Season 3 - Week 2
“Look for Jesus in Everything”
We live in a time where instant gratification is the order of the day. Like the Amazon prime advert, we expect things as soon as possible - instantaneous or next day delivery at the latest. Tenacity and perseverance are skills we need to cultivate, not just in ourselves but also in the young people we minister to.
At times, we've all struggled with the problem of being unable to see God in our situation. Disappointment and bitterness can stop us from living in the reality of the power of God. Power that can change us and our situations when we seek Him.
How then should we approach God?
Jesus begins by teaching his followers how to pray. He then shares a humorous story about a friend desperate to find help in his hour of need:
Imagine it’s nearing midnight. There's an unexpected knock at the door. Your friend is hungry - they haven’t eaten all day. Unfortunately for them, you’ve just got back from holiday and there's not a scrap of food in your house. The shops are closed so your only option is to ask your neighbour. You knock on the door. Not little uncertain taps on the door, but confident, authoritative knocking. Eventually your neighbour realises the only way to get some sleep is to give you what you want – some food.
Jesus says that is how we are to approach our loving Father in prayer; boldly, confidently knowing that He loves us. He tells us in Revelation 3:20 that he stands at the door of our hearts and knocks. Seeking Him is a choice we make, knowing He is waiting to be found.
We need to ask God to give us a revelation of our own need and for the needs of our young people. A revelation of our utter dependence on God to bring transformation – not just for ourselves but also for the lives of those we come into contact with.
There is no better way to see transformation than through being in the presence of God, be that alone, with others or as we go about our daily lives. What does it look like to seek God as we walk down the street, or have a conversation with a colleague? We know we are at our most powerful when we are a people who tenaciously search after the living God. He is who transforms lives.
As a young Asian person in the church I struggled with self-hatred. I grew up in a nominal Christian family with strong Hindu roots and influences. I knew where I belonged in the Sri Lankan community. When my family and I became Christians I found it hard to find my place in church culture so different from the one I grew up in.
Despite the battle to love who I was; the colour of my skin, my curly black hair and my diminutive size; I knew God and I wanted more of Him.
Seeking Him transformed me. He revealed to me not only His own beauty but also the beauty in me, showing how my uniqueness contributes to the Kingdom of God.
The battle for lives will not be won by gifting or charisma. These are battles that will only be won through knowing God, and by demonstrating true tenacity in seeking Him. Let's seek Him, expecting Him to meet us where we are at and allowing Him to transform us in our brokenness.
Then Jesus said to them, “Suppose you have a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread; a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have no food to offer him.’ And suppose the one inside answers, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children and I are in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything.’ I tell you, even though he will not get up and give you the bread because of friendship, yet because of your shameless audacity he will surely get up and give you as much as you need.
“So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
“Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion?If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
When you seek God, how do you know you've found him?
For Linda, she knew God in her seeking because she saw a transformation in herself. Seeking God changed the way she felt about herself and how she perceived herself within the Kingdom of God.
...expecting Him to meet us where we are at and allowing Him to transform us in our brokenness."
This week, commit to seeking God in everything. In the places you expect to find him, and those you don't.
Lord my God, I believe in you, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Insofar as I can, insofar as you have given me the power, I have sought you. I became weary and I labored.
O Lord my God, my sole hope, help me to believe and never to cease seeking you. Grant that I may always and ardently seek out your countenance. Give me the strength to seek you, for you help me to find you and you have more and more given me the hope of finding you.
Here I am before you with my firmness and my infirmity. Preserve the first and heal the second.
Here I am before you with my strength and my ignorance. Where you have opened the door to me, welcome me at the entrance; where you have closed the door to me, open to my cry; enable me to remember you, to understand you, and to love you. Amen.