 (Part 5)

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on June 2, 2022 in Psalm 34

 

Tags: ,

Bless-ed! 52 Blessings Your Lost Friend Doesn’t Have . . . And What You Can Do About It! (Part 29)

“Quench your thirst!” says the TV commercial for the latest soft drink. But our physical thirst just comes back. So we have buy more of the advertised beverage. But what about a thirst for God? Is it — should it ever be — satisfied? Would any believer ever say, “Oh, I’ve had my fill of the glory and beauty of God. I can move on to other beverages!”?

I believe my friend Mike has many thirsts. He longs to be a good husband and father. He strives to be a good tennis player (he cleans my clock every time we play). I’m sure in his better moments he’s concerned for excellence in his job. But what about God? In thinking about the blessings I have, I’m pretty sure my unsaved friends —

29. THEY DON’T HAVE AN EVER-INCREASING THIRST FOR GOD!

We read in Psalm 42, “My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?” (v. 2). The same Psalmist David writes in Psalm 63, when he was in the desert of Judah, “You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water.” (v. 1). Thirsting for God, longing for Him with one’s whole being — I’m not sure most Christians are there. Our passion for God is often quenched by the drinks of this world.

One of the ways God describes Himself in Scripture is as “the God who hides himself” (Is. 45:15). Job spoke of the Lord in the following words: “But if he remains silent, who can condemn him? If he hides his face, who can see him? Yet he is over individual and nation alike . . .” (Job 34:29). In beautiful King Jamesian language, the Psalmist writes, “Why standest thou afar off, O Lord? why hidest thou thyself in times of trouble?” (Ps. 10:1). In the midst of catastrophe the Psalmist does not hesitate to express his question, “Wherefore hidest thou thy face, and forgettest our affliction and our oppression? (Ps.44:24). “Why do you hide your face from me?”, he asks in Psalm 88:14.

The bottom line is that God wants us to seek Him, to thirst for Him, to long to know Him deeper and deeper. The great spiritual writer A.W. Tozer captures our problem when he writes, “Everything is made to center upon the initial act of `accepting’ Christ (a term, incidentally, which is not found in the Bible) and we are not expected thereafter to crave any further revelation of God to our souls. We have been snared in the coils of a spurious logic which insists that if we have found Him we need no more seek Him.” (The Pursuit of God)

After working a night job at UPS during my graduate studies, I would come home early in the morning, kiss my wife and young children hello, and then, when our son and daughter were out of the room, I’d hide in the linen closet. The kids would come into the kitchen, notice my absence, and ask Mom, “Where’s Dad?” Mom would lie. All moms lie. And she would say, “I have no idea!” Then the kids knew they would have find me; they knew immediately that Dad had initiated a game of hide and seek.

After they had searched the house for me (I could see their little sneakers through the slats in the linen closet), I would then come out of the, uh, closet and sit drinking coffee with my wife. They would ask where I had been hiding. I finally told them about the linen closet hiding place when they each turned 18.

On one occasion I came home from my night job, kissed my wife and children good morning, and hid when their back were turned. I could hear running around the house trying to find me. And then there was silence. I came out of my hiding place and went to find them. They were in the basement watching cartoons.

They were quite happy no longer seeking Dad. I was devastated. Have we stopped seeking the Lord?

So, how do I pray for my unsaved friend? I try to make it clear that, although I now belong to Him through Christ, I’ve just begun to seek Him, to know Him deeply. And I pray that kind of thirst will get a hold of my lost friend. (to be continued)

 

 

 

Tags: , , , ,

Back to the Basics! Theology Proper #2 The God Who Hides Himself!

As we continue to consider the basics of the Christian faith, we are thinking about the God who has disclosed Himself to us, especially in the Scriptures.  His character and personality and (what theologians call) His “attributes” are revealed in His words and actions in the Bible.  As C.S. Lewis once said, “He does more than simply exist!”

What Old Testament stories come to your mind when you think of God’s mercy, His wrath, His redemption?  In a way I believe the Old Testament gives illustrations of the doctrines taught in the New Testament, so we must know our Old Testament!

One fascinating aspect of God’s personality is a truth I’ve never heard anyone preach on.  It is God’s hiding Himself.  Notice these verses in the Scriptures:  In Job 34:29 we read, “But if he remains silent, who can condemn him? If he hides his face, who can see him? Yet he is over individual and nation alike . . .”  Earlier in Job the patriarch asked, “Why do you hide your face and consider me your enemy?” (13:24)

Sometimes God’s hides Himself because of His people’s sin.  We read in Deuteronomy 31:17 – “And in that day I will become angry with them and forsake them; I will hide my face from them, and they will be destroyed. Many disasters and calamities will come on them, and in that day they will ask, ‘Have not these disasters come on us because our God is not with us?’”  Idolatry — chasing after other gods — causes this response from the Lord:  “And I will certainly hide my face in that day because of all their wickedness in turning to other gods.” (Deut. 31:18).  Sometimes God’s hiding is an expression of His wrath:  “How long, Lord? Will you hide yourself forever? How long will your wrath burn like fire?” (Ps. 89:46)

The Psalmist asks that the Lord hide His face “from my sins and blot out all my iniquity.” (Ps. 51:9).  Feeling forgotten, David also prays, “Why, Lord, do you stand far off? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?” (Ps. 10:1).  Not one to mince words, he cries out, “How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me?” (Ps. 13:1).  Later in the Psalms David pleads, “Do not hide your face from me when I am in distress. Turn your ear to me; when I call, answer me quickly.” (Ps. 102:2)

Certainly God hides Himself from sin.  Isaiah describes the Lord as: “Truly, You are a God who hides Himself, O God of Israel, Savior!” (Is. 45:15).  But may I suggest that God sometimes hides Himself for the explicit purpose of challenging us to look for Him!  He wants to be sought!  We read in Isaiah 8:17- “And I will wait for the LORD who is hiding His face from the house of Jacob; I will even look eagerly for Him.”  There are many verses in the Scriptures that encourage us to SEEK the Lord (you might want to look those up for yourself).

When my children were small, I would come home from my night-shift at work, kiss my wife and children hello, and, when their backs were turned, quickly hide in our linen closet. Why would I do such a thing? The kids immediately recognized that Dad was initiating a game of hide ‘n seek.

They would ask Mom, “Where’s Dad?” [she would lie and say she didn’t know – all moms lie], then they would look everywhere for me except that linen closet. Through the wooden slats I could see their little sneakered feet run past. After a while, when the kids were searching some other part of the house, I would slip out and sit at the table, quietly drinking coffee with my wife. The kids would see me, do a double-take, and say, “Where were you?” I would, of course, not tell them my secret hiding-place. [I did tell them about the linen closet when they both turned twenty. I thought it was time they knew.]

One morning I came home from work, kissed my wife and children hello, vanished into my linen closet, and heard the kids scampering around trying to find me. After a few minutes, the house became silent. When I came out of hiding, I found them downstairs playing Legos. They had lost interest in finding Dad. They were having a blast. I was devastated. (from my book DocTALK).

Are you seeking the Lord? In the midst of life’s complications, ask the Lord how you can more eagerly pursue Him.  You won’t regret it! (to be continued)

 
 
Leave a comment

Posted by on March 1, 2018 in theology proper

 

Tags: , , ,

Psalms of the Salter: Some Thoughts on Really Living for the Lord (Psalm 27)

Psalm 27

Of David.Screen Shot 2016-08-02 at 7.16.58 AM

The Lord is my light and my salvation—
    whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—
    of whom shall I be afraid?

When the wicked advance against me
    to devour me,
it is my enemies and my foes
    who will stumble and fall.
Though an army besiege me,
    my heart will not fear;
though war break out against me,
    even then I will be confident.

One thing I ask from the Lord,
    this only do I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
    all the days of my life,
to gaze on the beauty of the Lord
    and to seek him in his temple.
For in the day of trouble
    he will keep me safe in his dwelling;
he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent
    and set me high upon a rock.

Then my head will be exalted
    above the enemies who surround me;
at his sacred tent I will sacrifice with shouts of joy;
    I will sing and make music to the Lord.

Hear my voice when I call, Lord;
    be merciful to me and answer me.
My heart says of you, “Seek his face!”
    Your face, Lord, I will seek.
Do not hide your face from me,
    do not turn your servant away in anger;
    you have been my helper.
Do not reject me or forsake me,
    God my Savior.
10 Though my father and mother forsake me,
    the Lord will receive me.
11 Teach me your way, Lord;
    lead me in a straight path
    because of my oppressors.
12 Do not turn me over to the desire of my foes,
    for false witnesses rise up against me,
    spouting malicious accusations.

13 I remain confident of this:
    I will see the goodness of the Lord
    in the land of the living.
14 Wait for the Lord;
    be strong and take heart
    and wait for the Lord.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on September 1, 2016 in Psalm 27

 

Tags: , , ,

The Joy of Unit-Reading #52 (the Book of II Chronicles)

Continuing our unit-reading of the books of the Bible, we made it through one of the longer Old Testament books, II Chronicles. There is much here, and I was reminded of the following truths (followed by my notes on II Chronicles):

1. God alone knows the human heart (6:30).
2. There is no one who does not sin (6:36).
3. God desires humility from the heart (12:7ff).
4. Capital punishment for those who did not seek the God of Israel! (15:13).
5. God pardons those who set their hearts on seeking Him! (30:19).

Screen Shot 2016-05-02 at 5.27.17 AM

My prayer for today: “Lord, help me to seek You with my whole heart in the battles that I face today! In Jesus’ name. Amen.”

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on May 11, 2016 in unit-reading

 

Tags: , ,

The Joy of Unit-Reading #21 (the Minor Prophet Zephaniah)

We continue in our journey of reading 65 (of the 66) of the books of the Bible in one sitting.  This is called unit-reading and today we are looking at the minor prophet Zephaniah.

Screenshot 2016-01-11 08.51.13

Zephaniah continues the theme of the Day of the Lord.  Many warnings are given about God’s wrath — and promises are made that the Lord will restore a remnant of His people.

The Christian life is to be an active one of seeking the Lord, drawing near to Him, delighting in His love for us!

Screenshot 2016-01-11 08.57.48

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on February 6, 2016 in unit-reading

 

Tags: , , ,

Psalms of My Life (Psalm 27)

Psalm 27
Of David.Screen Shot 2015-01-12 at 6.18.22 AM

1 The Lord is my light and my salvation—
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—
of whom shall I be afraid?

2 When the wicked advance against me
to devour[a] me,
it is my enemies and my foes
who will stumble and fall.
3 Though an army besiege me,
my heart will not fear;
though war break out against me,
even then I will be confident.

4 One thing I ask from the Lord,
this only do I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
to gaze on the beauty of the Lord
and to seek him in his temple.
5 For in the day of trouble
he will keep me safe in his dwelling;
he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent
and set me high upon a rock.

6 Then my head will be exaltedScreen Shot 2015-01-12 at 6.20.14 AM
above the enemies who surround me;
at his sacred tent I will sacrifice with shouts of joy;
I will sing and make music to the Lord.

7 Hear my voice when I call, Lord;
be merciful to me and answer me.
8 My heart says of you, “Seek his face!”
Your face, Lord, I will seek.
9 Do not hide your face from me,
do not turn your servant away in anger;
you have been my helper.
Do not reject me or forsake me,
God my Savior.
10 Though my father and mother forsake me,
the Lord will receive me.
11 Teach me your way, Lord;
lead me in a straight path
because of my oppressors.
12 Do not turn me over to the desire of my foes,
for false witnesses rise up against me,
spouting malicious accusations.

13 I remain confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living.
14 Wait for the Lord;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the Lord.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on February 27, 2015 in the book of Psalms

 

Tags: , , , ,