Seek And Ye Shall Find

There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all (Eph.4:4-6).

Several cotton farmers were whiling away a winter afternoon around the potbellied stove. They soon became entangled in a heated discussion on the merits of their respective religions. The eldest of the farmers had been sitting quietly, just listening, when the group turned to him and demanded, "Who's right, old Jim? Which one of these religions is the right one?" "Well," said Jim thoughtfully, "you know there are three ways to get from here to the cotton gin. You can go right over the big hill. That's shorter but it's a powerful climb. You can go around the east side of the hill. That's not too far, but the road is rougher'n tarnation. Or you can go around the west side of the hill, which is the longest way, but the easiest. “But you know," he said, looking them squarely in the eye, "when you get there, the gin man don't ask you how you come. He just asks, 'Man, how good is your cotton?'" --Los Angeles Times Syndicate

Is it a search for truth that has brought speculation as to there being many ways to heaven, or is it a search for self? Many have asked, “If there are so many different religions, how can you be sure yours is right?” Is it that religion is something that is the result of God reaching to us, us reaching to God, or simply man’s efforts to accommodate his own thinking? Jesus asked John the Baptist’s disciples, “What seek ye?” The question must also be put to this generation--to those who are “finding themselves,” and to those who are finding God--Jesus still asks us, “What seek ye?”
What you seek--or, what you desire--often has greater impact upon what you find than the fact that you are seeking. Sociological studies have been done with teachers and students wherein some typical students were randomly labeled as trouble makers, while others were not. The tendency was for the teachers to treat the so called “trouble makers” poorly; often discriminating against them due to the student’s label. The study showed that what the teachers looked for in the students labeled as "trouble makers," was often just what they found. But it was not because the student was a trouble maker, but simply because that’s what the teacher perceived, expected, and therefore saw in the student.
So what do we seek? If we were to place the answer somewhere on a line that has at the one end, “finding yourself” and at the other end, “finding God;” we would probably find that the closer we get to the “finding God” side, the fewer the answers we would find. In fact, we would eventually only get to one way to come to God, and that through His way--not ours. But as our motives turn inward and as we seek to “find ourselves,” we may come up with as many different answers as there are people. Simply put, we should be able to see that there is one reason for our lack of unity in faith, and that is that any other way to come to God other than the way He has provided, has come about due to our own selfishness, pride, lust, etc. The great diversity of religion is due to the great diversity of want. Even religions that seem selfless are often born out of someone’s need to feel complete within, rather than without.
The solution is simple, and difficult. It is easy to grasp, yet hard to do. And this is it: Seeking God is an outward reach in an effort to draw Him in; whereas seeking God falsely is an inward reach in an effort to draw out from ourselves what we determine God should be (bare in mind that God seeks us out). The first is a person; while the second is a perspective. The first builds a relationship; while the second builds a religion. If we and others are to find God’s way, it must come through forsaking selfish interests and through truthfully seeking out the person of God, and that as through the reconciliation of the work of Christ--not of works (or anything else) lest anyone should boast.

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