by Steven Chan
21 September 2008
One reason for the lack of interest in spiritual matters lies in the erroneous belief that Christianity is primarily about the after-life and has nothing to offer for the present life in the world. This is certainly misconceived. The apostle Paul declared in Gal 2:20-21: “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” He referred to “the life which he now lives in the flesh”, i.e. his life here in earth. He lived by faith in the Son of God.
In Rom 8:32, the Bible clearly states that “He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?” Hence, we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us in times of “tribulation, distress, persecution, famine, nakedness, peril, or sword” (Rom 8:35-37).
We need to realize that we need to ensure that God is with us in all that we do in our lives whether we are students in schools or universities, or employees working in an increasingly challenging time, or home-makers providing for the needs of the family. In all these undertakings, we need to rely on God and live closely with Him. It is wrong to only think of God when in church and to ignore Him when we are in our secular vocations or in school or at home.
Under all circumstances, we are to live by faith in the Son of God (Gal 2:20). During difficult times as well as happy times, we are to live close to Him and expressing our reliance and appreciation for Him. This is well expressed in James 5:13-16: “Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms. Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.”
In 2 Chron 16:12, we read of the account of King Asa who failed to seek God in his time of difficulties: “And in the thirty-ninth year of his reign, Asa became diseased in his feet, and his malady was severe; yet in his disease he did not seek the LORD, but the physicians.” The exclusive reliance on physical solutions even when trying to solve physical problems or challenges, demonstrates a lack of faith/trust in God because God’s help should be sought at all times as a reflection of our faith in Him – for the just shall live by faith (Rom 1:17).
Listen to the Word of the Lord as recorded in Jer 17:5-13: “Thus says the LORD:
“Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart departs from the LORD. For he shall be like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see when good comes, but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land which is not inhabited. “Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, and whose hope is the LORD. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out its roots by the river, and will not fear when heat comes; but its leaf will be green, and will not be anxious in the year of drought, nor will cease from yielding fruit. “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it? I, the LORD, search the heart; I test the mind, even to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings. “As a partridge that broods but does not hatch, so is he who gets riches, but not by right; it will leave him in the midst of his days, and at his end he will be a fool.” A glorious high throne from the beginning is the place of our sanctuary. O LORD, the hope of Israel, all who forsake You shall be ashamed. “Those who depart from Me Shall be written in the earth, because they have forsaken the LORD, the fountain of living waters.”
God provides solutions to all the problems that we face in this world. We need to seek Him first in all that we do (Matt. 6:33) as a matter of priority in all things whether it pertains to our studies, our work, our relationships and in all our undertakings.
According to Ps 10:4, “the wicked in his proud countenance does not seek God; God is in none of his thoughts.” Do we behave like the wicked in that “God is in none of our thoughts” – except perhaps during the times when we come for Bible Class or Worship services? Or will we be humble and seek God’s wisdom and blessings at all times and in all that we do? In Ps 34:10, the Bible declares: “The young lions lack and suffer hunger; but those who seek the LORD shall not lack any good thing.”
It is noteworthy that we need to seek God early and not as a last resort – Ps 63:1: “O God, You are my God; early will I seek You”. “Early” means at the earliest opportunity as well as perhaps referring to the need to seek God at the early morning hour as was the practice of our Lord as recorded in Mark 1:35: “Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed.” The psalmist declares that he will seek the Lord early because “You are my God”. Is the Lord your God? If so, then we are to seek Him early in all that we do. Do we seek God in prayer concerning our choice of businesses, careers, courses of studies, life partners, and in all things?
Indeed God is rewarder of them that seek Him: “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”(Heb 11:6). We will not go away empty-handed when we seek the Lord because He has promised that He is a rewarder of them that seek Him. The Lord has assured us that “the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out” (John 6:37)
We must be a people who seek God earnestly and diligently by seeking His guidance in all that we do (whether as students, employees, homemakers or retirees) through the study of His Word as well as through our daily unceasing prayers (1 Thess 5:17: “pray without ceasing”). The solution to our earthly problems can be found in our seeking God early and diligently. The answer is ultimately a spiritual one – remember King Asa. Let’s learn to seek God early in all things.