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Put God on the Case

September 14, 2020

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

When we lose something in our house, we “put Mike on the case.”  Our son, Michael, has an uncanny ability to find lost things.  Once he found a long-lost scrapbook of news clippings chronicling the golf tournaments that Bob won in his youth. Just the other day he found a box of camping equipment that had eluded us.  And he is always finding lost TV remotes, wallets, phones, glasses, and keys.  While long-lost items sometimes turn up, the likelihood of finding something generally diminishes over time.  Obstacles to finding lost items grow as time passes–—we forget where we last saw the missing thing, it gets “eaten” by the sofa, it gets buried under other items, we lose it outside of the house, etcetera. Usually, the lost item stays put, but our ability to find it lessens over time.

Have you lost your faith?  Do you sense that something is missing from your life but you can’t put your finger on what it is and you don’t where to find it?  Put God on the case.  Blaise Pascal, a brilliant 17th century mathematician and thinker wrote that there is an emptiness in man, an “infinite abyss [that] can be filled only with an infinite and immutable object; in other words by God himself.”[1]  The missing piece, the empty hole in your heart can only be filled by God.  Like the lost objects in our homes that do not move by themselves, God doesn’t move away from us.  He is always there, but the longer we take in seeking him, the more obstacles get in the way of finding him.  We get distracted by working too hard, by seeking power or prestige, by relationships, or by a myriad of other barriers.

If you think that God is eluding you, you probably haven’t spent much time with him lately.  Ask him to fill the void in your heart.  Don’t hide behind a calendar full of activities or emotions.  Isaiah tells us that if that if we seek the Lord, he will be found, that he is near to us. “Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near” (Isaiah 55: 6).[2]  Spend time with him. Put God on the case.  

David confirms that when we seek him, he will be there with us and will keep us safe: “One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple.  For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent and set me high upon a rock” (Psalm 27: 4-5).   David’s longing was to live in God’s presence –in his house, forever.  He assures us that when we asked to be ushered into his presence, he will transport us to his house, open the door, and hide us in a secret room where we will be safe.  No matter your circumstance, if you seek God through his Word and in prayer, he will be with you in a secret room of your heart where you are secure now and forever in his eternal love for you. 

Jesus promised that all who seek him will find him and the door will be opened; we will find shelter in his house: “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened” (Matthew 7: 7-8).  Put God on the case.

When you sincerely ask God to enter your life, and seek his presence with an open heart, you will find his Spirit within you.  He will not be eclipsed.  You will experience the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.  Jeremiah emphasized that we need to seek him with our whole being, with our whole heart: “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13).  God doesn’t want our half-hearted, lukewarm, milquetoast, tepid, cursory looks.  He wants our full attention, our full commitment. 

When you put God on the case, he will not only find you, but he will use you even in adverse circumstances. Paul was under house arrest in Rome when he penned these words: “What happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel” (Philippians 1:12).  He had been arrested because of his preaching, and yet God was using him while he was awaiting trial in Rome.  We aren’t always aware that God is using us while he is using us.  Sometimes just being in a particular place at a particular time is part of his plan—a piece of the puzzle that will ultimately play a part in his plan for salvation. 

Paul encourages us to keep God on the case—to hold onto our faith and to stand as one in the Spirit: “I know that you will stand firm in the one Spirit, striving together as one for the faith of the gospel . . .” (Philippians 1:27).  We need to keep the faith and do away with in-fighting within the church to remain strong against enemies of the faith. 

Jesus promised that all who seek God will be escorted into his presence, whether you are a life-long Christian, or were baptized just last week: “So the last will be first, and the first will be last.” (Matthew 20: 16).  Is that fair?  Consider this.  Those who have been laboring their whole lives in service to God have received many spiritual benefits from that relationship throughout their lives.  They have received the comfort and assurance that only God can bring through good times and bad.  Those who just joined the family have not had those benefits.  Yet, God promises them the same heavenly reward, where they will finally rest in his arms.   

When you join the family of God, you enter into a relationship with God.  You build on that relationship by spending time with him, just as you maintain your relationships with your earthly family and friends.  He wants more from you than a card at Christmas and Easter.  Seek him today with all of your heart and keep him there as your most valued treasure. 

Prayer: Heavenly Father, like David, we seek to spend all of the days of our lives in your presence.  We have all felt the emptiness, the alienation, the loneliness when we lose sight of you.  Thank you for the reminder to put you on the case when we drift away from you.  We know that your door is always open—we only need to knock to be ushered into your presence. You welcome all seekers to join with you and fellow believers in prayer and worship. Keep us all united as one in the Spirit so that we can remain strong to fend off all forces who seek to destroy your church from within and without. Amen 

Diane Cieslikowski Reagan

[1] “What else does this craving, and this helplessness, proclaim but that there was once in man a true happiness, of which all that now remains is the empty print and trace? This he tries in vain to fill with everything around him, seeking in things that are not there the help he cannot find in those that are, though none can help, since this infinite abyss can be filled only with an infinite and immutable object; in other words by God himself.”  Blaise Pascal, Pensées VII(425)

[2] The Scripture texts for the Sixteenth Sunday After Pentecost are Isaiah 55: 6-9 Psalm 27: 1-9; Philippians 1: 12-14, 19-30; Matthew 20: 1-16.

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