WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FOR? Andy Hollifield 9-7-17
Matthew 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
Matthew 7:7 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:
I want to mention just a few words before I get into my thought and hopefully it will bless and encourage you and make you think. Seek–244, seeking–14, sought–126, look–155, looking–30, looked–143. Those are the different tenses for the words look and seek and how many times they are used in scripture. In keeping with the title, I want to “look”, no pun intended, at a few of the times the word “looked” was used in scripture. The first time the word is used is in Genesis 6:12 when “God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt…” Shortly after this use, you find that God closed the door never to be opened again to anyone except Noah and his family. You may be thinking this don’t amount to much but then you can look at Revelation 15:5. There you will find that the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened. To me, it is interesting that both of these were in the pretense of coming destruction. The first one in Genesis being the destruction of man on the earth because of refusing God, and the second one on the antichrist and his followers.
But now, I want to get on to the good stuff. Hebrews 11, in the faith hall of fame as we like to call it, talks about the fact that Abraham “looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.” It took a lot of faith to leave his homeland and everything he knew to go to a place that God said he would tell him when he got there. The city he was looking for was that heavenly city. There was another time in Abraham’s life that he found something even when he wasn’t looking. In Genesis 22:13 it says “And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him for a burnt offering in the stead of his son.” I like that last part, “in the stead of his son.” I am glad that God provided himself a lamb to die instead of me.
I want to go back to Noah for a minute. I mentioned why he was on the ark but I didn’t talk about what Noah was looking for. You may be thinking that everything was destroyed and there was nothing he would have been looking for. Actually there was a couple of things. First, he was looking for an end to the rain. Secondly, he was looking for a place to land the ark. After all of that time on the water, he was no doubt longing for a little patch of dry ground.
On over in Exodus is one of my favorite encouraging scriptures. Exodus 33:21 “And the Lord said, behold, there is a place by me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock.” Moses wasn’t at that moment, looking for somewhere but something. He just wanted to see the Lord’s glory and God put Moses in the cleft of the rock, standing beside of him, and covered him with his hand as he passed by and then removed his hand and let Moses see his hinder parts. He had years before murdered an Egyptian because of his treatment of a Jewish slave. He then went on the run looking for a hiding place and stayed there for 40 years on the backside of the desert just tending sheep.
In 1 Kings 19:2, Jezebel sent word to Elijah that after him slaying her prophets, he would be dead by the next day. He began hunting a hiding place. There are several instances where God’s people were looking for something and most of the time found more than what they needed or had planned on finding.
Hebrews 2, Paul talks about “Looking unto JESUS the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” On over in this chapter in verse 15, Paul talks about looking DILIGENTLY. So we are supposed to look diligently and look to Jesus. In 1st Peter it says we are to look for his COMING. Jude 1:21 tells us that we should be looking for MERCY.
Now we are down to the meat of the matter. Just what is it that you are looking for in a god? There isn’t any other god that can do what ours can do. No other god is capable of being a sacrifice for our sins. We don’t have anything to be looking for but the same thing Abraham was looking for; that city whose builder and maker is God. I will ask again; just what are you looking for? No other god can even begin to compare to our God! Sometimes we may get discouraged and entertain the thoughts of giving it up. Numbers 21:4 says that even the children of Israel “was much discouraged because of the way.” We aren’t the first ones to struggle. We aren’t even the first ones to want to quit. When Jesus asked Peter and the others, “will ye also go away”, Peter responded with the obvious answer which was a question: “Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life” (John 6:68). There is no longer anything for us that satisfies outside of the perfect will of God. Whatever you are looking for, you can find it in Christ Jesus. Hebrews 11:6 says, “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that DILIGENTLY seek him.” Whatever it is: you are at the right place when you come to Christ. You will find all you ever need in him. Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!