Preface to Diligently Seeking God

Diligently Seeking God
This book is about the importance of seeking God. Its point of departure is the statement in Hebrews 11:6 that God is “a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him,” and it consists of daily readings that urge us to do that. The basic premise here is that we need to seek God more earnestly than any of us ever have.

Diligently Seeking God consists of 366 meditations, one for each day of the year. While the pages can obviously be read in other ways, I do hope that most readers will use the book as a daybook, meditating on just one page a day. There really is much more here than you can get by skimming. If you have never read a book one page a day, give this one a try.

I write as a Christian, one who believes that it makes a difference which path we follow in seeking God. At the risk of being written off as old-fashioned, I must say that I accept the full force of Jesus’ bold saying in John 14:6: “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” If anyone thinks that such a view is arrogant, my only plea is for a fair and patient hearing. I still have many things to learn about the God whom I seek, and I write about Him with a quite painful sense of my own limitations. I would be less than honest, however, if I didn’t record this as my governing conviction: it is in Jesus Christ alone that God is “reconciling the world to Himself” (2 Corinthians 5:19).

Since this book focuses on seeking God, a word of caution is necessary. Nothing here should be taken to imply that the mere act of seeking God, by itself, constitutes fellowship with Him. The case of Cornelius (Acts 10:1-48) illustrates that the sincere seeker must, at some point, learn the facts of the gospel of Christ and obey its commands. On Pentecost, those who asked what they must do were instructed, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38). The reader who is asking the very important question, “What must I do to be saved?” (Acts 16:30) can do no better than to study thoughtfully the clear examples of conversion in Acts.

But if more is involved in conversion than the seeking of God, it’s also true that no less is involved. If, as often seems to be the case, we emphasize all the other aspects of becoming a Christian but neglect the prior importance of seeking God, the result is bound to be a proliferation of nominal “Christians” who are easily discouraged, vulnerable to temptation, lacking in evangelistic impact on others, and nearly devoid of the commitment and joy that ought to attend life in Christ. Can it be denied that this is exactly what we see around us so often today?

In this work, I am trying to understand and articulate the importance of seeking God with all our hearts (Jeremiah 29:13). While this is not the only thing required if our religion is to honor God, it may be the thing we’ve neglected the most, considering the emphasis Jesus placed upon it. He taught that nothing on our part is of more basic importance than having a deep desire for God (Matthew 22:37,38). If the main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing, then we need frequent, emphatic reminders of those things that Jesus said were the most important.

Whoever you are, I hope that you’ll not make the mistake of thinking that this book is written for someone else. Conversion happens to have two important sides: before and after. I’ve tried hard to keep this work from veering off in the direction of one or the other. For our purposes here, it doesn’t matter whether you see yourself as already being a Christian or not. I believe that diligently seeking God is no less vital for those on one side of conversion than on the other. On whichever side you find yourself, my hope is that seeking God will be the defining passion of your life.

My beloved God
Grant in Your grace that I may
Seek You diligently that I may
Show forth Your goodness that I may
See Your shining face someday.

Gary Henry –

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