“You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13)
What does it mean to seek God will all your heart? To find the answer one only need look to the context of our opening verse. Israel had gone into captivity to Babylon and were taken out of the land of God’s blessing. but God promised restoration. God would bring the people back to the land, but would the people return to God?
There are requirements regarding a return to God and they are found in Jeremiah 29:13, you will seen me and find me, when you seek me with all your heat. In the economy of God half a heart equals no heart – for God. The people had been taken into captivity because of their disobedience to God’s laws. God said, don’t worship idols and the people worshiped idols on every hill. He said obey your parents, and as in our culture we do what we want at a very young age. Don’t steal and we cheat on our income taxes and everywhere we can. Some may be better at some than others but no one keeps all the law.
Seeking God begins with sorrow for sin. I was brought up religious, but I did not know God. While hearing Billy Graham on TV I recognized that my religion could not save me, but headed me for hell and eternal punishment. There was nothing that I could do about it. Jesus Christ was the only answer for the punishment that I deserved. So I cried out to God in that moment of realization.
But what does it mean to seek God with all your heart? It does not mean with every molecule of our being but with our mind, intellect, and will. Some lean heavily on intellect, others care little about doctrine but care much about emotions. However, both are necessary to see God and to do so with the proper motives. When Jesus was asked what is the great commandment, He summarized all the law of God by quoting Deuteronomy 6:5, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ …” (Matthew 22: 37)
Concerning intellect the scripture tells us, “But what does it say? “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and. in your heart,” that is, the message concerning faith that we proclaim: …So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.” (Romans 10: 8 & 17). Emotions without a proper and intellectual understanding of God’s word are worthless.
One of the great indictments by the religious leaders of their day to the Apostles came in the form of commendation for their faithfulness of godly teaching about Jesus Christ and the sinfulness of men. “We gave you strict orders not to continue teaching in this name, and yet, you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us.” Christian doctrine is at the heart of Christianity.
Doctrine is never enough. “But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. … ” (John 16: 6). Emotions are never to be denied or even looked at as a non essential in the human condition. Jesus was filled with emotion and all directed correctly to and for the glory of God. The shortest verse in the Bible exclaims the reality that Jesus was not against showing emotion, even an emotion what would be regarded by men as weak. “Jesus wept” (John 11:35). Emotions that are controlled by the Spirit of God are for His glory and pleasure. Do not be afraid of emotions but give them to God to be controlled by Him, so that you may be whole and lacking no good thing.
The end result of a person’s desire to honor God by knowing and receiving the truth, and submitting their feelings to His revealed will, which otherwise might cause us to fulfill ungodly desires, is to choose to do what is right in order to please God. “… Slaves, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in the sincerity of your heart, as to Christ;” (Ephesians 6:5). Godly obedience is the direct result of a mind and emotions that are submitted to the will of God. Therefore, to seek God with all our heart is to properly honor God with our mind, feelings, and the choices we make.
How can we measure if we are following God with all our heart? For the answer ask yourself, where is my treasure or what do I regard as the only treasure worth giving up my life. Is Jesus Christ, His commands, desires, salvation, and teaching the thing that I regard as more important than anything that would contradict Him. Does the treasure of Jesus Christ give me the greatest joy and cause me to continually choose Him over the world. Are all religious activities that seem to be good but in reality are an offense to God’s revealed and holy will unacceptable to me, therefore I choose Christ instead.
If you can answer the previous questions honestly and correctly, then you can be confident that you are choosing Jesus Christ as you should. It is not a matter of perfection but direction. “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6: 21)
DO YOU TREASURE JESUS CHRIST?
THE GREATEST TREASURE THAT ANY PERSON CAN EVER POSSES IS MEANT TO LIVE IN THE HUMAN HEART.