Ready to Seek
The second milestone – 16 years [vs 3]
In a previous Bible study, we considered a very important question, “What makes a person ready for God?” There were certain principles that were derived from the milestone years of Josiah’s life.
The first principle was that he was ready to learn.
A second principle is found in the second milestone year mentioned in verse 3. “In the eighth year of his reign, while he was yet a boy, he began to seek the God of David his father.” This could be expressed as “Here was a boy who was Ready to Seek” and Ready for God.
The word “began” shows that there was a definite time when he started. The word “seek” shows a definite activity. The phrase “God of David his father” shows a definite goal.
Ready for God – A definite time
He began at the age of 16 years. The Holy Spirit adds the words – “while he was yet a boy.” Seeking God is not an automatic thing that takes place in a person’s life. It has to start by a person’s own initiative and at a definite time.
Some mistakenly assume that spirituality and seeking God can be injected into a person and that by constantly administering it, it will achieve results.
Just as salvation comes by a person taking an initiative so also in the matter of seeking God. There is no compulsion in the things of God.
A desire to seek God comes only when a person realizes that there is a vacuum in his life that cannot be filled by material things or even legalism.
The rich young man came running to the Lord Jesus and asked, “What do I still lack [Matt 19:20]?”
The wonderful thing about seeking God is that it can start right now. God’s time is “Now”. Paul says “Behold, now is the favorable time; behold now is the day of salvation [ 2Cor 6:2]”.
If you are young then that is the best time to start. The injunction given by the Preacher is applicable for every young man or woman right here in the 21st century. “Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth, before the evil days of come and the years draw near of which you will say, “I find no pleasure in them [Eccl. 12:1].”
Ready for God – A definite activity
The word “seek” indicates that there is a definite activity involved. It is not something that comes easily or instantaneously.
We live in a world which goes by the philosophy of “instant”. You can order something online and within a short time, it has arrived at your home.
But there is nothing instant as far as spiritual things are concerned.
Some believers mistakenly think that by spending two hours on a Sunday morning and participating in the Breaking of Bread they have got all that they need.
There is the effort required in seeking God.
Wise Solomon said that the effort is like one seeking for silver and searching for it as a hidden treasure. Then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God [Pro 2:4].
A person who undertakes such activity will not allow anything to come in the way. There might be many difficulties and obstacles but it will not stop them from the activity.
The activity may require re-organizing one’s daily schedule, it may mean talking to one’s boss, it may mean traveling long distances, it may require cutting down on sleep time.
Josiah made such a decision. There were a lot of things that would come in his way especially the wicked things set up by his father and grandfather.
Ready for God – A definite goal
Josiah had the definite goal to seek the God of David his father.
We had seen in the earlier study that he had come to know about God of David from his mother.
There is a multiplicity of things that people seek after today: education, career, job, money, pleasures etc.
While some things may be legitimate and needed, the great danger is to make it the priority and the only thing in life.
Many young people have completely lost out on a life of usefulness to God because they have taken such a course.
Gehazi, the servant of Elijah is a great lesson for us. Elisha asked Elijah for a double portion of Elijah’s spirit [2 Kings 2:9] and he got it because he was so eager for it and he was so focused on getting it. Gehazi could have got a double portion of Elisha’s spirit if he was very keen about it. But he was more interested in getting Naaman’s gifts.
A.W. Tozer has written, “The doctrine of justification by faith—a Biblical truth, and a blessed relief from sterile legalism and unavailing self-effort—has in our time fallen into evil company and been interpreted by many in such manner as actually to bar men from the knowledge of God. The whole transaction of religious conversion has been made mechanical and spiritless. Faith may now be exercised without a jar to the moral life and without embarrassment to the Adamic ego. Christ may be “received” without creating any special love for Him in the soul of the receiver. The man is “saved,” but he is not hungry nor thirsty after God. In fact, he is specifically taught to be satisfied and encouraged to be content with little.”
The Psalmist said, “The Lord looks down from heaven on the children of men to see if there are any to understand who seek after God [Ps 14:2].”
Isaiah said, “Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near.” God gives the great opportunity to every person to seek after him [Isa. 55:6].”
What does it mean to seek God? It means to seek to:
- Know him
- Have fellowship with Him
- Find His will
Ready for God – Seek to Know Him
The first aspect of seeking God is to “Seek to Know Him”. The Lord Jesus said, “Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness [Matt 6:33]”.
The Lord Jesus in His High Priestly prayer said, “And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent [John 17:3]”.
It is evident from the prayer that eternal life is intimately linked to the knowledge of God the Father and that knowledge comes through the Lord Jesus Christ. The fact is that the more you know God, the more you realize that there is much more to know about him.
Paul writing in the latter part of his life said, “That I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead [Phil 3:10,11]. The Lord wants us to know him more than anything else, “let him who boasts, boast in this that he understands and knows me [Jeremiah 9:23].”
[Quote from J.I.Packer’s book – Knowing God] “The highest science, the loftiest speculation, the mightiest philosophy, which can ever engage the attention of a child of God, is the name, the nature, the person, the work, the doings, and the existence of the great God whom he calls his Father. There is something exceedingly improving to the mind in a contemplation of the Divinity. It is a subject so vast, that all our thoughts are lost in its immensity; so deep, that our pride is drowned in its infinity.”
Ready for God – Seek to have Fellowship with Him
The second aspect of seeking God is to “Seek to have fellowship Him”. The Psalmist said, “One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, [Psalm 27:4]”.
The Psalmist is speaking about fellowship. Fellowship between two persons is a two-way interaction. Such a fellowship can take place only when we draw near to God, “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you [Jas 4:8]”.
Further such fellowship is possible when we open our hearts to him, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come into him and eat with him, and he with me [Revelation 3:20]”.
The basis of fellowship is walking in the light. John writes, “This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth [1 Jn 1:5,6].”
Ready for God: Seek to know His Will
The man has a free will and all actions of the will, both good and bad, are performed freely.
Rejection of the will of God by our first parents brought sin in the world with its awful consequences.
Since then by nature we want to remain independent of God, making our own decisions, deciding our own fate.
Experience and history show that man in following his own will has only taken a downward path.
God’s will, on the other hand, is described as good, pleasing and perfect [Rom 12:2].
We will recognize that our own will is always against God’s will! Man’s problems exist largely because of a conflict between man’s will and God’s will.
The most important pursuit for a person is to find God’s will. The Lord Jesus said, ‘I seek not my own will but the will of him who sent me [John 5:30]’. If the will of the Father was paramount in the life of the Lord Jesus, how much more it should be to us.
The Result of Seeking God
The wonderful heart of God is that if you seek Him, He will be found by you [2 Chr 15:2]. You will then also discover His all-sufficiency. “The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing [Psalm34:10]”.
David understood these tremendous privileges. No wonder, he had such a desire for God. He compares his desire or thirst for God, as a dry and weary land where there is no water [Psalm 63:1]. The Psalmist compares his thirst to a deer panting for water after running a long distance.
For the people of the world, the boundary of life is just the world. “Let us eat and drink for tomorrow we die.” But that should not be the statement of a child of God. There is an eternity ahead of him, a life with God.
I quote A.W. Tozer again, “The man who has God for his treasure has all things in One. Many ordinary treasures may be denied him, or if he is allowed to have them, the enjoyment of them will be so tempered that they will never be necessary to his happiness. Or if he must see them go, one after one, he will scarcely feel a sense of loss, for having the Source of all things he has in One all satisfaction, all pleasure, all delight. Whatever he may lose he has actually lost nothing, for he now has it all in One, and he has it purely, legitimately and forever.”
TO GO TO THE PREVIOUS STUDY (PART I) PLEASE CLICK ON THIS LINK: READY FOR GOD