Summary: What happens when we seek the Lord? How do we react when we actually find him and have the encounter with the awesome God? We are called to obedience once we have the encounter with God. How often do we do this Seek, Find and Obey?
This morning, let us start with a basic question. Why do we come to church?
Our church is a small congregation, and hence the number of responses we can get here might be limited. But if you do a poll in a large church, there are many common answers to this question. Some of us come because it has become a habit for us. When we were children, some of us came because we were dragged to the church, some of us came voluntarily, because it was a chance to escape the home discipline and get a chance to play around with other kids, some of the parents come to church, because of the kids; they want the kids to grow up in church environment, and they want the kids to attend Sunday School etc. Some of us come because we can fellowship with others. There is a social angle to church attendance. Then there are some of us come because we want to be significant, we come not seeking what we can get, but thinking what we can give. There are of course many other nefarious reasons for which some might go to church, but I don’t want to get there.
But above all of these, if we really look deep into our own hearts, we will realise that we come to church seeking God. It might be comfort that we are seeking, it might be healing, it might a deliverance from a serious problem, whatever it is, it might be to be prayed for etc, but we come seeking God, and that is the ultimate reason why we come to church.
This morning I would like to dwell on that thought for a few moments. I want us to ask three questions this morning
So let us address the first question first; “What happens when we Seek God”
In life there are only two outcomes to seeking. When we seek something, we either find it or do not find it. When we look for something or some place, we either find it or do not find it. When we ask the world for something, we either get it do not get it, isn’t it?
So what is it with God? When we Seek Him, do we find him? Let us look into the scripture for an answer to that question.
Let us look at the discourse of Moses to the Isralites in Deuteronomy Ch 4. After giving them warnings after warnings abut the perils of neglecting the true God, and falling into sin, and idol worship etc, comes the comforting words of Moses. Deuteronomy 4:29-31 (NKJV) “But from there you will seek the LORD your God, and you will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul. When you are in distress, and all these things come upon you in the latter days, when you turn to the LORD your God and obey His voice (for the LORD your God is a merciful God), He will not forsake you nor destroy you, nor forget the covenant of your fathers which He swore to them.” Moses is basically telling them three things here. Firstly, whatever place we are in, however far we may seem to be from the presence of God, I found this particularly comforting, Deuteronomy 4:27 (NKJV) says “And the LORD will scatter you among the peoples, and you will be left few in number among the nations where the LORD will drive you.” I found this particularly comforting in the context of BBF which has seen yet another crisis in its history over the last six to eight months. This has happened to BBF before, we have had many instances where we have had to ask ourselves, Is there a purpose for us to exist, and amazingly, we have always found the answer in the affirmative. Deuteronomy 4:27 read with 4:29 says, even when you are scattered, and when you are few in number, you can seek the Lord, you can find him. However small we are in number, we can seek and find God. So that is the first message from Moses. Our act of seeking God is not dependent of how big our gathering is, or where we are. We can seek God from anywhere.
The second message that comes out of this verse is the sobering thought that afflictions are brought upon us at times to turn us to seek God. Moses is in effect telling the Israelites, “When all these problems come upon you, and when you are in such distress, it is to be hoped that you will turn from other activities and turn to God, who is merciful.” Again this point is something that we need to consider in the context of BBF. The afflictions that we go through as a congregation, could it be that they are designed to bring us closer to God as a congregation?