Spirit of Grace Ministries
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Spirit of Grace Ministries
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The Great Quest


Searching

by Dennis Pollock

Quest: –noun, 1. a search or pursuit made in order to find or obtain something: a quest for uranium mines; a quest for knowledge.

Our lives are filled with quests of various kinds. When we first reach adulthood, it seems our life is nothing but constant quests: the quest for a spouse, for a career, for a house of our own. And all through our lives we will be constantly pursuing dreams and goals, some as simple as a new camera, others as demanding as a career change. Of course not all quests are worthy of the same level of priority. Some years ago I decided to decorate our family room in a 1940's décor. It was fun looking for artwork and various items from that era. For a while I was searching all over the Internet for a good deal on an old Western Electric telephone that would have come from that era. 

When I finally made the purchase I was elated – I had bagged my prize! I enjoyed searching for these things but it was always just something for my spare time. I had enough sense to know that there were all kinds of things worthy of more attention than making sure our family room looked like it came straight from the 1940's. 

In this brief article I want to share with you what is unquestionably the greatest and the ultimate quest of life, and that is the quest to find God and be reconciled to Him. The quest is necessary due to the fact that we all start out in life without God. As we hold that precious baby in our arms, looking so angelic, we may be unaware that the infant has two problems – one related to what is present and the other to what is absent. What is present is what the Bible calls the flesh. We all come into this world with a sin nature, which spills over with greed and selfishness. It won't be noticeable in a newborn, but give the child time and it will surface just as sure as his baby teeth. The other problem has to do with what is absent – which is God. We do not start out our lives with our bodies as temples of the Holy Spirit. We are made in the image of God, but the Spirit of God does not indwell us. 

If we finish our lives in the same condition as when we started, we are in big trouble. Jesus spoke of a local tragedy in His time, when a tower fell on a group of people and killed eighteen of them. Then He made a curious statement: "Unless you repent you will all likewise perish." Surely Jesus was not telling us that anybody who doesn't repent is going to have a tower fall on them. No, what He was saying was that, regardless of the specific circumstances of your death, if you die outside of Christ, your death is a terrible tragedy. Whether you die in your twenties as a result of being hit by a drunk driver, or die in a comfortable bed at the age of 99, if you end as you began – without God and without hope – your death is tragic and sad beyond description. You have failed in the ultimate quest of life; you have failed to find God. 

The Ultimate Prize 

We are given a few short years on this earth to find God and receive the gift of eternal life. In all sports games there is a time limit. And it is always the most exciting when the clock starts to run down. We know that if our favorite team messes up here, there won't be enough time to make up for it later. In the game of life we have but a few short years to claim life's greatest Prize. But the difference with real life is that we never know just where the countdown clock stands. If we are blessed we may have eighty or ninety years, but there is certainly no guarantee of this. Whatever amount of years we are given, we have precisely this amount of time and only this amount to find God and be reconciled to Him. 

TrekkingEven this is a bit of an illusion, because for most people, if they don't find God by the age of 29, they will never find Him. Go to any church and ask the Christians to raise their hands if they came to Christ in their childhood up through their twenties. I guarantee you the vast majority will raise their hands. In my many years of sharing Christ I have found that the hardest person in the world to bring to faith is a middle-aged to elderly person, particularly if they have known a little bit of success in their lives. Of course there are some noticeable exceptions, but for most people, if you haven't found God by the time you are thirty, you are unlikely to ever find Him. The decades of our 30's through our 80's are usually simply a playing out of foundations that were laid during our youth. 

Many people dislike the term "finding God" or "finding Christ." They will quip, "I don't think God was ever lost!" Actually this is a far more Biblical concept than you might think. In Acts Paul declares to the Athenians: 

And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, 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. (Acts 17:26,27) 

Seek the Lord

 No, God has never been lost, but the Bible tells us that He deliberately hides Himself from us, and then bids us to come and look for Him. This is why the idea of seeking God is such an important concept in the Scriptures. Over and over again we are told to seek the Lord, and promised great benefits for those who do:

  • Psalm 14:2 The LORD looks down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there are any who understand, who seek God.
  • Proverbs 28:5 Evil men do not understand justice, but those who seek the LORD understand all.
  • Isaiah 55:6 Seek the LORD while HE may be found, call upon Him while He is near.
  • Hebrews 11:6 He who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

  • Some years ago our family went to an air show at the riverfront in Saint Louis. We enjoyed the show, but just as it was concluding we realized that our youngest son had wandered off. There must have been over ten thousand people there, and we immediately began to channel all our resources to find the little guy. We split up and went several different directions with our hearts beating wildly. The Lord was merciful and within a short time our oldest daughter had found him at the foot of the Saint Louis arch, looking up at it with wonder. Now we could relax; now we could get back to the plans we had previously made. But for those terrifying few minutes everything was put on hold. There was no thought of getting something to eat or going to some new event. All our energy and all our efforts were given to one thing – finding little Jordan. So God commands us in our quest for Him: "You will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart" (Jeremiah 29:13).

    What folly it must appear to the holy angels as they see men and women play games, fritter away their time, and chase after things that mean nothing, while the great prize of life is never even considered.

     God will always be found in Jesus Christ! The great problem for most of humanity is that, first many never take up the quest at all. And secondly, of those who do, they are often looking in all the wrong places. Some look for God in religion. They attend religious services, give money to support their local house of worship, and faithfully attempt to live as morally as possible – but they never come into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. It would be sort of amusing if it weren't so sad to see how the Hollywood  and music celebrities adopt various pet causes. They raise money for disease research, they go to Africa and adopt African children, they give free concerts to support disaster relief, they speak in grave tones about the dangers of global warming, yet they live immoral lives, jump from one bedroom to another, and change wives or husbands more often than we change shoes. God definitely approves of good works, but He has made it absolutely plain in His word that we will never find Him there. He can only be found in the Person of His Son Jesus. Jesus declares, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man comes to the Father except through Me" (John 14:3).

    Win or Lose

     If you gain everything else in life: success, popularity, wealth, fame, and all that men consider valuable, but somehow miss finding God, your life is a dismal failure. Jesus asked, "For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?" People use the term loserto describe someone who is hopelessly behind nearly everybody else. But things are not always what they appear. We may see a Hollywood star, who makes millions on every movie, and has photographers constantly surrounding her, attempting to get her picture. Her smile is dazzling, her face is flawless, her teeth are sparkling, her form is perfect. How many women would trade places and lives with her in a heartbeat! And yet, from a spiritual perspective she is to be pitied. She is so full of herself she will never come to Christ. She will live out her vain life without ever beginning to start the only quest that really matters. She is a loser.

      On the other side of town is another lady. She is a bit overweight and isn't very pretty. She has a broken tooth which she can't afford to fix. She is a single mother and scrubs floors for a living. Nobody ever wants to take her picture. And yet in the eyes of God this lady is a winner. She has received Christ; though she may live another thirty years, life's great quest has already ended successfully for her. She may never have much money, she will never know what it is like to walk down a red carpet with cameras flashing all around her. But she will know something far better. She will experience the joy of seeing her Lord at the end of her days, welcoming her into the eternal kingdom with the words, "Well done, good and faithful servant."

     In nearly ever nation and culture children play the game of "hide and seek." When we hid, we tried to find the best possible hiding place. We held our breath and were as still as possible when the seeker went around looking for us. Imagine if you were playing the game and looking for your friend, when you came upon a drawn curtain, and there on the floor was painted a large red arrow pointing straight to the curtain. And coming from behind the curtain was the voice of your friend, singing The Star Spangled Banner. You would get the idea that your friend really didn't mind being found at all!

     So it is with our God. He has left all sorts of signs and clues in this world to make sure we don't miss Him. And the greatest of all His signs is the simple message of the gospel of Jesus Christ. He has instructed His children, the ones who have already found Him, to go around the world sharing the message of the life, death, and resurrection of His Son Jesus Christ, so that the others may find Him. Contained within this simple message are all the clues necessary to find God. In truth the quest for God does not have to be some long, arduous journey requiring years to complete. In a few minutes you can discover all you need to know to find God and become a part of His wonderful family.

     Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, receive Him as your Lord and Savior, and achieve success in the ultimate quest of life. For he who comes to the end of his days and dies with his faith firmly fixed on Christ – wins! 




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