As we wrote about previously, it can be said that all the sins of self stem from a single place - The Lord is not enough. Therefore it is of utmost importance for each of us to examine ourselves carefully, “Is He enough for me?”
There is a second question though which we must confront immediately after. Whereas the first addresses our satisfaction in the Lord, the second tackles our aim. For what or whom do we press on towards, where are our eyes fixed, what do we see as the finish line, what is our prize?
The second question is this - “Do I actually want God?”
In these two verses, we see both potential answers to our question. We are either those who answer as the multitude, “We’ll take the created things, but not the Creator. We’ll take God, but not Him in truth, rather we’ll take the lie of how we think He should be. We’ll demand the benefits of God, that only good may come to us, but we will not seek after God.”
Or we answer as the Psalmist, “There is none upon earth that I desire besides You.”3
David impresses upon us twice, “The Lord looks down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there are any who understand, who seek God.”4 He is searching to see if there are any who can confess, “When You said, ‘Seek My face.’ My heart said in response, ‘Your face, Lord, I will seek.’”5
He watches to see if any will heed the command given through David, “Set your heart and your soul to seek the Lord your God.”6 His eyes roam to and fro to show Himself strong for those who set their heart to seek Him, crying out, “Oh God, I call on Your name! I stir myself to take hold of You. Do not hide Your face from me!”7
And His ears are listening for those who stop their busyness, to be still and wait upon Him, not content to give up until He is found “When I call to You, and go and pray to You, listen to me. And when I seek You with all my heart, let me find You.”8
Who or what do we desire above all else? Is it Him? Not His peace, nor His joy, not even His salvation, but Him? Can you say yes to this confidently?
Carefully, let us not be those who go through this life surrounding ourselves with a type of godliness, devoting ourselves to the distraction of religious labor, but never seeking out His presence, that we might simply sit at His feet and hear His word.9
We must be those who seek Him, who desire Him, who want Him.
There is a reward for this life of toil - it is Him. “After these things the word of the Lord came unto Abram in a vision, saying, ‘Fear not, Abram; I am thy shield and they exceeding great reward.”10
There is an inheritance incorruptible reserved in heaven for us - it is dwelling with Him for all of eternity. As it is written, “For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said, ‘I will dwell in them and walk among them.’”11
If He is our chief desire, then we must say, “Let all else pass away, we have that which we seek!”
We have our reward, therefore we covet no man’s gold nor store up treasures here on earth.
We have our inheritance incorruptible, therefore we rejoice, even though now, for a little while, if need be, we have been grieved by various trials, knowing that the genuineness of our faith, being much more precious than gold, may be found to praise, honor and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ.12
We have our dwelling place with God, therefore we separate ourselves from what is worldly, carnal, and evil, cleansing ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.13
And this instruction to “perfect holiness in the fear of God” must not be quickly dismissed or passed over. Just as we can become those who grow easily distracted by religious labors, so too can we become those who fashion a god in our images - one who doesn’t require holiness, purity, or fear. If your god does not require these things, and if his requirement does not demand a response in the actual manner and conduct of your life, then you are not serving the one, true living God. Your god is an idol.
For we know this inheritance is called both incorruptible and undefiled, therefore we live holy, not ignorant, “conducting ourselves through the time of our stay here in fear.”14
Brothers and sisters, I share this not so we would put on a burden for a law we cannot bear, but so that we would “awake to righteousness and not sin.”15
So that we would be counted as “Jacob, the generation of those who seek Him, who seek Your face.”16
So that we would “abide in Him, that when He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming.”17
That we would be, “diligent to present ourselves approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”18
Quickly, while He may still be found, seek Him, take delight in Him, want Him above all else.
“How lovely is Your tabernacle! My soul longs, yes, even faints for the courts of the Lord! My heart and my flesh cry out for the living God!”19
If we can say these words truthfully, then let us proclaim them, meditate upon them, and live our lives wholeheartedly in want of Him - longing for the day when we will dwell with Him in His entirety and see Him in His likeness! If we cannot say these words with honesty, then let us confess to Him, that He may restore unto us the joy of our salvation.
Friends, when all passes away - the crowds, the noise, the applause, the busyness, the cares of life - what will you find standing in front of you? Will it be Him, the object of your affection, the love of your life, and the fairest among ten thousand? Or will it be One whom you desire not?
I pray, let us be a people who can say confidently, “I want Him!”
1 Chronicles 22:19
1 Peter 1:4, 2 Corinthians 6:16
1 Peter 1:6-7
2 Corinthians 7:1
1 Peter 1:17
1 Corinthians 15:37
1 John 2:28
2 Timothy 2:15