What Does it Mean to Seek the Lord? – Set Your mind Toward God

“Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually!” (Psalm 105:4)

Seeking the Lord means seeking His presence. Presence is a common translation of the Hebrew word for “face.” Literally, we are to seek His face. But this is the Hebraic way of having access to God. To be before His face is to be in His presence.

But aren’t His children always in His presence? Yes and no. Yes in two senses: First, it’s yes in the sense that God is omnipresent and therefore always near everything and everyone. “He upholds the universe by the word of His power” (Hebrews 1:3). His power is ever present in sustain­ing and governing all things.

And second, yes, He is always present with His children in the sense of His covenant commitment to always stand by us and work for us and turn everything for our good. “Behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20). “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5).

But there is a sense in which God’s presence is not with us always. For this reason, the Bible repeatedly calls us to “seek the Lord ... seek His presence continually.” God’s manifest, conscious, trusted presence is not our constant experience. There are seasons when we become neglectful of the Lord and give Him no thought and do not put trust in Him, and we find Him “unmanifested”—that is, unperceived as great and beautiful and valuable by the eyes of our hearts.

His face—the brightness of His personal character is hidden behind the curtain of our carnal desires. This condition is always ready to overtake us. That is why we are told to “seek His presence continually.” God calls us to enjoy continual consciousness of His supreme greatness and beauty and worth.

This happens through seeking. Continual seeking. But what does that mean practically? Both the Old and New Testaments say it means to set the mind and heart on God. It is the conscious fixing or focusing of our mind’s attention and our heart’s affection on God.

“Now set your mind and heart to seek the Lord your God.” (1 Chronicles 22:19)

“If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.” (Colossians 3:1-2)

This setting of the mind is the opposite of mental coasting. It is a conscious choice to direct the heart toward God. That is what Paul prayed for the church: “May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the steadfastness of Christ” (2 Thessalonians 3:5). It is a con­scious effort on our part. But that effort to seek God is a gift from God.

We do not make this mental and emotional effort to seek God because He is lost. That’s why we would seek a coin or a sheep. But God is not lost.

Nevertheless, there is always something through which or around which we must go to meet Him consciously. This going through or around is what seeking is. He is often hidden. Veiled. We must go through medi­ators and around obstacles.

The heavens are telling the glory of God. So we can seek Him through that. He reveals Himself in His Word. So we can seek Him through that. He shows Himself to us in the evidences of grace in other people. So we can seek Him through that.

The seeking is the conscious effort to get through the natural means to God himself—to constantly set our minds toward God in all our experiences, to direct our minds and hearts toward Him through the means of His revelation. This is what seeking God means.


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