“Jesus answered them and said, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled. Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him’ ” (John 6:26,27).
AT THE HEIGHT OF HIS POPULARITY, JESUS HAD NO LACK OF SEEKERS, BUT MANY OF THOSE WHO SOUGHT HIM DID SO FOR WORLDLY REASONS. After He miraculously fed the five thousand, the multitude came back the next day. On that day, however, Jesus did not feed them with loaves and fishes. Rather than another meal, what the crowd got from Jesus was an encouragement to elevate their concept of what He had come into the world to give them. He exhorted them, “Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life.”
What this tells us is that even when we are seeking God, our seeking can go astray. Just when we begin to believe that we are seeking Him, we may look into our hearts and see that what we’re really seeking is the procurement of certain physical blessings. He has blessed us in the past, and we’ve greatly enjoyed His blessings. And so we return just as the multitude did, seeking Him the next day. But is it God whom we seek or have we returned to Him because we “ate of the loaves and were filled”?
The danger of concentrating on “the food which perishes” is that too little of our hearts is left over with which to focus on God Himself. As Charles Spurgeon said, “A man’s heart has only enough life in it to pursue one object fully.” To whatever extent we seek the food that perishes, that much less energy will be available for seeking the food which endures to everlasting life.
It simply cannot be said too often: we must seek God with our whole hearts. It is a single-minded focus on our Heavenly Father that will ultimately get us where we want to be. “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” (Matthew 5:8). So however tempting it may be to devote ourselves to temporal needs and enjoyments, we must not let our seeking go astray. If it is not God whom we seek, then our seeking is bound to come to a bad end.
“God designed the human machine to run on himself. He himself is the fuel our spirits were designed to burn, or the food our spirits were designed to feed on. There is no other. That is why it is just no good asking God to make us happy in our own way” (C. S. Lewis).