Sunday, July 30, 2017

PURSUIT WORTHY OF CONSIDERATION

""Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you...Matthew 7:7"
We all love watching a good fast chase, whether it is a car chase in the movies or on TV, or a boat race on the lake.  We even think It’s cute when one of our pet dogs playfully chases the other one around the back yard. We involve ourselves in our own chases at various times in our lives. In our teens and early twenties, the more educationally ambitious of us may chase down multiple college degrees (not me – one is enough). Those who are more bent towards business take risks and joyfully suffer the birth pangs of launching, maintaining and growing their own small business, as they chase their dream of the freedom of self-employment and probable riches. in general, though, it does seem as if sometimes, everything else is a chase, race or making haste.

The common goal of these various chases, from the self-motivated  young entrepreneur to the person who obtains the right educational background for a better job and benefits in order to raise a family or accumulate enough of a nest egg for later on, is success. There is absolutely nothing wrong with success and the process it takes to get there. As long as everything is legally,  ethically and morally done – the sky is the limit. Millions are willing to go into major debt to, excuse me, kiss the sky, in this pursuit.

Most times oft, than not, though, matters of the soul are completely ignored in this paper chase. (The paper chase mentioned in this article is all about the financial documents which represent wealth held by those who primarily seek only worldly success). Increasingly, with very few exceptions (less than 10%) the vast majority of people under the age of 40 have little or no faith in the God of Heaven. Men and women instinctively know that we were ALL created with the Law of God (His commands) written on our hearts. Even those who have not heard the Gospel possess this.  It is called the conscience where we learn right from wrong. Even those who hate God have a conscience. They just block it out. They just don’t pursue Him.

In the greatest sermon ever preached – the Sermon on the Mount, God Himself – through His Son the Creator, teaches many Eternal Truths about Life on earth. Almost all of the Teachings of Jesus are counter-cultural and against any of the worldly thinking of man. There is so much in this Greatest Message of All Times, but what is relevant here is the statement of Matthew 7:7 "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you"

In short, the Lord recommended the following three specific actions – all in the present tense:
-          Ask
-          Seek
-          Knock on the door

Those in pursuit of success in the Natural (through Education, Business etc.) have no problem at all with any of those three. Whether we work for a company or run the company or teach a junior college class for a living, around age 30-40 we have done more than our fair share of asking, seeking and knocking on doors.  A 75% or more failure rate never stops us in our pursuit of excellence in our chosen career paths. The majority of us would just take deep breaths and move on to the next thing. However, for some reason, on the supremely important matter of eternity, the hard work of research into the Truth – the True Truth – is left on the cutting floor!

It is very telling that the very same committed and purpose-driven people who would work 70-90 hours per week to study part time while working would not take an hour of their entire week, on one day, to see if the claims and promises of God are true. A small business owner would be the last person to get paid at his business, while getting no sleep or vacation, but he or she would press so hard in one direction, that the real direction that matters will also be neglected.

Even so, Jesus has a proposition for those who are worn down, beaten up, tired out, flamed out and just plain over their heads in the hot pursuit of success, the World’s Way. He has three simple words: Ask, Seek, Knock. What’s behind these three doors is nothing magical, but it IS something Eternal. It is Rest. It is Peace. It is Joy. It is Contentment. It is Heaven.

Success the world’s way could and should get you that – a comfortable successful life….in THIS Life ONLY!  But the Pursuit of Heavenly Treasure lasts forever. For those are interested in what comes next after this swift fleeting life.  Again – it’s free ….and so simple. In fact it is so simple, most do not believe it cost them nothing, thereby missing the boat.

ASK:
Like everything else in matters of eternity, it comes down to the Heart – the Spiritual Heart. To even get to the point of asking, we need to be able see and then know, that for which we are asking or requesting. Scripture, in Ephesians 1:18, cries out to us “open the Eyes of My Heart, Lord”.  There is nothing in the make-up of a human being which is worthy of us being even qualified to "ASK" the Great God of Heaven for anything. It is by sheer mercy and grace we are alive and then have the means to live comfortably, and function at any capacity. The sooner we realize this, the quicker we will make haste to the Throne Room of God to ask Him to be the Guiding Light of Our Lives.

SEEK:
Anyone who is born again, instinctively knows we were near seeking and finding a relationship with the True God of Heaven and our Creator. At some point in life, we may have been seeking for the great answers of life - (who am I, why am I here etc...). However, if you look at some of the "-sims*" that led countless millions astray, none of them sought after the real God of Heaven as found in the Bible. (Think of "isms" like extentialism, atheism, communism etc...etc...). All of these "systems" were thought up by mortal men. All of these men had disturbing final words and horrible fruit of their labors and teachings. Jesus is inviting us to search Him out AND He gave us the most powerful flashlight and road map ever- The Bible. To those who have been redeemed, He sends the Holy Spirit to continue the life long pursuit of seeking out eternal truths in through Prayer and the Full Counsel of God. These are the only riches which are worth nailing down first, before all else. Seek and look for Him, He and all Heaven are within reach!

KNOCK:
The portals of Heaven still remain open to all who ask, seek and then knock. The original meaning of the word "knock" is to literally "beat the door down with a stick"....or perseverance, persistence and never giving up in your pursuit of this amazing God. How do we knock on Heaven's door? We do so by daily, consistent pressing into the very Throne of Heaven, where we camp and not leave until God provides the guidance, direction and answers we are seeking and asking. 

All there active processes imply and ongoing and well, active response on our part. They proceed out of a heart set on God. In all the great chases and pursuits we can have in this life, at any age, this is the only one built to last.
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