There, in a foreign land, you will worship idols made from wood and stone--gods that neither see nor hear nor eat nor smell. But from there you will search again for the Lord your God. And if you search for him with all your heart and soul, you will find him. -- Deuteronomy 4: 28-29 (NLT)
The key verses today are God
prophesying to the nation of
These things happened to them as examples for us. They were written down to warn us who live at the end of the age. -- 1Corinthians 10: 11 (NLT)
We too were once slaves and the world was our
As simple as this may sound however I think that sometimes
we can fall short in our seeking. We can relegate God to a second tier status
in our lives. We seek Him but maybe not quite with all of our heart and soul.
Maybe we get frustrated because we think God is not hearing us when in reality
we are not truly seeking Him as we ought. For a closer look at this let's
examine how some people in the Bible pursued Jesus when they knew they needed
Him. The first such example is when Jesus was leaving
When Bartimaeus heard that Jesus of
Sometimes when we are seeking Jesus we need to throw decorum aside and shout out to Him beloved. Sometimes we have to drown out the noise machine around us and the critical voices we always hear. It would have been easier for Bartimaeus to give in to the rebuking crowd and keep his mouth shut. But he screamed louder -- Have mercy on me! If he had decided to remain prim and proper -- he would still be blind. If he had decided to give in to his critics -- he would still be blind. At the end of the day your relationship is with Jesus. Not your family, not your friends, not your church. I love my mother dearly but she did not die for my sins. I love my pastor dearly but he cannot cure my blindness. Only Jesus can open my eyes to see again. Only Jesus can make my ways straight. Sometimes however, I may have to raise my voice a bit higher when I am seeking Him. I might have to ignore those around me, telling me to be quiet.
The second example from the Gospel is the woman with the issue of blood. This woman suffered for twelve long years. The Bible tells us that she sought the solutions of the world and medicine only to go through all of her money and still be no closer to being healed. How many Christians can relate to this woman? Far too many I would guess. Far too many Christians struggle with conditions that can sap years away from their lives. Depression, anxiety, or physical ailments. Far too often we can turn to the world for our solutions. Solutions never to be found at the bottom of a pill box. Never to be found at the bottom of a bottle. You see the world will happily take all of your money and offer you nothing tangible in return. Pills that mask symptoms and create secondary dependencies. Alcohol to dull the pain. Therapy designed to help you cope with your problems, which means to teach you how to live with them. God doesn't want you living with your problems beloved -- He wants to take them from you! After twelve long and disappointing years this woman hears that Jesus is coming by and the Bible says she pressed through the crowd just to touch the hem of His garment because she knew if she did, she would be healed. Here was the reaction of Jesus:
"Who touched me?" Jesus asked. Everyone denied it, and Peter said, "Master, this whole crowd is pressing up against you." But Jesus said, "Someone deliberately touched me, for I felt healing power go out from me." - Luke 8: 45-46 (NLT)
The beauty of Scripture! Someone deliberately touched me! When was the last time we sought after Jesus in such a deliberate manner? When was the last time we sought after Jesus with such expectation! I am amazed and saddened at how many Christians live out their Christianity with seemingly no expectation. They go to church service after church service with no expectation. Prayer vigil after prayer vigil with no expectation. That is the difference between religion and relationship. Religion can become rote and dry. When you are in a relationship however -- you expect things. When that relationship is with the Creator of the entire universe -- how high should those expectations be! Twelve years of suffering -- nothing my God cannot handle. Problem kids, troubled marriage, unfair boss, bad economy, poor doctor report -- nothing my God cannot handle. But do we seek Him? Are we pressing in through the crowd? Are we pressing in to merely touch the hem of His garment? Or are we content to continue to try and see if the world can solve our problems?
Our travels now take us to