3-3-6 Seeking God
We are frequently reminded in the prophets that the spiritual way of
life is one which is seeking God. We are to seek His face (Ps.
24:6; 27:8)- which it is impossible to behold (Ex. 33:20). Actually finding
God in the ultimate sense is therefore unattainable in this life; but
our whole mortal life must be lived in this spirit of seeking
ultimate perfection. Seeking God is often defined in the prophets as forsaking
our sins and desiring to be righteous (Amos 5:5,8,14,15). None of us are
completely successful in our seeking of God, and therefore it follows
that none of is completely forsakes all our sinfulness.
What unites us in fellowship is that we are all seeking the
same God, the realization of the same righteousness in our lives (Zeph.
2:3). We are united by this rather than by all being righteous. It is
those who seek evil with whom we find we have no fellowship;
those whose direction in life is towards evil, who fail to appreciate
God's righteousness. There are many with marriage problems whose turmoils
have led them to value and seek true righteousness more than many of us.
Again, there seems no reason to single out one particular aspect of seeking
righteousness, and make this an indicator of the general direction of
a believer's life. Because a couple are, e.g. separated, or because a
brother occasionally drinks to excess, does not entitle us to proclaim
them to be seeking evil rather than seeking God's righteousness.
There seems no reason to think that we should break fellowship with someone
for not seeking God enough, if we admit that they are not seeking
evil. Repentance and seeking God are related; thus Israel's restoration
came when they were seeking God and (i.e.) repented (Jer. 29:12-14).
However, there is good reason to think that Israel at this time were still
spiritually weak; some of them had a desire to seek righteousness,
and God accepted this. The connection between repentance and seeking God
means that to withdraw fellowship from someone for not repenting enough,
is to disfellowship them for not seeking God enough. The implication is
that the rest of us have sought God enough- and therefore found Him. This
is pure self-righteousness. In conclusion, God wants us to be seeking
Him, but this seeking God does not imply complete repentance
and forsaking of sin.