“For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10).
GOD IS EAGER TO BE FOUND BY US. ARE WE EAGER TO BE FOUND BY GOD? Just as we are to know God, we are to welcome being known by Him (1 Corinthians 8:3). Our privilege is not only to lay hold of God, but also to be laid hold of by God (Philippians 3:12). We should not only seek God, but also be aware that we are sought by Him (Matthew 18:10-14).
Like Adam and Eve, many of us prefer to hide from God. “And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden” (Genesis 3:8). Having been made in His image, we have a deep longing for God. But having sinned, we are also ashamed and fearful. There is a strong temptation for us to run away.
Strictly speaking, of course, there is no hiding from God. “There is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account” (Hebrews 4:13). The only question is whether we’ll deal honorably with the truth when God confronts us with it.
God’s gracious purpose is that we grow in holiness, which means growing to be like Him in our innermost character. This growth can be accomplished only if we accept the truth of what He sees in us now and surrender ourselves to His remedial love. Both the diagnosis and the treatment will likely involve serious pain. But shouldn’t we desire what God wants for us as passionately as we desire what we want from Him? Shouldn’t we want growth in our character as much as we want comfort, and holiness as much as happiness? Such good things can come to us only on the basis of truth. There is no other way. There is no acceptable substitute for reality. “Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my anxieties; and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Psalm 139:23,24). Without such honesty, there is no growth toward God.
Batter my heart, three personed God; for you
As yet but knock, breathe, shine, and seek to mend;
That I may rise and stand, o’erthrow me and bend
Your force to break, blow, burn and make me new.