God must be found before he can be know and enjoyed. “He is not far from each one of us: for in him we live, and move, and have our being” according to (Ac.17,28).
Yet this natural nearness of God may be unrecognized by us, and may not be sufficient to bring us into the spiritual communion with him.
The God of nature may be “the unknown God,” or he may be recognized and yet not enjoyed as the “Portion” of the soul according to (Ps.16;5)
Sin hides the vision of God, and drives the soul into remote spiritual banishment from God, even though it cannot affect his physical presence.
Our natural limitations of thought and experience surround the idea of the Divine with mystery, and make us feel that though God is partly known there are still ways of God that are far beyond our mind, so that we exclaim in bewilderment and distress, “Verily, thou art a God that hidest thyself!” Isaiah 45:15).
To be found, God must be searches for with the whole heart. He must be searched for.
God does discover himself to men unexpectedly, as to Hagar in the desert “What aileth thee, Hagar? fear not; for God hath heard the voice of the lad where he is” and to Moses on Horeh “And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush:” (Ex.3:2) though we may rest assured that even such exceptional revelations were made to souls whose habit it was to seek after him.
Nevertheless before such experience, God draws near to those who do not seek him, to urge them to search and find him according to Isaiah 65:1).
He seeks us before we seek him. Our search is the response of our hearts to his invitation “When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, LORD, will I seek.” Psalm 27:8).
The promise of finding is attached to the condition of seeking according to (Mt. 7:7).
The prodigal must return to his father before he can receive the welcome home, “I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee,” (Lk.15:18).
Men are waiting for God to visit them, reveal himself to them, do something that will bring them back to him. They may wait forever, and in vain, Jesus said, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Mt.11:28).
God is waiting for us. It is our part to arise and seek him. This search must be with all the heart.
The reason why we are disappointed to the answers of our prayers is often that our prayers are so insincere, so cold, so half-hearted, “And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.” (Jer.29:13).
It is reasonable to expect God to answer our prayers, not according to the vigor of the language, but according to the fervency of our heart.
Note what Acts had to say about “Cornelius, thy prayer is heard, and thine alms are had in remembrance in the sight of God.” (Ac.10:31).
If we value the knowledge and communion of God aright, we shall seek him with all our heart, let us seek him, sincerely, spiritually, inwardly, and not with mere formal inquiries.
Let us seek himWith the whole heart, with singleness of purpose, with much magnitude, and earnestnes.
The reward of seeking with all the heart will consist in finding him.
The search will be successful.
God may not be found at first, or, being found, may not be recognized in the way expected “And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?”‘ (Lk.24:32).
But Scripture and experience both testify to the utility and fruitfulness of the soul’s search after God. If we have not yet found, that may be because we have not sought with “all the heart;”
Or have not sought in the right way as far as our light and knowledge have indicated, humbly, penitently, and as Christians through Christ.
The success of the search will be its own reward “Christ in you, the hope of glory:” (Col.1;27).
The finding of God is described as a blessing of the restoration. It will bring numerous benefits in to our life. (ver. 14), but it is itself the greatest blessing. “Blessed are they that seek God with all the heart, for they shall find him,” that is enough for a perfect beatitude.
To find God is to find light, rest, and our home, “There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest” (Heb.4:9,11).