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 with all our hearts?
A little context
This passage comes two verses after a really popular verse that most of us knows by heart, but in case you didn’t know:
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
– Jeremiah 29:11
Most use this verse as a reminder that God knows all the plans that He has lined up for us and that whatever we are currently facing, God has something bigger and better for our future. While that’s not wrong, it’s also used very much out of context.
In this chapter, the prophet Jeremiah was prophesying over the Jews as they were in exile and would have to settle down in Babylon (verse 4-5). He warned the people that they were about to face many things, but that God already had a plan and they would soon be given restoration by God as their captivity would come to an end (vs. 7).
So, let’s just say that because you want an Audi doesn’t mean that God’s going to replace your little Suzuki with an Audi (but hey, one can dream).
What God was saying through the prophet Jeremiah was that the Jews would continue to seek God even in this time of captivity with all their heart, having the desire of God and trusting what God had for them.
Verse 14 says this: I will be found by you, declares the Lord, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, declares the Lord, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile.
God was making it clear that He would eventually end their captivity and bring His people out of exile, because God knew the plans that He had for them.
Vacation Bible School (VBS)
During this year’s VBS, I had the blessing of being a leader/teacher of a group of children and the biggest blessing was being equipped with wonderful sisters and a brother in Christ who helped me so much during the busy week and I thank God for each of them.
The theme was all about “unearthing the truth about Jesus” and each day we would go through historical facts about the Bible (from the Dead Sea scrolls to the pool in Siloam to the house of Caiaphas and so forth). It was fascinating to learn so many new things and learning about the evidence of God and His Word that were discovered throughout the years. It made me sit and think about how we as Christians don’t really sit and consider the evidence that we have at our availability. I didn’t know about almost any of the evidences we went through each day with the children and I felt a little embarrassed for not knowing about it sooner, but it’s a beautiful thing to learn more about God each day.
I also was in a time of my life where I wasn’t being as consistent with my devotion time to God and the VBS season was a sobering experience for me and a hard reminder of needing to seek God daily.
How we should apply this verse today
Truly, our desire is to not do God’s will, because we want to live life our way. That’s why each day brings its own worries (Matthew 6:34) and we have to daily CHOOSE to deny ourselves, pick up our cross and follow Jesus (Luke 9:23).
So truly, we are not to be led by what we feel we should be doing with our devotion time with God, but rather that we choose God daily and deny our own flesh (desires) by submitting to Him in obedience to what His Word says. If we are indeed in Christ, we have the Holy Spirit dwelling in us Who is also the One to give us the strength and wisdom to open up our Bibles and spend time in prayer and devotion to God. It is not an easy task, but we must start somewhere and that starts with Seeking God!
Matthew 6:33 says this: But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
When we seek God and His will for us, we will find Him and lovingly submit to Him and God will take care of our every need, because He knows exactly what those needs are (Philippians 4:19).
The invitation is open and it is this – that Jesus Christ came and lived a sinless life so that you and I may have the gift of grace and salvation through faith in Him with the sacrifice He endured on the Calvary cross. Nobody is asking you to become perfect, God is just inviting you, in all your imperfections, to humbly come to His Son Jesus Christ and put your trust in Him and only HE can truly make the difference in your life and when you seek to do His will, you will leave behind your old ways and turn away from your sins to live and serve Christ wholeheartedly.
Will it be easy? No. Is it worth it? Yes.
So, my encouragement to you is to Seek God and I pray you will Find Him with ALL your heart. There is so much to learn about God’s grace and mercy and the forgiveness He gives us, but also, the opportunity to share what Christ has done for us all and that the good work He started in us, He will also finish (Philippians 1:6).
The race is a long one, but with Christ we are a new creation and He will be with us until the end of times, never leaving us nor forsaking us. And that is more than enough for me.