Seek the LORD – the How-Tos?

No matter what, the right thing to do in our living moments is to perpetually seek the Lord as it is not only a matter of a conviction but also a commandment that ought to be followed. But we find ourselves consumed with our commitments to our own matters of life, from our family to our employer and in some cases even extra-curricular activities seem to take priority over our spiritual relationship with the LORD God. In a world that makes one believe the lie, that their is no time to spare, what are some practical ways we can seek the LORD. In other words, How can one Seek the Lord? The answer can be found in the Bible as well. In the book of Daniel, Daniel writes “And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes:” (Daniel 9:3).

We can seek the Lord by

  1. prayer and supplications
  2. fasting
  3. sackcloth and ashes

Prayer: When was the last time we prayed and presented our request to get to know what was in God’s own heart. Sadly most of our prayers have been reduced to “Lord bless me, my family, my work and my plans” and in some cases we pray with the request to make our will God’s will instead of praying for God’s will to be revealed and to be made our own. Prayer like any communication is a dialog and while it is absolutely essential to present our requests (supplications) to God, what is even more important and needed is that we take the time to hold our peace and be silent before the Lord so that we may hear Him speak and tell us what He has in His heart.

Fasting: Fasting is not merely the missing of a meal or the abstinence of food (or food items) for a period of time. Food (bread) is what sustains us and fasting is a demonstration on our reliance on God and his word to sustain us and not just merely depend on food. When the disciples questioned Jesus as to why they were unable to cast the spirit that had possessed and taken captive of a little child, Jesus responded that power over some demonic kinds are only possible with prayer and fasting (Mark 9:29). In other words, prayer (telling God what you would like to have done) and fasting (relying totally on God to do it) equals Power (the demonstration of God coming through and the people giving Him the glory)

Sackcloth and ashes: The Dictionary of Cliches defines “to wear sackcloth and ashes” a “to be contrite, penitent or chagrined over something on has done. It was an ancient Hebrew custom to wear sackcloth dusted with or accompanied by ashes as sign of humbleness in religious ceremonies.” In other words, to seek the Lord with sackcloths and ashes is to humble ourselves with a contrite and penitent heart, one that God will not despise (Psalm 51:17).

So How do we seek the Lord? With

  1. prayer and supplications – communing with God to find out what is in His heart
  2. fasting – relying totally on Him and
  3. sackcloth and ashes – humbling ourselves with a penitent and contrite heart

Let us ALL seek the LORD.

Daniel 9:3 (KJV)
3 And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes:

3 And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes:

What, Who and Why – seek the Lord?

Before we try to address the question, ‘Why do we need to seek the LORD?’, let’s first answer the question as to ‘What it means to seek the LORD?‘ Wesley’s commentary suggests that to seek the LORD is to labor to get the knowledge of God’s will but I am convinced that the best definition to seeking the LORD is found in the Bible itself, in the testimony that God gives of David i.e., to be after God’s own heart. David sought the LORD, which is, He desired to know what was in God’s own heart.

Now with this knowledge of what it means to seek the LORD, the next appropriate question that surfaces is ‘Why do we need to seek the LORD?‘ Have you ever dreamed of having good things in your life? Wonder why you don’t understand all the things that affect your life and wish that you did? Ever wished that the evil (addictions) that easily besets you no longer holds you captive? Have you wondered how you can find God? Well these are all questions, I have personally had to answer and interestingly the answer to all of these questions seem to point to one counsel that we find in the Bible and that is ‘Seek the LORD’.

When we seek the Lord –

  1. We will not have the want of any good thing (Psalm 34:10 – The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the LORD shall not want any good thing.)
  2. We will have understanding (Proverbs 28:5 – Evil men understand not judgment: but they that seek the LORD understand all things.)
  3. We will no longer be held captive by sin or its addictions (2 Chronicles 12:14 – And he [Rehoboam – Solomon’s son] did evil, because he prepared not his heart to seek the LORD.)
  4. We shall find Him (Deuteronomy 4:29 – But if from thence thou shalt seek the LORD thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.)

Now if that has not given us enough reasons to seek the LORD, how about this one to convince us. We should be put to death! Yes, that is Biblical and absolutely correct. 2 Chronicles 15:13 explicitly articulates that whosoever would not seek the LORD God [of Israel] should be put to death, whether small or great (a.k.a. irrespective of status), whether man or woman (a.k.a. all created in God’s image). This also answers the question as to ‘Who should seek the Lord?‘.

Imagine that you lived in the times of the Chronicles when such an edict (really more of a death sentence) was in effect. Thankfully, we are not subject to what would seem as such a harsh commandment, but we must be careful to recognize that the same principle applies even in our lives today. In the words of the herdsman prophet from Tekoa, he said the same thing but in a more positive and euphemistic way when he said ‘Seek the LORD, and ye shall live‘ (Amos 5:6)

So why must we seek the LORD? Because, it is a matter of life and death. The choice however is yours … what do you choose this day?

Can God tell of you and me, that we sought after his own heart? Think about that!

2 Chronicles 15:13 (KJV)
13 That whosoever would not seek the LORD God of Israel should be put to death, whether small or great, whether man or woman.

Amos 5:6 (KJV)
6 Seek the LORD, and ye shall live;

  1. Proverbs 28:5
    Evil men understand not judgment: but they that seek the LORD understand all things.
    Proverbs 28:4-6 (in Context) Proverbs 28 (Whole Chapter)
  2. Proverbs 28:5
    Evil men understand not judgment: but they that seek the LORD understand all things.
    Proverbs 28:4-6 (in Context) Proverbs 28 (Whole Chapter)

Seek when …

We have been exploring the aspect about ‘seeking’ as in what to seek and what not to seek, but there also is the aspect of ‘when’ to seek.

We are advised to seek the Lord continually. To seek the Lord continually is to long to see him (his face) and his power (his strength) now and then seek him again the very next moment until perpetuity.

Our prayer must be like that of David,  who said “This one thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty (seek his face) of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple.” (Psalm 27:4)

What do your seek and how often do you seek the LORD?

Is it the Lord, his strength, his face and is it continually?

1 Chronicles 16:11 (KJV)
Seek the LORD and his strength, seek his face continually.

Seek not … your own

God tells us through His word, the Bible, what we are to seek – Seek first His Kingdom and his righteousness (Matthew 6:33) and to seek God, his righteousness and meekness (Zephaniah 2:3). He also tells us through His word, the Bible, what we are NOT to seek.

In Numbers 15, the LORD commands Moses to tell his people that they are to make for themselves tassle like reminders to remind themselves of His commandments that they must do, not once but twice (vs 39 and vs 40) and sandwiched in between, He makes an interesting yet profound counsel – to seek not after their own heart or to seek not after their own eyes.

The Bible advises us to keep our heart with diligence (i.e., guard it) for out of it are the issues of life (Proverbs 4:23) and that the lust of the eyes is of the world and not of God (1 John 2:16). We should be loving the Lord our God with ALL our heart (and with all of our soul, our mind and our strength – Mark 12:30) and our eyes must be fixed on Jesus (looking unto Him) who is the author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2). In other words, in filling our heart with the love for God and in fixing our eyes on Jesus, the Son of God, we will be heeding to the LORD’s counsel, which is to seek not after our ‘own’ heart or after our ‘own’ eyes.

Numbers 15: 37-41 (KJV)
And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
Speak unto the children of Israel, and bid them that they make them fringes in the borders of their garments throughout their generations, and that they put upon the fringe of the borders a ribband of blue
And it shall be unto you for a fringe, that ye may look upon it, and remember all the commandments of the LORD, and do them ; and that ye seek not after your own heart and your own eyes, after which ye use to go a whoring:
That ye may remember, and do all my commandments, and be holy unto your God.
I am the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: I am the LORD your God.

What Seek Ye?

Zephaniah 2:3 reads Seek ye the LORD, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the LORD’s anger.

We are advised to seek the following three explicitly –

  1. Seek the LORD.
  2. Seek righteousness and
  3. Seek meekness 

Seek the LORD – To seek the Lord is to not only give him the priority but also preeminence in our lives. In all we are, we are to be as if unto the Lord. We let Him reign in our lives. In seeking the Lord we ensure that we have no other gods before us. We are about his kingdom business, doing what he wants us to do and not just following our own futile pursuits. In the words of Jesus, blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. To seek the Lord is to let Him have PRIORITY and PREEMINENCE in our lives.

Seek Righteousness – To seek righteousness is to seek to be in rightstanding before God and man, to be upright and blameless before God. God wants us to be Holy because God is Holy and we are to conform to his image. In the words of Jesus, Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God. To seek righteousness is to seek to be PURE.

Seek meekness  –  To seek meekness is to humble oneself before God and let him increase while we decrease. In the words of Jesus, Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth i.e., all these things [of the earth] shall be added unto you. To seek meekness is to POSITION ourselves and our personal interests only after consideration to God and to others has been given.

Jesus as recorded in Matthew 6:33, said the same thing but in slightly different words when He said that “We must Seek first the kingdom of God (Seek the Lord) and his righteousness (seek righteousness), and all these things shall be added unto you (seek meekness as the meek shall inherit the earth).

The question that remains then is – What seek ye?