Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Seeking God

After reading a blog that Nicole posted on A Journey to Freedom, I began to think about what it means to seek God. I spent many years seeking God. I read books on the subject. I prayed, fasted and memorized scripture all in an attempt to seek God. The result was insecurity and frustration because I never felt like I had succeeded. Looking back, I now realize that I was looking for some sort of physical manifestation or feeling that would prove that I had been successful in my seeking.

The goal of seeking is to find. Jesus has said that if we seek, we shall find. Scripture also states that we should seek God while he may be found. Well, he’s been found so why do we keep on seeking? As believers, he’s in us. He’s not off somewhere hiding.

A number of years ago, there was a very popular book out that said that God hides from us. The author believed that God would hide from us and, if we came close to finding him, he would run and hide again. That always bothered me. I couldn’t comprehend of a father that would hide from his children. It just didn’t make any sense.

At night, I enjoy looking out my bathroom window and gazing at the moon and the stars. Father’s presence just seems so real in those moments. A few years ago, as I looked, I saw the moon. As I continued to watch, clouds moved so that the moon was hidden behind them. Although the moon was still in the same location, I could no longer see it because the clouds obstructed my view. In a short time however, as the clouds continued to move, I could once again see the moon.

The same thing is true with God. He doesn’t hide from us but our fears and doubts as well as our traditions hinder us from “seeing” him. Since Jesus said he would never leave us nor forsake us, he’s in us whether we sense his presence or not.

I had to get to the place where I believed that he is always with me. Now, I don’t have to seek him because I know where he is. He’s in me just as he said he would be.


Anonymous said...

God Bless you for that post Aida, a teacher in our former church had talked about that book, it was bothersome, and really freaked me out. I have had seeking via fast, prayer, crying out, reading, alter camping, and various other methods of connecting to God pounded into my head and none of it worked (or manifested evidence) like I was told it should. It really made me feel like maybe the elect thing is right and I am just elected to death. Thank God for people like my wife for her in-depth searching and finding wonderful people like you who have so much to share, Thank you for sharing.
Much blessings and love in Christ,

Aida said...

Ron, the reason you were freaked out is because your heart was letting you know that was a lie. That's the problem with those types of teachings. When they don't work, and they usually don't, we're left feeling like unloved stepchildren.

Once we understand that Father really loves us and his love is not based on what we do or don't do, it can feel like we walked out of death.

I'm glad what I'm posting is an encouragement to you. I have an email address posted on my profile that I invite you to use if you ever want to talk a bit more.

Set Free said...

This is so good. Thanks for sharing!

Aida said...

Thanks, set free.

Anonymous said...

I loved your use of the clouds temporarily moving across the moon and the representation of them being our fears, shame, sins, anger. Beautiful.

I especially loved:

"The same thing is true with God. He doesn’t hide from us but our fears and doubts as well as our traditions hinder us from “seeing” him. Since Jesus said he would never leave us nor forsake us, he’s in us whether we sense his presence or not."

~Amy :)

Bino M. said...

Aida - This is a wonderful post!

Well, he’s been found so why do we keep on seeking?

Yes, absolutely! Jesus said, if you drink from me, you will never thirst again. So, if we are still thirsty for something (miracles, super natural manifestations etc) it's either we haven't drank from Him OR we don't know that we have drank from Him. (BTW, I am not saying we will stop looking for the treasures we have in Christ)

Joel B. said...

Hey there big sis,

I remember that hide and seek book, and it bugged the living daylights out of me! At first I fell for it... thinking that's why I can never seem to find God... He's always hiding! - just so I can find Him again. PHOOEY!

God is here. God is with us. God is in us. God lives through us. God is our life. God shows Himself to us in many ways. He's not hiding! He's forever sharing His wonderful heart with us!

Aida said...

Thanks, Amy. That picture has just made it so clear to me. It's wonderful to know tht he's always there.

Great comment, Bino. I agree. I think it's okay to want the physical manifestations but, when our faith hinges on them, then we're in real trouble.

Hey, little brother. I'm shocked to find out that you fell for that hide and seek theology. LOL

Actually, I did too. I thought the book was so good that I loaned it to a friend and never got it back so I bought a second one. Crazy, isn't it? I should have listened to my heart and then I wouldn't have wasted my money.

I love your last paragraph especially the part where you said that "He's forever sharing His wonderful heart with us!" That's beautiful! Thanks for sharing this.

Free Spirit said...

Love that, Aida!
Yeah, why seek when He's already been found?
Such profound thought.

And, yeah, I can never see a (loving) Daddy, hiding out from His kids. Huh?? How did that author come up with that?

lionwoman said...

Aida, great post. I think I know the book you're talking about. I can't believe how much of my brain I left at the door for years. It blows my mind how many goofy books I read, among other things, to try to get God to 'show up' and 'bless me.' I am glad to have finally seen the simplicity of the gospel as a result of leaving IC. But sometimes I'm furious at how badly they've screwed up a simple and beautiful message. And feeling silly myself for not seeing something that was right under my nose.

Aida said...

Free spirit, athough I fell for other parts of the book, that whole hiding thing never seemed right. The author said that he would hide from his children and then jump out and scare them. It all seemed a little strange to me.

Amy, I'm sure you do know the book. It was a VERY well known book at the time.

We've all foolishly accepted what we now know was just plain wrong. Don't beat yourself up over it. Our Daddy knew how long it would take us to get it and he factored it into our lives before we were created so actually, we're right on time.

Mhark said...

Hi Aida-
so true.
God loves us with an everlasting love.
Jesus said in Matt 28:20 "Lo I am with you always, even to the end of the world." He also said that is the vine, we are the branches...sounds pretty close to me.
Truth is, in Christ, we have never been unloved- praise his name!

John Fincher said...

Aida, you are 100% right. We (I, really) want a physical/temporal sign from Father saying that He is close, when He already says that He is.

But, I wonder why He does "seem" to be far away?

Why does He choose to work the way He does?

These questions are more rhetorical than pragmatic, though.

Grace and Peace to you!

Aida said...

Mark, the story about a vine and its branches has always been one of my favorites. I love what you've shared here. He's never stopped loving us. If we could only get hold of that reality, how different our lives would be.

John, I still at times want a physical sign that he's close, however, my faith in him is no longer based on that. It's been hard getting there but I now know that he's with me even when I can't "feel" him.

I believe the seeming far away is really on our side. He doesn't always act in a way that we're expecting so we don't always know he's there. I think the uniqueness of our personalities makes it difficult to really say how he'll respond since he doesn't have a set pattern that we can depend on like religion has taught us.

Those are great questions. I'd love to hear others thoughts regarding them.