AUDIO VERSION: YouTube Podbean
Why do you suppose you want to seek God? You didn’t get this idea on your own. What appears as an isolated thought in your mind is actually the result of your soul hearing God calling out to you and choosing to respond back to Him. So by the time you are asking how to seek God, you have already started seeking Him. The connection has already been established. Now we can talk about how to strengthen it.
Prayer is simply a term for your soul communicating with God. Prayer comes in many forms and it can be verbal or nonverbal. Prayer is a vital part of seeking God. Anything you can do to increase your conscious communication with God is a plus. Why? Because the more you talk to God, the more aware you will become of two critical truths: that He is with you and that He is listening to you. When we are talking to another human being, our senses confirm their reality to us the whole time. We can see them, hear them, and touch them. But when we pursue a relationship with God, we are entering into very new territory. God is imperceptible to our senses. We can’t see Him, we can’t touch Him, and it takes quite a while for us to learn how to hear Him. We can’t effectively pursue God with our senses. Instead, we must learn how to pursue Him with our souls, and that means learning to live by faith.
So how do we live by faith? Well what does it mean to live? Life is a series of choices and actions. In the human realm, we look to our senses, emotions, and logic in order to make good choices, and our choices guide our actions. Growing closer to God is also a series of choices and actions, yet with Him, we must learn to base our choices on the spiritual insights He reveals to us. Our senses, emotions, and our human logic are far more of a hindrance than a help when it comes to seeking God. We must learn to stop relying on these things to guide us in spiritual matters, for to do so would be like trying to find your way around Mars by using a map of the earth. There is no comprehensive map of God that we can get, for this isn’t how He operates. God reveals Himself to us in stages. When you respond to God’s invitation to seek more of Him, you become like a man who is making his way through an endless series of locked doors. The man is unable to open the doors on his own—God must unlock each one for him. God adamantly refuses to unlock them all at once. Instead, He insists that the man pass through the doors one at a time, and He won’t always unlock them the moment the man reaches them. Sometimes the man will have to wait quite a while before God will finally unlock the next door so that the journey may continue.
Now every time a door is unlocked, a new level of understanding about God is revealed and the man’s soul bond with God deepens. Yet there is no rushing the process, for it can only be done at God’s pace. God considers it a great privilege for us to know Him, and He will not reveal intimate truths about Himself to those who take Him for granted or treat Him with disrespect. If we want to grow closer to God, we must cherish every insight He reveals to us. We must be ever ready to receive some new bit of wisdom about who He is and how He thinks. If we approach God with admiration, respect, and a sincere desire to know Him, we will be richly rewarded with a deeper understanding of who He is. And because we are God’s creations, we have been designed to find an intimate knowledge of Him extremely satisfying. God becomes our great reward in life—a tantalizing mystery that we simply cannot get enough of.
Focus is the key in your pursuit of God. You want to focus on your desire for Him, and realize that He is the One giving you that desire. The more you focus on the desires God gives you—such as a curiosity about Him and a longing to commune with Him—the stronger these desires will become. How do you focus on these things? Through prayers like this: “God, draw me closer to You. Teach me more about who You are. Let me know You better.” But pursuing God cannot just be about satisfying ourselves. We must seek His satisfaction as well. “God, increase my desire to please You in life. Make Your opinion the one that matters most to me. Make Your satisfaction the most important thing to me. Fill my heart with Your passions and priorities. Make me everything that You want me to be.” There’s nothing fancy about these prayers: they are simple and straightforward. And yet if you sincerely pray for such things, GOD WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE.
Remember that God is the Initiator in every stage of your relationship with Him. Every time you reach out to Him in your heart, you are responding to Him first reaching out to you. God always makes the first move, whether you are aware of this or not. Begin with the prayers we listed above. You do not need to keep asking God for the same things over and over again. He hears you the first time and He will respond to you when He’s ready. When we keep asking God for the same things, we’re telling ourselves that He didn’t really hear us. It would be like you asking your friend the same question over and over again and ignoring her answer. This kind of praying doesn’t help our faith. Instead, we need to change our initial requests into statements about our desire for Him. “God, I am looking forward to knowing You better. I am eager to learn more about who You are. I want to be very pleasing to You. I want to experience Your best plan for my life.” These prayers are like a man telling his wife “I love you”. By focusing on his love for his wife, the man’s love becomes stronger.
God gives us the desire to want to know Him. All we have to do is decide whether we are going to embrace that desire or not. By frequently telling God how much you want to know Him better, you keep your heart focused on Him and you are swifter to recognize and respond to the new invitations He brings you.
As you go along in life, you will notice new requests rising up in your heart. Often these requests will focus on very specific aspects of your relationship with God. “God I want to learn to trust You more. I want to understand Your love for me. I want to know how You think. I want to see myself from Your perspective.” Whenever a new desire or curiosity about God comes to mind, pursue it through prayer. Ask God once to satisfy that new desire, and then keep reminding yourself that He heard you and that He will respond in His time.
You cannot desire God on your own. He has to awaken those desires within you and He will never cause you to want more of Him than He is willing to share with you. So then, do you want to be closer to God? If you do, it is because your soul has received an invitation from Him to come closer in and you have wisely snapped it up. Keep praying and asking God to direct the desires of your heart. You will be amazed by what He does.