If I Seek God, Will I Really Find Him?
Updated: May 5
My brother suspiciously disappeared around the time the cookie jar went missing. He was five, I was seven, and while there was no hard evidence, the empty counter and missing boy appeared to be linked. That boy and his stellar cookie hunting skills meant my mom had to also be a skillful sleuth. My mom’s search was rewarded when she got down on all fours to peer under his bed, her view revealing a boy tucked back against the wall, cookie jar nestled under his chin, as he tried to consume every cookie before he was caught.
Compare the skill of both that cookie hunter and my mom, the expert boy finder, to my own skills in hide-and-seek and I come up sorely lacking. I always hated being the seeker. I felt overwhelmed by all the places my friends could hide — trees, porches, the ball field, backyards. Then I’d convince myself maybe they stopped playing, and maybe I was wandering aimlessly, searching for no one.
I was a lot of fun.
Embedded in the joy of the search is the certainty of the find. My mom was fueled by an urgency to find my brother before the tummy ache set in — but she also never doubted she would find him.
And I guess that's what was missing for me? The certainty? When I seek something, I want to know I am going to find it. If what I’m searching for doesn’t feel like a sure thing, it can feel hopeless.
In the past, roots of this insecurity in my search skills extended to my efforts to seek God. There was a time when I wasn’t sure seeking God truly meant finding Him. Was seeking to find God a sure thing?
What if I chose to seek Him, and nothing happened?
I look back on that apprehensive seeker and wish I could point her to the repeated promise from both the Old and the New Testaments: If we seek God, we will find Him. (See some of these scriptures listed below.) The number of times we’re invited to seek Him tells of His unchanging desire to be found. He longs for us to seek Him. We're invited. He’s waiting.
A deeper look at these verses reveals something about our part in the seeking — a mindset, if you will, for our role in the search.
In these verses, the word “seek,” or “zeteo” in the original Greek, means “to seek in order to find.” In order to. If I’m seeking in order to find, that speaks of an unwavering search, fueled by drive and resolve.
This same word, “seek,” is used in Herod’s order to search for all male babes under two, in an attempt to kill Jesus after he was born (see Matthew 2:13). That form of “seek” is used again when the chief priests sought false testimony against Jesus, to put Him to death (see Matthew 26:59). Both of those searches were focused and intense, their seekers were determined.
What if I seek God with that same determination?
What if I hold in my heart the need and desperation for Who I will find?
It’s like comparing my mom’s search to my own half-hearted seeking: the difference in the mindset is the difference in the result.
When I seek God in order to find Him, I will find Him. It’s a promise, repeated to us over and over: “…you will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul,” (Deuteronomy 4:29).
This, then, is the prayer I offer up for myself. For us all. When we seek the Lord, may we do so with our hearts set, our minds locked, and our souls intent on seeking in order to find.
This post is the first in a series describing five different postures to hear God louder. This first posture of belief, that if we seek God, we will find Him, is the foundation for knowing Him deeper and hearing Him louder.
The five postures:
1 | Seek: I believe that when I seek Him, I will find Him.
2 | Know: I know that God still speaks to us.
3 | Expect: I expect that I will hear Him.
4 | Listen: I commit to creating time and space to listen for His voice.
5 | Connect: I believe that when I listen for Him, I will connect with Him.
If you are interested in spending more time learning more about these five postures, I've compiled a FREE five-day devotional and guided journal called, "Closer: Five Days to Hearing God Louder." Subscribe here to receive a link to your FREE copy -- and you'll also receive notifications of future posts.
Posture One | Seek: I believe that when I seek Him, I will find Him.
But from there, you will seek the Lord your God, and you will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul. (Deuteronomy 4:29)
I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently will find me. (Proverbs 8:17)
And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. (Jeremiah 29:13)
Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. (Matthew 7:7)
And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. (Luke 11:9)
And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us… (Acts 17:26-27)
And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. (Hebrews 11:6)
Plan ahead to spend time seeking God.
Choose a quiet place and limit your distractions.
Look up the promises above. Read what comes before and after each verse.
Have a conversation with God about what you read.
Do you believe that when you seek Him, you will find Him?
When have you looked for something with absolute surety that you would find it? How can you borrow that same assurance for your search for God?
What keeps you from seeking God?
What steps can you take to establish a regular rhythm of seeking and finding God?
To read more about meeting with God and seeking Him:
Photo credit: Andrew Neal, Unsplash.