When You said, “Seek My face,” my heart said to You, “Your face, O LORD, I shall seek.”—Psalms 27:8Every person “moved to seek the Savior” does so only because “Christ is drawing the soul by His love” first (Christ Object Lessons, p. 45). There has been much talk this year concerning the need for God’s people to seek Him as never before. To this I say, “Amen!” However, I want to add a word of caution. Do not think for a moment that in so doing we are taking the initiative. As David stated above, if we are moved to seek God’s face as never before, this moving itself is evidence that our hearts are responding to God’s drawing as never before. God is seeking us much more than we are seeking Him, for “salvation does not come through our seeking after God but through God’s seeking after us” (Ibid, p. 189). Notice the principle. “The sheep that has strayed from the fold is the most helpless of all creatures. It must be sought for by the shepherd, for it cannot find its way back. So with the soul that has wandered away from God; he is as helpless as the lost sheep, and unless divine love had come to his rescue he could never find his way to God” (Ibid, p. 187.3).
Please, don’t misunderstand. I do not want to discourage any from seeking God’s face, but there is a danger in thinking that in our seeking there is some merit. God is the initiator. We are the responders. If we are calling out to God, it is only because He first is calling out to us.
As this new year begins, rather than making outlandish promises that you know you won’t keep, try surrendering instead. There are two reasons to do this. First, “your promises and resolutions are like ropes of sand. You cannot control your thoughts, your impulses, your affections. The knowledge of your broken promises and forfeited pledges weakens your confidence in your own sincerity, and causes you to feel that God cannot accept you . . .” (Steps to Christ, p. 47). The second reason is that it is not through mustering up more spiritual energy that we experience a deeper state of closeness to God but through simply not resisting. “The sinner may resist this love, may refuse to be drawn to Christ; but if he does not resist he will be drawn to Jesus; a knowledge of the plan of salvation will lead him to the foot of the cross in repentance (Ibid p. 27).
This new year, when God asks you to spend more time with Him, surrender.
When God moves you to pray, surrender.
When God moves your heart to reach out with love to some soul in need, do not resist. Surrender.
For it is in these precious moments, not that we find God, but we allow Him to find us.
“The question arises, How do we submit ourselves to God? It is simple. Look at your life; see what things pertain solely to the present, natural life, those things that you do by nature. Take a survey of the things that you are addicted to, which you know are not Christ-like, but which cause you condemnation, even by your own heart. Now you have doubtless done this; you have also repeatedly tried to overcome them and put them away, but have not been able to do so. But you sincerely desire to be rid of them. You would rather have Christ than your own ways. Therefore you say, ‘Here, Lord, take me as I am; I give myself into Thy hands, for Thee to do with me as thou wilt; take all these evils from me by the power that rests in Thee alone. Just as I am, without one plea, But that thy blood was shed for me, And that Thou bids me to come To Thee, O Lamb of God, I come, I come.’” (E.J Waggoner, Baptism and It’s Significance, p. 1)