One of my favorite passages in the book of Acts takes place in Greece. Instantly, I imagine one of those “Greek Isles” calendars at the bookstore or the painted plate my sister picked up for me there. Maybe it didn’t look that perfect in Paul’s day, but nonetheless, in Acts 17, Paul waits in Athens, talking Jesus to anyone who will listen.
“Men of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious. For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: TO AN UNKNOWN GOD. Now what you worship as something unknown I am going to proclaim to you.
“The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. And He is not served by human hands, as if He needed anything, because He Himself gives all men life and breath and everything else. From one man, He made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and He determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live.
“God did this SO THAT MEN WOULD SEEK HIM and perhaps reach out for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us.” (Acts 17:22-27).
God did this….made the world, you and me, decided when and where we would live and breathe…God did this—so that we would SEEK Him and REACH out for Him and FIND Him, and He is never far.
To seek is to go in search of, to look for, to try to find or discover. And yes, we must seek God a first time, a time of initial repentance and belief. We first turn toward God, but then a life of seeking begins, and isn’t this what living for God is? Seeking Him?
The journey of life, all of it–a reach for God.
Years back, I didn’t think much about seeking God. I felt like I “had him” already. I might have read right past this passage, thinking I’ve already done that, as if reaching for God was a one-time thing. I knew what to do and what not to do, yet in my heart, my love for Jesus was small. I was earnestly seeking, but not earnestly seeking Him. I ached with restlessness, desired greater purpose in life. And the answer to my ache was near.
It was in a book I read little snippets of every couple of days and in those rare quiet moments when the TV was off, the radio was off, and I was alone in my house, alone only as far as I could see. I whispered little prayers, “Lord, help me to love you more,” out of a heart that wanted to know the fullness of His grace but didn’t quite FEEL it.
All I can say for sure is this, He heard my not-so-fancy prayers, my simple requests, and He delivered. If we seek God and reach out for Him, we will find Him and the LIFE He offers.
Just two things I ask you to think through with me. This time of year, we reach full speed ahead for things to make us happy. We know they won’t make us happy, but we’re in the tradition of running after things. How can we seek God, how do we reach for Him and find life in Him instead?
Two, God has planned (or allowed) the details of your life, small and great. I know, sometimes the details pile on hard, but even then, He draws us close when we reach for Him. So I ask, what has He done for you lately??? Will you scratch down a little list with me, a list of life and breath and everything else He gives, and bask in the praise of Glory? And why not share a thing or two in the comments?!
Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters;
And you who have no money, come, buy, and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost.
Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy?
Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good,
And your soul will delight in the richest of fare.
Seek the Lord while He may be found;
Call on Him while He is near.
Isaiah 55:1-2, 6