Why seek the Living among the Dead?

Luke 24
2 And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3 but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men suddenly stood near them in dazzling clothing ; 5 and as the women were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living One among the dead ? 6 “He is not here, but He has risen.,……

Greetings to you in the name of our resurrected savior Jesus Christ. I trust each one of you have been blessed in the Lord & are walking in His triumph. I believe the above passage & the title of this message is one of the most powerful & profound statements recorded in the Bible. It is the key to our finding the true resurrection life power in Christ. Rom 8: 11says ‘ But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.’ The resurrection of the Lord as per the above verse implies deliverance for us from eternal death,sin,sickness,poverty,bondage,curses & every negative evil force striving against us, inherited from the curse of Adam’s fall. We can fully enjoy these blessings & a life of triumph only when we realize & understand the power of His resurrection. We can receive this resurrection power only when we seek God in the right way. In our key passage above, we see that the women were seeking the Lord in the wrong place with a wrong perception. Many seek God but the word of God says that there is a right & a wrong way to seek God. When we seek Him in the wrong way we don’t find Him & in our frustration we create our own ‘gods’ & hold on to them in deception & disappointment. In 1 Chro 15:3 David say’s “the LORD our God made an outburst on us, for we did not seek Him according to the ordinance.”. We could save a lot of time & disappointment when we learn to seek God the right way while many still seek the mighty resurrected savior through dead works. So why seek the living among the dead? Col 3: 1 ‘Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God’. Many of us are seeking God in places where He does not dwell & therefore our search for Him is in vain.
I am reminded of a short story of an eagle. An egg of an eagle was hatched by a hen along with other eggs of her own. When the eggs hatched, an eaglet appeared along with the hen’s chicks! The eaglet grew up perceiving itself as one of the hen’s own chicks that it grew up with. It rummaged in the earth looking for little worms along with the hen’s chicks & followed the hen wherever it went. Its eyes were always focused on the earth picking up its food from the dust & garbage. The eaglet grew up to be an eagle with huge wings, yet it did not use it to fly because it perceived itself as a hen that cannot fly. One sunny day, it heard the call of eagles flying above its head soaring in the sky above the wind. As it captured this glorious sight something in what it saw made the eagle stir itself up & flap its wings. Soon it began to lift itself above the ground, above the hens that were busy pecking food from the dirt, not noticing the beautiful sight above, & as it broke through the wind the eagle was lifted up high above the ground & joined the place where eagles rightly belonged! When we seek God in the right place & the right way we too will discover Him & live in freedom & triumph with Him. We will not run into danger in our quest for Him like the wise men did risking their lives at Herod’s palace in search of the new born messiah.

Before we proceed further let us briefly look into the necessity & the importance of seeking God :-
Why do people seek / pursue God?
1. To Belong- There is a sense of belonging (a craving to belong & to be owned) that needs to be satisfied-An adopted child seeks for its mother-The creator & his creations were meant to live together in harmony
2. An innate or inborn curiosity to find out His creator-
3. God has a nature to hide himself & reveal Himself only to those who seek Him. ‘You shall seek me & find me when you seek with…’-Acts 17: 27. “so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; (read from v 24).Also see Is 8:17
4. He is the spiritual Bread, Water & Air (the HS)-for spiritual survival. He is the Light to guide us in a dark world. He is our Shield & Shelter. He is our spiritual sustenance & without that we are spiritually DEAD.
(Amos 5:6 Seek the Lord & live…)
Through Him we are made alive & through seeking Him we continue to stay alive!
5. Unless we pursue the things of God the enemy will keep pursuing us & will eventually overtake us. (Ex 15:9, Ps 10:2, Ex 14:4)
6. Man by nature is evil & sinful & by seeking Him we are prevented from doing evil & we are able to live in holiness.
(2 Chro: 14. He did evil because he had not set his heart on seeking the LORD.)
7. Blessings await those who seek Him & His kingdom: Math 6:31-34 Seek ye first…Isaiah 51:1-3

As mentioned earlier many seek God in ‘dead’ ways.
Here are some ‘dead’ ways that people seek a living God that God revealed to me. By studying this we will find out how not to seek Him & how to truly seek & find Him as the word of God says. Let us look into the erroneous ways of seeking the living God among the dead so we will find out the right way of seeking Him: Deut 4:29 and you will find Him if you search for Him with all your heart and all your soul.
Below I have categorized 10 types of seekers. Let us search our hearts to find out which category we fall into.

Dead ways of seeking a living God:
1. Compromised seekers:
The first category which is the most dangerous & most common are those seekers who seek God but yet hold on to their sin. They may seek God for various reasons, for selfish gain or due to fear of eternal punishment but yet do not want to completely give up their sin or come to a full surrender. Mary Magdalene was possessed of 7 demons & lived in sin, but when she sought Jesus she was delivered from the grip of sin & Satan (Read Luke 8:2).Once she found the love of God she lived a totally surrendered life & did not return to her sin. That is why Jesus seems to have appeared to her first as soon as He rose from the dead. Sin & God have nothing in common & they cannot co-exist just as light & darkness cannot intermingle. Math6: 24. “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other….
Many surrender their lives to God but hold on to a few ‘pet’ sins which they don’t want to give up. When they do so the Holy Spirit will leave & there is every possibility of a demon to enter in, maybe even as an angel of light. This is the reason why there is so much deception in the church today. Once we surrender our lives to God we need to give up every other sin that controls us & separates us from our relationship with God.( Math 9: 17. Neither do men pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst, the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved). If there is a stronghold of sin then we need to keep repenting of it, develop hatred towards it & seek God in prayer & fasting for a total victory. It is one thing to ‘fall’ into sin & another to desire & take pleasure in sin. Such people will tend to seek sin & not God because what we meditate on will eventually become our master.
In our race to seek Him, sin will hinder our run & the entanglement will cause us to fall instead of moving forward. That is why the Bible says in Heb 12:1 Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,

2.’Froggy’ seekers! Living in the past & yet seeking God: Looking backwards & moving forward!
As funny as the name sounds I call such seekers as ‘Froggy seekers’! Frogs are said to have the ability to look behind themselves without having to turn their heads or bodies. Their eyes are placed on their heads in such a position that although they may be facing the other side they can look back & move forward at the same time! Unfortunately or fortunately we humans do not have that ability! Yet there are the type of God seekers who want to seek God, yet their eyes are fixed on the past. They are the type who look backwards in their lives & try to move forward like Lot’s wife. These are the type of seekers who are unable to come to a resolve of God’s forgiveness of their sins or certain past experiences that are plaguing their walk with God. It may often be a certain sin of the past which they cannot forgive themselves off or accept God’s forgiveness, or it may even be an incident, trauma, or spiritual & psychological issues of the past that they cannot stop thinking about & it preoccupies their minds. Instead of focusing on God they develop a wrong focus. Just like some of the Israelites who left Egypt but their hearts were still there. (Acts 7:39 Our fathers were unwilling to be obedient to him, but repudiated him and in their hearts turned back to Egypt) Such seekers create their own destiny in the past & therefore cannot move forward into God’s chosen destiny. The disciples had difficulty accepting the promise of God about His resurrection on the third day & therefore expected to see a dead Jesus instead of a risen Christ. Many still hold on to the past of the life of Christ instead of embracing the newness of His resurrection where all His power exists.
I remember visiting a church where there was a huge casket at the altar with a statue of a dead Jesus in it! The atmosphere there was filled with worldly sorrow & hopelessness. As beautiful as the architecture of the church was, I had to look for the nearest door for the fastest way out! It is good to remember the death of the Lord Jesus as often as we can but I wouldn’t want to live there forever rather than focusing on the power of the life of Christ.

When a person accepts the Lord, the Holy Spirit holds his hand & leads him. At the same time the devil also tries hard to pursue him to bring him back to his evil where he once belonged. When Pharaoh’s army pursues us, they need to be totally destroyed so we can reach the destination (the heart of God).The Lord used the same sea that opened a path for deliverance to the Israelites to destroy the Pharaoh’s army. Our salvation should bring us into a victorious life & also destroy the evil of the pursuing past.1 Cor 10:2 refers this escape through the sea as ‘baptism’. (‘and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea’).The pathway in the sea signifies baptism. True baptism not only washes away our sins but also drowns & washes away the pursuing past! That is how we rise up to be new creations in the Lord with old things passed away. Sadly many look at the outward act of baptism in a ritualistic way but internally their hearts & minds are not renewed.
We need to leave our ‘baggage’ behind & move forward, we need to leave our past behind & go forward taking up the cross. The past cannot pursue us when we are baptized & saturated in the presence of God, immersed in His love & walking in the spirit. There are only two things that are supposed to follow a God seeker-the goodness & mercies of God (Ps 23:6).The following verses will give us the strength to break the strongholds of the past & give us the grace to move forward as we believe in His resurrection life power.
Is 43: 18. “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. 19. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up;……
Hebrews 8:12 “For I will be merciful to their iniquities, And I will remember their sins no more.”
Ps 103: 12 As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us.

3.Option Seekers -.Seeking Jesus as one of the ways.
Many seek Jesus but He is really not their priority. Instead He is considered as just one of the ways among many other ways. They are the ‘Try Jesus’ seekers. He is more a trial & error option! I have seen bumper stickers with the caption ‘Try Jesus’. This may be a good evangelism tool but cannot apply to believers. Many try seeking Him but when the goal of their pursuit is not reached in the way & time they expect, they give up on Him. There is a popular saying that ‘all roads lead to Rome’.Al roads do not lead to Rome in reality! Chances are we may be running in the opposite direction! A true seeker of God does not have backup plans.Asa did not seek God but sought the physicians for a cure. 2Chro 12. In the thirty-ninth year of his reign Asa was afflicted with a disease in his feet. Though his disease was severe, even in his illness he did not seek help from the LORD, but only from the physicians. 13. Then in the forty-first year of his reign Asa died and rested with his fathers. 7….”Because you relied on the king of Aram and not on the LORD your God, the army of the king of Aram has escaped from your hand.
Verse 9 of the same chapter emphasizes how much committed we should be in seeking God. ‘ For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.’. In our trials & tribulations there may seem various options to get out of it, but true success & victory comes only from God. He is our only answer & solution to every problem. It is only by His grace & permission that anything in this world works. He is above everything & everything is under subjection to Him.( 1 Cor 15:27 For He has put all things in subjection under His feet..). Prov 21:31 The horse is prepared for the day of battle, But victory belongs to the LORD.
God reveals Himself to those who are committed in seeking Him. We can never find Him as long as He is one of our options!.

4. ‘Give me’ seekers! Seeking Jesus for the sake of worldly blessings:
Many of us fall into this category. In fact I always think that if God did not bless His people here on earth, there may only be a handful that would truly follow Him! Our motives in seeking Him are very important. Many spend hours together in prayer asking God for worldly blessings. Not that we should not ask, but God does know the motive of our hearts in seeking Him & values it.
John 6 : 26. Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, you are looking for me, not because you saw miraculous signs but because you ate the loaves and had your fill. 27.Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. On him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.”
(James 4:3. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.)
The danger in this is that when the person receives what he wants from God, he stops seeking Him! The Lord has a father’s heart but how disappointed will a father be if he knew that the child came to him only when in need. The Bible clearly states in Math 6:33 But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. When we come to God let us seek to give what He expects of us ,that is our hearts& surrender to His will . Giving is His nature & when we seek first the kingdom of God & His righteousness all things will be added. The church is filled with people who seek him for every other reason apart from knowing Him & loving Him. God is looking for our intimacy with Him & His heart longs for our love. He definitely will bless those who honestly seek Him.
3 John: 2. Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.

5.The dead seekers! Seeking Jesus in dead religion :
Many define the path to God all by themselves not knowing that God is the way, the truth & the life. Based on social & family traditions we try to seek God & please Him in our own religious ways. We create a God in our frail human imagination & seek him through meaningless rituals that produce death rather than life. The rituals & traditions take the place of God & we end up worshiping it. In Luke 15 we read how the Pharisees were angered with Jesus for healing on the Sabbath. They were holding onto the rules of the Sabbath so strong that it prevented them from doing good, which was what the Sabbath was all about! Religion had blinded their eyes from seeing what the Sabbath was truly about. Here is what He says in response to their hard hearts, (15)’But the Lord answered him and said, “You hypocrites, does not each of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or his donkey from the stall and lead him away to water him?16″And this woman, a daughter of Abraham as she is, whom Satan has bound for eighteen long years, should she not have been released from this bond on the Sabbath day?”

Many like Mary Magdalene who could not recognize Jesus & mistook Him to be the gardener, are seeking a dead powerless Lord instead of recognizing him as the resurrected savior.(2 Tim 3: 5. having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.)
God is looking for a relationship with us not just religious or traditional seeking. A religious outlook towards a living God will only produce death as we can see in the following verses.
Math 23: 27. “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men’s bones and everything unclean.(also see Ezek 13:10-13)
Eph 2: 8. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God– 9. not by works, so that no one can boast.

Religion verses relationship:-
Religion is a stronghold! It controls & brings into bondage :-
Math 23: 4. They tie up heavy loads and put them on men’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.
Also read Rom 7:6 6. But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code
Religion involves externalism: Relationship involves internalism
Col 2:20 If then you have died with Christ to material ways of looking at things {and} have escaped from the world’s crude {and} elemental notions {and} teachings of externalism, why do you live as if you still belong to the world? [Why do you submit to rules {and} regulations?–such as]21 Do not handle [this], Do not taste [that], Do not even touch [them],22 Referring to things all of which perish with being used. To do this is to follow human precepts and doctrines.

Religion-Ritualistic uprightness (the spirit is dead), Relationship-Spiritual uprightness (the spirit is alive-Rom 8:10)
Religion-Habitual service, Relationship –Heart service (‘streams of living water flowing from the heart’-John 7:38)
Religion-exclude worship in spirit & truth,- Relationship-worship in Spirit & truth-John4:23
Religion-need not involve love , Relationship works through love
Religion-born of the flesh (Phil 3:3) ,Relationship with God-born of the Spirit
Religion –based on law Phil 3 : 9)-,Relationship-based on faith
Religion-fruitless fig tree, Relationship- bears fruit (Math 21:19)
Religion also gives birth to cults controlled by the whims & fancies of the leader:
Is 8: 19. When men tell you to consult mediums and spiritists, who whisper and mutter, should not a people inquire of their God? Why consult the dead on behalf of the living?

6.–Blind seekers!- Seeking Jesus in the dark
These are the type of seekers who are want to see Jesus but they are groping in the darkness trying to maneuver their way to the Lord. Chances are they may lose their way!
Darkness signifies ignorance. Ignorance & innocence are two different things although many confuse them. Ignorance leads to sin & death & destroys our relationship with God.( Hos 4:6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge…) Refer Is 5:13 for more on that. The other word for ‘knowledge’ is enlightenment. God shines His holy light through His word.Ignorance is a result of ignoring the study & meditation of God’s word.When we walk in such darkness we may not be able to recognize God even if He is right next to us.
(John 20:1. Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb).This could probably be the reason why she did not recognize Jesus & mistook Him to be the gardener. Verse 9 reveals their ignorance. (‘For as yet they did not understand the Scripture that He must raise again from the dead’.) God’s word is light:(Ps 119: 105. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.)
Ignorance or darkness comes into our lives when we fail to exercise faith in God’s word & wander into futile speculations & the so called reasoning of the mind. Man’s vain imagination of God has led him to create his own idols, while some in their so called intelligent reasoning have fallen into greater darkness & deception & declare that God does not exist! (Rom 1:21 For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.)( Ps 14:1 The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.”..).I come across many traditional Christians, some of them who are morally upright & live good lives due to their good upbringing, but do not have a depth in the knowledge of God’s word. Many do not know even read the epistles of the New Testament as it does not make sense to their religious minds. All that they understand is that one has to live an upright life in order to make it to heaven! If they only knew the depths of God’s word they will experience heaven on earth. The revelation of God’s word is like a fire burning inside of us that spreads warmth & light to those around us.( Luke 24:32They said to one another, “Were not our hearts burning within us while He was speaking to us on the road, while He was explaining the Scriptures to us?”)
Seek God through His word & His promises (Is 42:16 I will make darkness into light).Darkness brings sin in our lives & the consequence of it. The wisdom of God’s word does not come through the acquiring of worldly wisdom but through the fear of God (Prov 1:7) through which we seek the scriptures. Today God is revealing Himself powerfully through the uneducated , especially in third world countries. People who do not know the difference between the left hand & the right now have a deeper sense of discernment between good & evil because they walk in the fear of God. I have come across several illiterates who do not even know how to read & write, who know more scripture than scholars, through the power & gift of the Holy Spirit acquired through a devoted life to God.
Prov 2:4,5 If you seek her(Godly wisdom) as silver And search for her as for hidden treasures; Then you will discern the fear of the LORD And discover the knowledge of God.
(Isaiah 55:6 Seek the LORD while He may be found; Call upon Him while He is near.) The best place to find the Lord is in His Word. Without His Word we would still be groping in the dark in search of Him. God promises His wisdom in James 1: 5 But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.

7.–The negative seekers : Seeking God with unbelief
These are the type of people who get on board in their search for the truth but are not very sure if they can really find it! Although they seek the Truth they have no fuel left in their journey to reach their destiny! Faith is the fuel of our Christian life that helps us to reach our destiny. Faith is the axis of our Christian life. The entire word of God is activated through the power of faith. Faith is the currency of our Christian lives through which we receive from God. On the road to Emmaus Jesus said to the 2 disciples who did not believe in His resurrection .Luke 24: 25. …, “How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Here we see the 6th category of blind seekers (Ignorant seekers) & this category both overlapping. Verse 30 says ‘When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. 31. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, …
Their unbelief had prevented them from recognizing Jesus but when they received the bread (word of God-the bread of life) from Him in faith, disregarding that He was a ‘stranger’, their eyes were opened. The scriptures rightly says in Romans 10:17 ‘So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ. The more we expose ourselves to the word of God & the hearing of His word our faith in Him will grow’.
The Bible describes the pitiable state of a person without faith in James 1:6 & 7 ‘But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind.7 For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord,’
If we have launched out to seek God we ought to seek Him in faith. The world is filled with people who have no faith in God & it is important for us to stay away from such people that we may not be influenced by them & loose our destiny. God promises us our rest in Him, the fulfillment of our quest, as long as we have faith in His promises. Heb 3: 18. And to whom did God swear that they would never enter his rest if not to those who disobeyed ? 19. So we see that they were not able to enter, because of their unbelief.

8.The ‘Goose bumps’ seekers! : Seeking God in the flesh through /sensations & feelings .
This category of seekers are growing in numbers these day. Sadly many have reduced God, so to speak, to a goose bump! These are the type of seekers who are seeking a physical sense of well being & an emotional thrill or ecstasy in their lives. They go to God just to get their ‘fix’ for the day not realizing that feelings can be very deceptive & the euphoria attained through that can leave as fast as it came, since it may not have necessarily come from the Lord!Besides,since Satan tries to duplicate everything of God, he even duplicates the sensation that sometimes accompany a move of God. This calls for a deep sense of discernment from God. If we are not careful we would be more interested in the sensations rather than God Himself, a distraction that can get us sinking in the waters! We must also realize that the world is seeking after physical pleasures & are so very focused in the flesh. The world is reeling in carnal dizziness trying to reach a state of fulfillment & pleasure. The devil uses this to his advantage to numb their minds on seeking God. We believers cannot afford to have a similar approach towards God. As God is spirit we can find Him only if we took a spiritual approach.

The following passage from the scripture well explains this:
1 Kings 19: 11So He said, “Go forth and stand on the mountain before the LORD.” And behold, the LORD was passing by! And a great and strong wind was rending the mountains and breaking in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake.12After the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of a gentle blowing.13When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave. And behold, a voice came to him and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”

The above passage clearly implies that God does not necessarily move in the way we want Him to. Maybe God spoke to Elijah through the mighty forces of nature previously but not this time. We cannot afford to make our perception of God based on past experiences or a one- time experience. God is dynamic & moves in different ways according to His sovereign wisdom. We try to measure the infinite power & move of God through the yardstick of our limited understanding & end up making false interpretations & assumptions. Elijah could have easily given up on God when He did not manifest Himself in a dramatic way through the mighty forces of nature & would have missed out hearing the voice of God & His direction for Elijah’s destiny. Once again this also reminds me of the wise men who almost missed their way to the messiah child, expecting Him to be in Herod’s palace. Today, the ones who speak against a religious mindset have made their own religion based on a certain way of God manifesting Himself to them . I know of preachers who have beaten people to the ground during prayer since they were not ‘slain’ in the spirit! I also know of people who left the church disappointed & crestfallen since they did not receive a physical manifestation they assumed & expected like the person in the front row! I know of folks who have denied the move of God altogether because God did not give them the ‘goose bumps’ that their Christian friends were emphasizing on! So there is much danger when the church or a person misinterprets God based on a certain experience. The Holy Spirit has always been compared to the wind in the scriptures. In the natural, when the wind blows a branch on the tree moves, an open door is slammed shut. The same wind blows in a different direction & sometimes nothing happens. Or the same wind which shut a door in your house makes another door open & so on. I don’t mind elaborating on this subject as I see the church making a mockery of God before the world due to its over emphasis on physical manifestations. People are losing their focus on God’s word & God Himself,& are looking for symptoms. Many no longer have the fever, so to speak, but are lingering in the symptoms & assuming that God is in those symptoms! The feelings that could accompany the anointing of the Holy spirit & the feelings that accompany emotional ecstasy have a very fine dividing hairline & if we are not careful to discern this we could easily fall into deceptions of the flesh & the devil & loose our focus on God. Many men of God know this very well but seem to ignore the people who are into this to avoid controvercies.In the several years of observing my father’s deliverance ministry ,we have seen numerous cases of people possessed with demons deceiving people as though they were filled with the Holy Spirit! If we are going to judge a Christian’s spiritual experience based on their physical manifestations or external appearances ,we may be eventually deceived. Many have forgotten the words of Jesus to Thomas in John 20 :29…..”Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed.”.
When we seek God in truth, we will know the Truth & the Truth will set us free from deception.

9.Seeking God in sorrow: ‘Sorrowful seekers’
These are the type of seekers who seek God with a sorrow according to the world, or the type who try to mourn their way towards God.
John 20: 13. They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?” “They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I don’t know where they have put him.” 14. At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.
Worldly sorrow can blind our eyes. It’s hard to see with eyes full of tears. When our eyes are filled with tears our vision get’s blurry. Mary was so engrossed in her sorrow that she could not recognize Jesus standing before her.
Many Christians are too engrossed in the tragedies that happened in this short lived life that they are unable to look into the triumph of God .I have seen many Christians who come to the feet of God to mourn. They usually do not come to mourn for lost souls of a dying world or for the salvation of souls, but grieve over a worldly blessing which they still have not received from God! They are so very focused on their worldly needs & the needs of their family & unable to attain the joy of the Lord. I sometimes think how contradictory it is when the Bible says in Psalms 16:11 You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever. Just as the tears of Mary made her loose her vision of God, many of us are immersed in sorrows & disappointments of the world that we are unable to walk in the fullness of the joy that God offers in His presence. In fact we are even unable to enter the joyful presence of God as we are stuck in our sorrow. This is nothing but a lack of faith in God. We come to God for a certain need & place it at his feet & cry to Him. When we are done with that we take back that need & bring it back to Him the next day crying to Him once again, forgetting that the Lord is a God who hears our prayers. When it is time to rejoice in advance for the victory ahead we stay mourning & loose the presence of God in our lives.

2 Cor 7: 10. Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death. …
True joy can only come when we seek Him in His presence & not in our worldly sorrow. There is a great danger in seeking God this way. It could end up in self destruction & the destruction of our relationship with God since we are resisting the joy He gives us. In the Bible we read about Peter & Judas & the way they denied the Lord.Peter denied the Lord, cursing Him, but He then was strengthened in God & was restored. Judas however did not accept the Lord’s forgiveness ,not having sought it in repentance but decided to destroy himself.

Jesus offers His love & forgiveness to us. Salvation is the greatest blessing in our lives. No matter what we lose in our lives or what we do not have, when we have Jesus in our lives, He is our greatest joy & source for every other blessing. Sorrowful seekers are not satisfied with God & are looking for something else of this world that will bring them fulfillment & there is nothing this world can offer more than what God has in store for those who seek Him earnestly. Our only sorrow should be towards sin & the burden for lost souls.

10.Seeking God in response to His call : ‘Seeking Him with no strings attached’

These are the type of seekers who know the true way to seek God & find Him since they seek Him diligently with all their hearts.(Jer 29:13,Prov 8:17).Such people find Him as they seek Him as Lord, teacher & Master of their lives. These seekers hear His voice & move in the direction of His voice to find Him. They are not mislead by any other voice. Be it the voice of the flesh, the voice of man or the voice of the devil. In the following passage we read how Mary was enlightened the moment she heard the voice of God calling her name & her eyes were opened.
John 20: 15. “Woman,” he said, “why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?” Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.” 16. Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher).
She responded the right way to Jesus when she heard Him calling her name because she had a personal spiritual relationship with Him. Many of us are unable to recognize the call of God because we don’t have a close relationship with Him. When we are truly born of God we hear the voice of Abba father calling out our name & we respond to Him just as the sheep hears the master’s voice. A mother hears & recognizes the faintest cry of her baby even at a long distance due to her close connection with the child even before birth. God calls us by name when we have a personal relationship with Him. This type of relationship does not come by just saying a prayer for salvation at the altar ,but is birthed from a daily relationship with Him spending time at His feet & getting to know God & His ways through meditating on His Word.
Is 43: 1. But now, this is what the LORD says– he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
The Lord is looking out for such seekers who have no other motives in seeking Him but to find Him & Him alone. He calls out to all to seek Him & find Him.
May the Lord help us to find Him in truth & deliver us from any other deception of the devil in misleading us on our way to Him.

God bless you.

Bernard Clifford