20 Oct 10-20-14 “If My People Seek My Face” – Part 4 – Pastor Shane Idleman
COMPLETE SERMON NOTES
If You SEEK You Will Find
Seeking is where we practice what we preach – where we SLOW down and align our lives with God’s will.
RECAP: We have a form of microwave Christianity. Service times are cut to just over an hour, prayer is glanced over, and worship is designed to entertain the masses. “People are bored,” they say, “so our services need to be more appealing.”
Church is boring because the power of God has vanished from many congregations…there is a lack of desire to pursue Him in the pulpit as well as in the pew. Like Samson, they “know not that the Spirit of the Lord has departed” (cf. Judge 16:20). But there is hope. We can once again position ourselves to seek God – “You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13).
To seek means to “find what is missing.” The Hebrew word for seek, baqash, has a very strong meaning. Imagine losing your child. How would you spend your time? Where would your energy be concentrated? Now parallel this with seeking God.
In hindsight, remember when…
…the church sought God in an upper room for days until fire fell.
…we were not in a hurry and extended worship services drove us to our knees, now they’re “too radical…too emotional.” We’ve got church services down to a few songs, announcements, and a tantalizing message designed not to convict.
…seeking God through prayer drove the church. Now methods, marketing programs, and potlucks lead the way.
…prayer and seeking God were assets and excessive media was a liability. That’s been reversed.
…when people were excited about seeking God rather than making excuses.
“Some assembly required”
Seeking involves spiritual disciplines: Ezra 8:21-23 Then I proclaimed a fast there at the river of Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God to seek from Him a safe journey for us, our little ones, and all our possessions.
The call must be answered: Psalms 27:8 When You said, “Seek My face,” my heart said to You, “Your face, O LORD, I shall seek.”
Remember it’s conditional: I will hear, heal, and restore … ‘IF’
The heart has to be open and receptive; there has to be a “turning” to Him – humble, pray, seek, turn
“You can’t live wrong and pray right” Leonard Ravenhill [you can’t live wrong and seek God] –
We can’t fill our mind with garbage and expect purity to be in our heart. We can’t seek the filth of the world and wonder why we don’t feel clean. We can’t watch the darkness and expect the light to shine. WE CAN’T SEEK THE WORLD AND FIND GOD!
There has to be a change…and turning [seeking]
1 Chronicles 22:19 Now set your heart and your soul to seek the LORD your God;
Psalms 63:1 O God, You are my God; I shall seek You earnestly; My soul thirsts for You, my flesh yearns for You, In a dry and weary land where there is no water.
It has to be a priority.
Psalms 27:4 One thing I have asked from the LORD, that I shall seek: That I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life…
Matthew 6:33 But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
1 Chronicles 16:11 Seek the LORD and His strength; Seek His face continually.
Deuteronomy 4:29-31 But from there you will seek the LORD your God, and you will find Him if you search for Him with all your heart and all your soul
“Fillings of the Holy Spirit” often occur during these times. In the same way that a pool cannot be drained and refilled in 5 minutes, we cannot be emptied of self…I don’t mean to say that a person can’t be changed instantly, because they can
SEEKING BEGINS WITH PRAYER
Matthew 7:7-8 Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. “For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.
SEEK TO BE SAVED
Isaiah 55:6-7 Seek the LORD while He may be found; Call upon Him while He is near
SEEKING FOR SALVATION
SEEK TO FIND WISDOM – Where you seek determines what you find
Proverbs 8:17 I love those who love me; And those who diligently seek me will find me.
SEEKING GOD INVOLVES SEEKING WISDOM…TRUTH
SEEKING IS A SIGN OF REPENTANCE
2 Chronicles 14:2-7 Asa did good and right in the sight of the LORD his God, for he removed the foreign altars and high places, tore down the sacred pillars, cut down the Asherim, and commanded Judah to seek the LORD God of their fathers and to observe the law and the commandment.