you will call upon Me,
and come and pray to Me,
and I will listen to you.
You will seek Me
and you will find Me
when you seek Me
with all your heart.
I will be found by you,”
declares the LORD..."
~ Jer 29:12-14a.
I once did a Powerpoint as a gift for a friend. In it I started with a video of footprints being made in the sand with the words appearing on the screen "Seeking my Savior".... because it was Him that I spent my days seeking. To my complete and sudden surprise (without premeditating and preplanning it), I ended the Powerpoint with the same animated picture and again those words, " Seeking my Savior"... and then almost accidently (but surely Divinely on purpose) these, "and See~ing my King".
SeeKing my Savior... and Seeing my King!
Do you see the play on the word?
That was years ago. But because of its impact, I never forgot it. Today, I was reminded of it all over again. For I see another guy seeking. And I, for one, can hardly wait til he SEES!
He's a friend of mine on Facebook. He messaged me. Here's our converation:
I believe in God absolutely no doubt in my mind. I spend a lot of time outdoors, mainly on the Tallapoosa river, usually by myself. I love it, it's how I connect with God. Just watching the wind blow through the trees or listening to a creek, the pretty blue sky, even a bad thunder storm is amazing to me, the animals everything I see. There's no way all this happened on accident. God is real, he's with me and he watches over me, not a shred of doubt there. I'm a caring good person, but going by everything I've read and studied, I'm not saved. I want to believe Jesus died on the cross to forgive our sins, I have a hard time time with it. I think a lot of the time people say they believe because that's what they think folks want to hear. I don't think saying it means anything if you don't believe with all your heart. Not sure what to do, when I pray I tell God the same thing, help me believe it all. It's not happening. Kind of odd to believe so much in God, but not all of the bible. Anyway there are times I believe I'm going to heaven just because I live right and have a good heart, then there are times I wonder? Pretty tough question I know, I'm open to any suggestions. I really think I'm the only one that can figure this out, so don't feel bad if you don't have an answer. I been reading your post and thought why not just ask her? Thanks.
Oh wow! That's a lot! :)
I love how you wrote of the wonder of God and how He shows Himself in all of His creation. He amazes me. I, too, am awed at the beauty He's made, even in the tiniest of things. Silly example, but my cat caught a mouse one night (not so funny, in my house). I took a picture of it because I was so amazed at its beauty. I was so awed and overwhelmed at the extent that God went to in the minutest of details in such a hated creature. He's beautiful up close when you really look at him. What kind of God do we have? Yes, I understand what you're saying about seeing Him in the wind, in the trees, in a creek, in the skies, or even in a fierceness of a thunder storm.
That's God. And then, there's Jesus. Though He's one with the Father, He's still His own self. I think (though I didn't know it at the time) that most of my younger years was spent believing in God and believing in Jesus, believing Jesus was Who we're told He is, but (though I thought I did) I didn't know Him. Now, how do I know He's real? Because He lives in me. I'm different than I used to be! He's the realest thing I know. He's changed my life. He's given me peace. He's calmed my storms... even when the winds still rage. He's filled me with love... even for those I used to hate. He is seriously my biggest thrill! Nothing compares to Him! I love my family like crazy... my husband and my children, my parents, my sisters, my brother..... but no one can rock my world like my Savior can! No one can bring me greater joy! I guess that's the difference. Before I knew Jesus as the God-man we call "Jesus." Now, I know Him as my Savior, because He's saved me from so much... and saves me still! I know Him as my Healer, because He's healed me from my hurt. I know Him by so many different names, because I've needed Him in so many places and He's been faithful to help me in all of them.
Here, too, is another difference. I used to read the Bible because I "was supposed to." That's what "Christians" do, right? I'd read enough just to say I read, so that I wouldn't feel guilty that I didn't. But I'd read however little that I thought I ought to, then put it down and grab a 'good book' to read that would captivate me for hours. What's wrong with that? His Word had no life to me. It was just words. HE wasn't living in them.
NOW.... I can hardly put it down! I spend hours (literally hours) delved into His word each day. It's that good!!! It's that priceless! It's that fun! It's the most precious tangible thing that I own. Yesterday I spent my whole day studying, reading, aweing over what I was seeing and learning. Even a harsh word is welcomed. I may not like what He's said, but I know He's right and His truth resonates inside me and makes me want to do what He's said. He speaks to me there. It is no longer just words, it's Him, my Savior, Jesus, talking to me. It breathes. I don't have words to know how to explain it. But I didn't only spend all day yesterday, but I was so wrapped up in it, so enthralled, that I stayed up all night studying more.
One thing that made such a huge difference to me was when I saw someone with a fire in her bones for God and His Word. Her love for Him was amazing. I had never seen anybody like that before. I wanted what she had. I wanted that passion. I wanted that fire. I honestly prayed that God would speak to me in His word. That He would let me hear Him. That He would bring it to life. That He would reveal what He's wanting to say to me in it. I prayed that He would make me crave His word, to hunger for it, to thirst for it more than any other thing. I literally prayed that He would make me crazy for Him (because I wasn't). My children were little. I prayed it so much that even they started praying it for me without me even asking them to, "God, make my mom crazy about You." It was so sweet! I cried when I heard it.
And guess what? Over a time He did!!!!!!!! Now? It's what I crave more than any other thing. And yes, I am now so crazy about Him that I am sure sometimes without meaning to I can be obnoxious to others.
I can't tell you how many times I want to post, "I LOVE MY GOD!" on Facebook. But I'm sure the redundancy would get too redundant. I feel like I'll burst if I don't holler it from the rooftops. I don't do that either, because I'm sure that that wouldn't be helpful to anybody. It's just that I'm that full.
I know that there is nothing I can do to get myself into Heaven. Only Jesus' grace and what He's done for me will get me there. After all that He's done, how could we not believe in Him? And that's just the thing, our only part is to believe. Really believe Him and Who He is and what He's done. And after that, His Spirit comes to live inside us. And little by little (or sometimes a lot by a lot), He begins to radically change our minds, our moods, our attitudes, our passions, our actions, our thinking.
My oldest daughter is recent proof of that. She turned 20 in Sept. She was known as a party girl (much against her mother's teaching). But wow, Mike, when God got a hold of her, her whole world turned upside down... or rather right side up. She's a totally different creature! I wish I could sit with you and just tell you part of her testimony. It's so wild. But the whole 2010 year God radically pursued her... and now she is radically (and I do mean radically!) pursuing Him!!! She, now, can hardly stand to put His word down! She laughs and tells me that she is becoming just like her mother. :) ... Which, when she says that, only makes me want to become more like Him.
It's real, Mike. I'm not pretending. He's changed my whole everything. Like I said earlier, He's made me different. I used to live in mad, and now I no longer live there anymore. I've done things I so hate that I did and didn't know how to quit doing them, but I don't even have a desire (or even a small want or longing) to do them anymore. He's captivated me. And I've never had such joy. That's how I KNOW Jesus is real! I (as my daughter says) am living proof!
He is evidently working on you..... pursuing you too... or you wouldn't care and wouldn't stop to ask these questions. You wouldn't pray the prayers you've been praying. He is definitely doing something. And though you're at the great divide of wondering right now, I don't think it'll be very long until Jesus has pulled you to His side.
I just finished studying the book of John with some prison girls at Tutwiler. I wish you could have sat there with us. We had the best time. And everyone of us was blown away by His goodness.
I will pray for you. And too... if there is anything I can do, if I can ever answer a question (even if I have to tell you that I don't know), if you ever want to talk (I could talk your ear off, can't you tell), if there is something you need just let me know. And I will help in the best way I can. The Jesus journey will be the wildest ride of your life!
.... And hey... thanks for asking. ;-)
I'm framing that and reading it again and again, wow I'm sitting here with tears in my eyes. Seriously. I want to think about it and read it a few more times before I respond, thanks.
I'm crying now while reading it again myself. Crying in awe of a God who sent His Son to save me! Crying that He's that good. Crying because He's powerful enough. Crying that He'd bother to. Crying because He'd actually want to. Crying at the extreme that He went... and crying over the extreme that He sometimes still goes!
I've had the most incredible day! I just got home from eating with a new friend. A young girl (21) that God has recently pulled from the pit. Her excitement over Jesus is contagious. We talked 90-to-nothing the whole time we were together of our Savior. I left soaring. And crying (again) over His goodness!
I've been a puddle of tears today. One thing after another had me crying again. (Could four hours of sleep in the last 48 hours could have contributed to it??) I had planned to take a nap sometime today, but couldn't tear myself from His feet long enough to make myself do so. I was listening to one lesson after another that so spoke to me in my very moment. I could hardly keep myself pulled together. It wasn't sad tears, but tears of awe, tears overwhelmed by His greatness. And then... I got a note from one of the workers at the school where my daughter goes, and he told me of his spellboundness in watching her today (while she didn't know he was watching) while she worshipped her Lord. He said that he was so moved by how moved she was. THAT is the kind of Jesus I'm talking about, dear friend! That is the kind of Jesus I serve! His wonder is contagious! And... He'll make your heart sappily tender over everything.
He'll make you WANT to change, because you'll want to be just like Him! What am I talking about? It's HIM that changes you! He makes you see things differently. Feel things differently. Hear things differently. Speak differently. He puts love inside you - to love those you can't. He makes you willing to forgive, because you've been forgiven of so much. He gives you the mercy and grace to give others, because of all of the mercy and grace that you've needed yourself. I could go on and on and on.... but frustratingly, no amount of words can say what I want to say, what my heart feels, because of the FILLING that He's filled me with.
Psalm 107:2 tells us to, "Let the redeemed of the LORD say..." And, truly, I cannot keep myself from saying!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)
Let's read it again:
"Then...... you WILL CALL upon Me..... AND COME...... AND PRAY to Me,...... AND.... I.... WILL.... LISTEN to you...... YOU WILL SEEK ME and FIND ME when YOU SEEK ME with all your heart. I W~I~L~L BE FOUND BY YOU,” declares the LORD..." ~ Jer 29:12-14a (emphasis mine).
Today, I see my friend Seeking his Savior.... And soon, (See-K-ing)..... Seeing his King! Our Jesus is wooing him, pursuing him,.... and wow, at the magnitude and beauty of that pursuit!
This is the sweetest part.
All the while that we think that it is us that seeks our Savior... it's really Him that puts it in our hearts to. For our Savior (our Shepherd) is out seeking the lost (His sheep), because He longs to save them... to hold them.... to love them... to mold them.... to change them.... to make them into His image..... to use them for the Display of His Splendor.... and perhaps mostly, to one day bring them Home.
I see him seeking............ ;-)
[Disclaimer: Posted by permission by the person I was conversating with.]