Summary: Seeking God requires a commitment to growing in personal holiness.
For the past few weeks, we’ve been considering, in a broad sense, the topic of seeking God. What it means to pursue God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. Why we should desire to do so, why it’s beneficial and even essential that we continue striving for God throughout our lives – searching, and struggling, and sacrificing, in order to experience Him to the fullest extent possible. And that’s my goal in this series; that you would not only understand these things, but be stirred up to act on them. That as a result of hearing and considering these sermons, you would be inspired to passionately, and energetically, and joyfully go hard after God, with tireless perseverance and unyielding determination, as if knowing Him were the most valuable, and priceless, and desirable thing in all the universe. As if nothing in this life could compare to the incredible riches of knowing God through his Son, Jesus Christ. My goal is that you and I would live our lives from this day forward as if we really believed that; as if he truly were our greatest treasure and hope.
Because, of course, all those things are true. My desire isn’t to persuade you of something false, or to build a fantasy world. On the contrary, my desire is to expose the falsehood that the things of this world are what matter most; to awaken you from the fantasy that those things can make you happy, or satisfied, or fulfilled. My goal is that we might all live according to the glorious reality, this marvelous truth – that knowing God is far superior to anything else life can offer. Listen to what the Scriptures say on this important subject:
". . . wisdom is more precious than rubies, and nothing you desire can compare with her."
– Proverbs 8:11, NIV
Now, you might look at this verse and conclude that it’s not really talking about knowing God per se, but rather that about the benefits of knowing God – such as acquiring wisdom and understanding. But if you read all of Proverbs chapter eight, you see that "wisdom" here is not just an abstract idea, but a Person. It’s talking about Jesus Christ, who is the wisdom of God personified. Proverbs eight speaks of this Wisdom as being eternal, as being the "craftsman" at God’s side when he formed the earth. It promises that "whoever finds me finds life" (Proverbs 8:35, NIV). Paul confirms this in First Corinthians when he writes that,
". . . Christ is the mighty power of God and the wonderful wisdom of God." (1 Corinthians 1:24, NLT).
In other words, what we’re being told in Proverbs eight is that Christ is more precious than rubies, that nothing we desire can compare with knowing Him.
David expresses this same idea in many of the Psalms; for instance, in Psalm 73:
"Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever." – Psalm 73:25-26, NIV
Here, David is saying, "Lord, whether in heaven or on earth, there is nothing I possess whose value compares to you, and there is nothing I desire except you. Everything else will pass away; my body will grow old and feeble, and eventually my life will come to an end; but you will be my portion forever." This word, "portion" is significant. In the Hebrew, it refers to the division of property, or to the division of land, such as was done when the people of Israel first came into Canaan. At that time, each of the twelve tribes was given an allocation of property, which was then further divided by clans and families. The sole exception to this division of property was the tribe of Levi. Since they were the ones responsible for serving at the temple, they received their living from the offerings and sacrifices brought to the temple. And so, while they were assigned cities to live in and build their homes, and were allowed to graze their livestock, they did not receive ownership of any other land. For every other tribe, the foundation for prosperity and financial security was property, which could be used to grow crops or plant vineyards. In fact, the land was so precious that according to God’s command, it couldn’t be sold; it could only be leased, and it reverted back to the original owner in the year of Jubilee. However, the "portion" given to the Levites was not a plot of ground, but God Himself.