Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Seek the Lord while He may be found; call on His name while He is near.” (Isaiah 55:6)

The Lord is not distant; He is very close by, in the form and person of His Word – the Word made flesh in our Lord Jesus Christ and in His Word, the Bible. Everything has been made plain in His word; nothing is hidden. We therefore have no excuse for not wanting to have an encounter with Him if it is not because we have chosen to side with the enemy. “... since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities – His eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, being understood from what He has made so that men have no excuse.” (Romans 1:20)

Seeking and finding God is a matter of the state of our hearts and what constitutes for us a priority. Moses warned the Israelites in the wilderness, “But is from there [in exile] you seek the Lord your God, you will find Him if you look for Him with all your heart and with all your soul.” (Deuteronomy 4:29) King David prior to handing over the reins of power to his son, Solomon, said this to him by way of advice. “And you my son Solomon, acknowledge the God of your father, and serve Him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the Lord searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts. If you seek Him, He will be found by you; but if you forsake Him, He will reject you forever.” (1 Chronicles 28:9)

God has not changed and will not change. He remains the same yesterday, today and forever. (Hebrews 13:8) He declared through the mouth of His prophet Isaiah, “I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times what is to come. I say: ‘My purpose will stand and I will do all that I please.’ ” (Isaiah 46:10) “What I have said, that will I bring about; what I have planned that will I do.” (verse 11b)

God does not do things at random. He is an orderly God as we can see from the creation. “Let us make man in our own image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air...” (Genesis 1:26) alludes to a well thought-out process. Through the prophet Jeremiah, He reveals to us that He is a Master Planner. “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)

In this New Year, I urge and implore each one of us to seek the face of the Lord with regard to the plan that He has laid out for our lives. Let us not walk in our strength, intelligence and experience; that will not be prudent on our part. The year 2019 may differ in its characteristics and the nature of the challenges, trials and temptations that were traversed in 2018. Each New Year comes with its own package for which we may need a different key if we are to triumph over adversity. It will be foolhardy to address the issues we will face this year with the old-fashioned ‘applications’ of last year.

We must enter 2019 trusting in the Lord to do what He says He would do on our behalf. We must “Delight [ourselves] in the Lord and He will give [us] the desires of our hearts.” (Psalm 37:4) We must be patient and have a listening ear; God is always trying to capture our attention in a bid to draw us nearer to Him. “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him,” the psalmist pursues in verse 7, otherwise we may be running into a head-on collision with the wicked one, the thief. Remember he exercises no mercy. His only agenda is “to steal and kill and destroy.” (John 10:10)

Our Lord Jesus strongly advised us to seek God’s kingdom first, to make it a priority concern and all other things – the blessings, prosperity, peace of mind and wellness will follow. (Matthew 6:33)

In the epistle of James we read, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” (James 1:17)

This generation is in a hurry for everything to the extent that it cannot catch up with its own pace and everything ends up crumbling on its face. Let that not be your portion this New Year. God’s word to us is, “Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” (Psalm 46:10)

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 2:5-6)

“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Let this be our heart cry for 2019.