Thursday, May 22, 2014

earnestly i seek you

O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you;
my soul thirsts for you; my body longs for you,
in a dry and weary land where there is no water.

                                             ~Psalm 63:1


What does it look like to seek God earnestly?  The dictionary tells us that the definition of the word earnestly is "serious in intention, purpose, or effort; sincerely zealous."  Wow, that's a pretty weighty definition; particularly when we are applying it to our seeking of God.  When I seek God do I have serious intention, or is it just casual, haphazard, and random?  Am I serious in purpose, or am I aimless and adrift?  Am I serious in effort, or am I lackadaisical, tepid, and lazy?  My guess is that if I indeed want to find Him in my seeking, it will depend a good bit on the earnestness of my seeking.  At least that's what Jeremiah would tell us: "You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart." (Jeremiah 29:13)

The Hebrew word for earnestly is shachar which means to seek diligently, or early.  This word gives the definite impression that the thing that is being sought in this manner is the first thing, the most important thing, or, as Jesus said, the one thing.  When we seek something in this way, all other things take a back seat.

So, back to the original question: What does it look like to seek God earnestly?  Or, more specifically, what does it look like for me to seek God earnestly?  And if I am not seeking him earnestly right now, what is the word I would use for how I am seeking him?  And is that enough?  Enough for me?  Enough for him?  What am I seeking earnestly (if not God)?  And what does that tell me? 

I think this whole Psalm (63), and this whole earnestly thing hinges on what David says in verse 3: "Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you."  Do we really believe that?  Do we really believe that God's love is the best thing?  Until we truly believe that, we simply will not seek him earnestly.  In fact, we will earnestly seek whatever that thing is that we think is better than life.  Jesus said it so well when he said, "For where your treasure is, your heart will be also." (Matthew 6:21)

So that leaves us to ask ourselves: What will it take for us to make the leap from seeking him casually, or comfortably, or even regularly, to seeking him earnestly?  And are we willing to make that leap.  If we aren't, then Lord help us.

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