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Christian Union: The Magazine
March 24, 2016
CU-why-we-search-for-GodGod seeks relationship with those who don’t yet know him. He seeks a deeper union with those who do.

As we seek him, we can be confident that he is earnestly seeking us as well. –Leigh McLeroy

We all have different motivations for our decisions and pursuits, and our faith life is no different. In her article for Explore God, Leigh McLeroy poses a series of thought-provoking questions and responses on the primary reasons individuals search for God in their lives.

Does God exist?

Some individuals are searching for God because they want to either prove or disprove His existence. McLeroy provides well-known examples of each of these type of “searchers,” whose lives illustrate the powerful impact of faith, and the emptiness that often accompanies its’ abandonment.

Perhaps they began this kind of intellectual search with the goal of being free, once and for all, of the “God question.” Perhaps they even hope to “rule him out” and release themselves from any allegiance or responsibility that proof of his existence might demand.

Christian theologian and author C. S. Lewis was raised in a Protestant home in Belfast, Ireland. However, as an adolescent, he abandoned his belief. He found little support for God’s existence in his early academic studies.

…Much later, an adult Lewis was “surprised by joy” and led by means of imagination and reason to a settled belief in Jesus Christ as the Son of God. The route of his search was long and circuitous but ultimately affirmed the faith of his childhood.

Still others seeking proof of God’s existence do hope to find it. Charles Darwin was such a seeker, though he ultimately became perhaps the most disappointed agnostic in modern history. As a young man, Darwin considered a career in the priesthood and began to study the natural world, believing that it demonstrated the glory of God. [He later noted “disbelief crept over me at a very slow rate, but was at last complete.”

Where is God?

Sometimes in the search for God, individuals are led to look for something akin to an address, a physical place. But in their search, they undoubtedly learn that God is omnipresent. It’s only a matter of having our eyes opened to Him.

[God] cannot be restricted, as we are, to a single time and place. The ancient psalm writer King David pondered God’s whereabouts and concluded that there was no place where God was not.

David’s claim wasn’t that he couldn’t find God, but that he couldn’t escape him ... His presence can be found in nature, in the lives of those who follow him, and among those gathered together in worship.

Why should we Seek God?

Some individuals may begin to wonder whether or not their quest for God has value. They ask, if God is not visible, should they continue to seek His face? The unequivocal answer is yes. Though God always with us, sometimes our own weaknesses and failings can separate us from Him.

Our own disobedience or willful sin may result in the sense that God has “removed his hand” from us for a time—but not every trial or difficulty we experience is evidence that he has done so. While he may, indeed, be disciplining us by allowing us to feel the very real consequences of our sin and the alienation from God that sin brings, he is still present. And he still promises to be found by those who wholeheartedly seek him.

We don’t make the mental and emotional effort to seek God because he is lost. He is not. We seek God so that we may “know him” and “be found in him,” as the Apostle Paul wrote. [Philippians 3:8-10]

How Should We Seek God?

Seeking God is not something to be mastered; it’s a lifelong endeavor. The process of drawing close to God requires time and effort like anything else worthy of pursuit. While there are many aspects that contribute to developing a rich, seeking God lifestyle, start with prayer. Pray that God may reveal Himself and that you become open enough to know His heart and carry out His purposes.

The good news is that our search for God is not one that we trek alone. Joining with other Christians who are dedicating to a seeking God lifestyle allows you to be encouraged, persevere, and stay strong in your devotion to Christ.

If you desire to seek God wholeheartedly, consider the steps to seeking God suggested by this guide and commit to persisting in your lifelong pursuit of Him.