Seeking Thee or Seeking Me?<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />
By Tamara Scott
As believers, we are to seek righteousness in all that we do so we might glorify God. To seek righteousness we need to ask God for His direction in our lives. We often think to ask God for direction on the sticky issues, the big decisions, or when we're at a total loss. But what about asking God in the little things, the everyday decisions, and even those we're just pretty sure we've gotten right? What if we asked the Lord to check our motives for purity and our hearts for sincerity? What if we consistently laid everything out before the Lord and asked him, 1) to be Lord of all, and 2) to guide us in every minute detail the big and the small? What would happen then?
No matter how long we've been saved, we should never reach a point when we're done growing in the Lord. Thankfully, our growth in the Lord is totally individual and isn't marked in years saved, but rather in desire, submission, obedience, and pursuance. The only thing that determines how much we grow, is how much we seek. There are newborn Christians who eagerly search God's word and grow quickly, and there are Christians who've been saved for years but have seemingly grown stale in their walk. We might expect newly converted Christians to have many questions and need direction. However, longtime believers should also seek direction every day in every area of their lives. None of us should ever presume to know God's will without our asking Him.
Most Christians know they should obey the Ten Commandments, but is that God's only instruction? For some of us, it seems unless we can see - in print - word for word - how to behave in specific situations that God hasn't given us direction. Yet, if we search His Word, He likely has. It may not be trouble free or as black and white as some might like it, but if we seek God, He'll guide us, Proverbs 3:5,6. He promises to give us wisdom, if we ask for it, James 1:5.
What if we sought God's guidance in little decisions, like situations with family members and co-workers, a traffic jam, being shortchanged by a cashier, getting the wrong order at the drive-up window? Think how that might change our actions and attitudes.
What if we sought God's heart of service? In Sunday school, children learn to care for the sick, visit the elderly, encourage others, etc. As adults we need to work at serving others, and doing so with a Holy attitude. Otherwise our actions may glorify God, but our hearts do not. We need to surrender our motives and make sure we're doing these good deeds simply to honor God.
We usually think to ask God's direction on new or big decisions, but what if we sought His direction on our tried and true decisions? Where would God fall into place with those things we've always done? Would He approve of those things if we asked Him? As we grow in Christ, He may call us to new heights of obedience and challenge our thinking. Do we have contrite hearts? Are we open to His teaching that we can grow in righteousness or are we focused on our own understanding?
Do we read our Bible because 'we know we should' or because 'we delight in learning'? We need to be genuinely dedicated in our spiritual disciplines. Even with the best of intentions, we can fall into routines and ultimately lose the sacrificial attitude that first called us to obedience. We may go through the motions of a discipline without realizing we're no longer giving thought or reflection to the purpose of our actions. When we participate in a worship service, are our minds fixed on the 'experience' we feel or are we focused on 'exalting' Him? It's our devotion and obedience that honors the Lord, 1 Sam 15:22. We need to be careful not to become complacent and allow our spiritual walk to be more of a superficial routine than a spiritual relationship.
As Christians we need to seek righteousness in our every thought, action, and attitude. We hear about spiritual warfare in our world, but there is also a spiritual war raging within each of us. If we're not constantly on guard we risk being taken captive by our own sinful nature, Gal. 5:16,17 or vain philosophies, <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Col 2:8. It's our human nature to do as we see fit. If we fail or neglect to submit an area of our life to the Lord, we're acting in the flesh and we unknowingly surrender ourselves to Satan. TV shows, books, movies, hangouts, hobbies, clothing, feelings, our intake, our output, our ministries, and our minds, need to be in complete submission to God's approval.
We can receive God's direction through His Word, a pastor, another believer, or perhaps a personal revelation. No matter how direction may come, we should test it to see that it complies with His word, 1Thes 5:21. God has a plan for our lives. We need to seek Him, figure it out, and follow it. While we may not always agree with each other, we do need to be in agreement with His gospel.
We need to earnestly seek 'Thee and Thy ways' or by default we seek 'me and my ways'.
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