Monday, October 2, 2017

"Responsive Seeking"

"Responsive Seeking"  
      Left to ourselves, none of us would ever have sought the Lord for salvation, nor would we continue to seek Him after we trust in the Lord Jesus Christ.

    "There is none that seeketh after God… It is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure" (Romans 3:11; Philippians 2:13).

     Thankfully, our Lord does not leave us to ourselves.  He rather works in both a pre and post-conversion expression of gracious desire to bestow forgiveness, spiritually birth a "new man, created in righteousness and true holiness," and establish living fellowship with us as His sons and daughters (Ephesians 4:24).  

    "And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto Me" (John 12:32).
    "And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying Abba Father" (Galatians 4:6).

    All glory, honor, and credit for a relationship given and maintained must be directed toward the God and Father of our Lord Jesus.  In the mystery of such fellowship, however, we play a vital role of what might be termed "responsive seeking" to our Lord's preliminary working in our hearts.  As mentioned, we would never seek God if He did not seek us.  But He is seeking us for the loving communication that so pleases His heart - "the prayer of the upright is His delight" - and that so fulfills our hearts - "my heart trusted in Him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise Him" (Proverbs 15:8; Psalm 28:7).  

    We must possess a Biblically informed and growing confidence in our Heavenly Father's desire for fellowship with us.  Truth demands our understanding of such gracious Divine desire, and such Christ-enabled capacity in us to "cry Abba Father."  If prayer, reading of the Bible, and walking with our Lord along the pathways of life are instead viewed as merely a disciplined determination on our part, we will end up either proud or despairing, depending on how well we perceive ourselves to engage in the relationship.  Conversely, when we realize that just as we would never have come to the Lord apart from His preparatory working in our hearts, nor would we continue to relate to Him apart from His perpetual working, the blessing of genuine fellowship with God becomes far more possible and actual.  As the Psalmist so perfectly described of the sequence of grace known by faith, "When Thou saidst, Seek ye My face; my heart said unto Thee, Thy face, LORD, will I seek" (Psalm 27:8).  

   No human heart will ever be able to boast about engaging with God in loving relationship.  We nevertheless play a role in the holy bond as we exercise the capacity for responsive seeking He Himself built into our hearts.  "The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth and thy heart, that is, the word of faith" (Romans 10:8).  Thereby our Lord receives all glory, we receive the grace of access to Him, and the resultant fellowship is real, free, and joyous to both God and ourselves.  The Lord Jesus died to secure such a wonder of Divine-human devotion to one another, even as He prayed just before the cross…

"O righteous Father, the world hath not known Thee: but I have known Thee, and these have known that Thou hast sent Me. And I have declared unto them Thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith Thou hast loved Me may be in them, and I in them."
(John 17:25-26)

Weekly Memory Verse 
    "When Thou saidst, Seek ye My face; my heart said unto Thee, Thy face, LORD, will I seek." 
(Psalm 27:8)

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