Earnestly We Seek You!
By Kim Butts
"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. I have seen You in the sanctuary and beheld Your power and Your glory. Because Your love is better than life, my lips will glorify You. I will praise You as long as I live, and in Your name I will lift up my hands" (Psa. 63:1-4).
When King David wrote these words, he demonstrated why the Lord considered him to be a man after His own heart (1 Sam. 13:14). He wanted to know the Father better and more intimately. He desired God more than anything else. His everyday lifestyle was devoted to the passionate pursuit of God.
When was the last time your family was passionate for an experience with God? When did you last marvel at something the Father created? Did you experience great rejoicing when He answered your fervent prayer? Have you ever sat in silence, in awe of the Lord’s glorious majesty or might? When was the last time your family was so excited to join with others in worship that you could hardly wait to get to church? Have you ever experienced the presence of the Holy Spirit so strongly that you couldn’t leave His presence until He clearly released you?
It seems that in this earthly realm we have been captivated by things around us that have nothing to do with experiencing the glory and presence of God, but everything to do with the glorification of man and man’s experiences. Believers are settling for less than God’s best. We are no longer captivated by the things of God, but by the wonders of technology and the ways of the world. Can it be said of you, or anyone in your family, that you are truly a person after God’s own heart?
Regaining Our Passion
Christian families, it is time to rend our hearts in repentance and turn our lives back over to the living God. It is time to give Him the honor due His name, and to be thrilled and excited to dwell in His presence and in the company of His people. It is time to "exalt the Lord our God and worship at His footstool; He is holy" (Psa. 99:5). In other words, we must regain our passion for Jesus Christ and His kingdom!
How do we get back that which has been lost, and reignite the flame of our first love? We must first allow the Father to break our hearts in confession and repentance. Then, with renewed resolve, we must spend time seeking His face in prayer, and listening to His loving voice. We must delve into the Word in reverence, honor and obedience! Isaiah spoke about God’s willingness to respond to our desperate need: "Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; He rises to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for Him…How gracious He will be when you cry for help! As soon as He hears, He will answer you… Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it’" (Isa. 30:18-19, 21).
Passion will follow obedience, as we earnestly seek after His holy presence to fill our lives, to restore our families, and to lead us toward finishing our time on earth well! Here are some Scriptures, prayers and action steps to help you and your family to turn ordinary lives focused on worldly pleasures and experiences into extraordinary lives lived with passion and faith because our hearts are fixed on Jesus!
"I delight in Your decrees; I will not neglect Your Word" (Psa. 119:16). "Direct me in the path of Your commands, for there I find delight" (Psa. 119:35). Read the Bible together and talk with your family about why God’s Word is so important. Ask the Lord to help your family delight in and have passion for His Word.
"Ascribe to the LORD the glory due His name; worship the LORD in the splendor of His holiness" (Psa. 29:1-2). "Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the LORD our Maker" (Psa. 95:6). Read together as a family these and other passages about worship. Talk about what it means to worship the Lord. Pray that He will help you worship Him. Sing joyous songs of worship to the Father together! (Psa. 100:2).
"Help us, O God our Savior, for the glory of Your name; deliver us and forgive our sins for Your name’s sake" (Psa. 79:9). "Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors" (Matt. 6:12). Read together passages such as these on forgiveness. Take some time to confess sins privately and/or to one another. Pray for the Lord’s forgiveness.
"My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?" (Psa. 42:2). "I spread out my hands to You; my soul thirsts for You like a parched land" (Psa. 143:6). Talk together about what it means to hunger and thirst for God. Pray that He will help your family thirst for Him.
Rewards for Seeking the Lord
The Lord promises that if you seek Him…
• You will find Him (Deut. 4:29; Prov. 8:17; Jer. 29:13; Jas. 4:8);
• You will rejoice (Psa. 40:16; 1 Chr. 16:10);
• He will never forsake you (Psa. 9:10);
• You will lack no good thing (Psa. 34:10);
• You will be blessed (Psa. 119:2);
• He will reward you (Heb. 11:6; Lam. 3:25; Matt. 6:33).
Seek His kingdom and righteousness first – then everything else in your lives will fall into place. Your passion will be a red-hot fire, your joy will be contagious and your worship will be pleasing to the Father. "Delight yourself in the LORD and He will give you the desires of your heart" (Psa. 37:4). As your family delights in the Lord first, you will quickly see that what you desire will be in harmony with what He desires! May "Your kingdom come, Your will be done" be your family’s most earnest prayer!