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GP 4: Seeking God

English Treasure Discovered in a Neighbor’s Field

In 2009 an ordinary Englishman found a treasure buried in a field that has turned out to be the greatest Anglo-Saxon treasure ever discovered. Down on his luck, Terry Herbert said he had been out exploring with his metal detector when he came across a shocking cache of ancient silver and gold in a neighbor’s field. He unearthed so much treasure the find disturbed his sleep. “Imagine you’re at home and somebody just keeps putting money through your letterbox. That’s what it was like,” Herbert told Britain’s Press Association. “As soon as I closed my eyes I saw gold patterns. I didn’t think it was ever going to end.”

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What Does it Mean to Seek God?

Seeking God means finding God becomes your top priority.

In Deuteronomy 4:29[1] the writer said, “But if from there you __________ the LORD your God, you will __________ him if you ____________ him with all your heart and with all your soul.

What does it mean to you to seek God with all your heart and soul? ______________________ [2]

If seeking God is going to be your priority, what areas of your life must move down on the priority list in order for you to seek God first? Ask yourself what do you dedicate your time and money to? In Luke 12:24 it says, ” For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

Seeking God is very much like Terry Herbert seeking treasure. We don’t really know how big the find knowing God can be until we begin to find God. Once we do recognize how big a treasure knowing God is then it is easy to decide to commit all of our selves to “owning” the treasure of God. In fact Jesus told two parables specifically describing this.

In Matthew 13:44[3] Jesus said, “The kingdom of heaven is like ____________________. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and _________________.” Then in Matthew 13:45-46[4] Jesus said, “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for _________________. When he found one of great value, he went away and ______________ he had and bought it.”

What would you do if you found gold and silver buried in a field? ______________________

What are some common words in these stories?[5] __________________

What do these two stories have to say about your seeking God?[6] ________________

How Do We Seek God?

It is one thing to look for treasure in a field. But how does a person go about seeking an unseen God?

It begins with you believing that if you seek God you will find Him. It begins with faith. Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” In other words, faith is trust based on confidence and hope. In John 20:29 it says, “Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” And in Hebrews 11:6 it says, “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”

We Persist

We seek God by pursuing God with persistence. In our everyday lives we display persistence at one time or another. We persist with our boss when we want that promotion at work. We persist with our coach when we want to move up from the bench to the playing field. We persist with our parents when we want to borrow the car to go on a date. The “how to” in seeking God begins here: You have got to want it and be willing to persist until you get it.

In Matthew 7:7-8[7] Jesus teaches us to do three things: He says we should ________________, __________________, and ____________________.[8]

In Luke 18:1-6[9] Jesus tells the story of a persistant widow.

What does the story of the widow and the three things in Matthew 7 have in common?[10]

What does this mean for your life? What do you need to ask God for? Where do you need to seek God? What doors do you want to knock on that God can open for you?__________________________

We Study, Practice, and Teach

The best way to know something is to study it, practice it, then teach someone else. The same is true with seeking God. It isn’t enough to have faith if you don’t act on it. James 2:17 says, “In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.” God inspired the Scriptures to be written for you. The Bible is where we learn about God. When we study “Life’s Most Reliable Guide” we “Find our Way” by knowing what to practice as we seek God.

We learn from Ezra 7:10[11] that Ezra “had set his heart to ________________ the law of the LORD and to ____________ it, and to ________________ His statutes and ordinances in Israel.

In 2 Timothy 2:15 Paul instructs Timothy by saying, “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.” The Amplified Bible says this:[12]

Seeking God means you do something. You make a choice to study the scriptures and you take action on what you learn.

Acts 8:26-40[13] tells the story of Philip and the Ethiopian. Here is a modern reenactment of Philip and the Ethiopian performed by a group of teens at Charlotte Chapel in Edinburg, Scotland. Here is another modern reenactment of Philip and the Ethiopian, this one by a group of Russian of teens.

How was the man in the chariot seeking God?[14] __________________________ How is your search similar to his?_______________________

We Pray

Prayer is first and foremost an effort on our part to talk to God. We do not need to use fancy words or think that our prayers need to be long or short. In Psalms 66:19-20 it says, “But God has surely listened and has heard my prayer. Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld his love from me!”

Oswald Chambers said, “When a man is at his wits’ end it is not a cowardly thing to pray, it is the only way he can get in touch with Reality.” Another time he said, “We have to pray with our eyes on God, not on the difficulties.”

In Matthew 6:5-8[15] Jesus taught that prayer is not about fancy words and loud talking. In verse 6[16] Jesus says, “But when you ________________, go into your room, ____________ the door and pray to your Father, who is ___________. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” Jesus wasn’t teaching a new method of prayer. He wasn’t meaning that you must go into a closet and pray in the dark. He meant your motive for praying must be only to seek God and nothing else.

Jesus even gives us a model prayer in Matthew 6:9-15.[17] This is what is commonly called “The Lord’s Prayer.” First we acknowledge that God’s will is what matters first. Then we ask God to take care of our needs and to forgive us. Finally we forgive others.

The late Keith Green believed in prayer so much that everything he did as a musician and minister was surrounded by prayer. His wife said after his untimely death in an airplane crash, “Prayer is essential! When Keith recorded each of his albums, we had constant prayer in the studio, and at LDM. We also had intercessors praying during his concerts.” Here is Keith Green singing his song “Make My Life a Prayer” followed by a brief prayer.

Are You Seeking God?

On a scale from 1 to 10 rate your relationship with God.

Disconnected On Hold Connected

1 – 2 – 3 4 – 5 – 6 – 7 8 – 9 – 10

Based on this lesson what actions will you take to develop a close personal relationship with God?_______________________

Footnotes    (↵ returns to text)
  1. “But if from there you seek the LORD your God, you will find him if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul.”
  2. To seek God with all your heart and soul means you make finding God your top priority.
  3. “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.
  4. “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. 46 When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.”
  5. People “found” items of great “value” and “sold everything” in order to “buy” the treasures.
  6. The scriptures imply that finding God is like finding that rare treasure. These stories teach that when a person finds a treasure as valuable as God that they should dedicate all of themselves (represented in earthly wealth–“sell everything”) to get that treasure.

    For Vince Lombardi, his professional athletes knew the treasure of great value was nothing less than to win. Lombardi knew the only way for them to earn that treasure was through complete dedication. Jesus asks the same of those who will seek God. To seek God is to “sell everything” and commit all of your life to discovering What God has for you.

  7. “7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”
  8. Ask, Seek, and Knock
  9. “1 Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. 2 He said: “In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared what people thought. 3 And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’ 4 “For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care what people think, 5 yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually come and attack me!’” 6 And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. 7 And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? 8 I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”
  10. Persistance
  11. “For Ezra had set his heart to study the law of the LORD and to practice it, and to teach His statutes and ordinances in Israel.
  12. “Study and be eager and do your utmost to present yourself to God approved (tested by trial), a workman who has no cause to be ashamed, correctly analyzing and accurately dividing [rightly handling and skillfully teaching] the Word of Truth.”
  13. “Philip and the Ethiopian
    26 Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Go south to the road—the desert road—that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” 27 So he started out, and on his way he met an Ethiopian[a] eunuch, an important official in charge of all the treasury of the Kandake (which means “queen of the Ethiopians”). This man had gone to Jerusalem to worship, 28 and on his way home was sitting in his chariot reading the Book of Isaiah the prophet. 29 The Spirit told Philip, “Go to that chariot and stay near it.” 30 Then Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet. “Do you understand what you are reading?” Philip asked. 31 “How can I,” he said, “unless someone explains it to me?” So he invited Philip to come up and sit with him. 32 This is the passage of Scripture the eunuch was reading: “He was led like a sheep to the slaughter, and as a lamb before its shearer is silent, so he did not open his mouth. 33 In his humiliation he was deprived of justice. Who can speak of his descendants? For his life was taken from the earth.” 34 The eunuch asked Philip, “Tell me, please, who is the prophet talking about, himself or someone else?” 35 Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus. 36 As they traveled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, “Look, here is water. What can stand in the way of my being baptized?” 38 And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him. 39 When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him again, but went on his way rejoicing. 40 Philip, however, appeared at Azotus and traveled about, preaching the gospel in all the towns until he reached Caesarea.”
  14. He was reading Scripture and desired to understand what the Scriptures meant so that he could take action to better seek God.
  15. “5 And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 6 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. 7 And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.”
  16. “But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
  17. “9 This, then, is how you should pray:
    “‘Our Father in heaven,
    hallowed be your name,
    10 your kingdom come,
    your will be done,
    on earth as it is in heaven.
    11 Give us today our daily bread.
    12 And forgive us our debts,
    as we also have forgiven our debtors.
    13 And lead us not into temptation,
    but deliver us from the evil one.’
    14 For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”
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