“You will seek me and find me when you search for me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13)
We usually think of searching for something that is lost.
I spend a good amount of time looking for stuff around the house or inside my computer—with the accompanying challenge of not losing my cool when it doesn’t show up.
But I don’t think that’s what God meant in this verse! He hasn’t moved. So, it’s not that we’re hard put to “find Him.” This searching is yearning for Him, returning to Him and then restoring lost intimacy with our Redeemer/Shepherd.
While we’re at it, I need to give full disclosure regarding Jeremiah’s extraordinary verse. The context of this promise is quite specific. Please read it. It refers to the seventy-year exile of Judah to Babylon. The prophet is reassuring our people that there is still a hope and a future. He goes on to speak of God gathering us from our captivity outside the land of Israel and bringing us back home. This is our God, pouring out His heart, longing for His people to return. Aaron Shust powerfully expresses this feeling in his song “Zion.” I encourage you to listen to it on YouTube.
In so many places the Lord tells us the same thing, that I feel His “thumbs up” to apply this verse to everyone searching for God, everyone whose desire is centered on Him
“Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is none upon earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart fail…” (Psalm 73:25,26)
Seeking God with all my heart is desiring Him intensely, passionately—recognizing the all-consuming need for my heart to be one with His. In this psalm the author, Asaph, admitted that at times his heart was weak, not going after God with full strength. Maybe, like us, he had a tendency to get distracted and lose spiritual focus. Nevertheless, in the next line Asaph proclaims that the real source of his heart’s ability to “find God” is God Himself.
“…But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” (Psalm 73:26)
I love this! God calls me to seek Him with all of my heart, then He actually gives me the strength to do so.
Here are some additional injunctions to help you pursue the Lord with all your heart.
“Break up your fallow ground, for it is time to seek the Lord, till He comes and rains righteousness on you.” (Hosea 10:12)
“Seek the Lord while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts. Let him return to the Lord and He will have mercy on him, and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.” (Isaiah 55:6,7)
“…Let the hearts of those rejoice who seek the Lord! Seek the Lord and His strength; seek His face forevermore!” (I Chronicles 16:10,11)
“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” (James 4:8)
I hope you are encouraged by these passages. I am. They activate my heart to desire the Author of the Universe, my Creator, my Father. I was created for this. It is the primary goal of my life to seek after God—to know Him, to love Him, to be near Him, to reflect His healing presence in this world. And…to remember always that He wants me. He wants you, too! You can count on it.
This article is an excerpt from Eitan’s forthcoming book: With All Your Heart, and reposted with permission from the Oasis newsletter, May 2020.