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In Acts chapter 9 we hear this phrase, seeking God. Have you ever wondered what it means?
Seeking God is about searching for God. Why? Because the Bible tells us in Hebrews 11:6 that without faith, it is impossible to please God. For he who comes to God must believe that He exists and that He’s a rewarder of those who earnestly seek Him.
In other words, when you seek God in prayer and fasting and worship, God tells you that He will reward you. A reward may be healing in your body. A reward may be a financial breakthrough. A reward may be the transformation of your circumstance.
Acts chapter 9 refers to Paul as Saul. Saul and Paul are one in the same person. Saul is his Hebrew name, Paul is his Greek name. Before becoming the great apostle, Paul was an angry, belligerent, devout Jewish man en route to try to incarcerate and have Christians thrown into prison, then judged and put to a death sentence.
He was on his way to Damascus to get ahold of Christians, to put them in prison and bring them back to Jerusalem, so they can then be tried and eventually put to death. But something happened along the way.
Acts 9:3-12 says, “As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, ‘Saul, why do you persecute me?’ ‘Who are you, Lord?’ Saul asked. ‘I am Jesus, whom you’re persecuting.’ he replied. ‘Now get up and go into the city, and you’ll be told what you must do.’ The men traveling with Saul stood there speechless; they heard the sound, but did not see anyone. Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing. So they led him by the hand into Damascus. For three days he was blind, and did not eat or drink anything. In Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias. The Lord called to him in a vision, ‘Ananias!’ ‘Yes, Lord.’ he answered. The Lord, told him, ‘Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying. In a vision he had seen a man named Ananias come and place his hands on him to restore his sight.’ ”
Encountering Jesus Creates Radical Transformation
Saul had no desire to serve Christ. In fact, he was just the opposite, he wanted to throw people in prison who served Christ. He thought serving Christ was wrong—theologically wrong, sociologically wrong; he thought serving Christ was wrong on every level.
And yet he had this encounter with God on his way to Damascus. When Jesus knocks him down, Paul has this vision and he hears Jesus tell him you’re persecuting Me. Paul is blinded by the intensity of that vision of Jesus and is led by the hand into Damascus to the home of a man named Judas. And for the next three days, Paul seeks God.
How Do You Seek God?
Seeking God is a choice.
Paul had every reason to be there in Judas’ house complaining about being blind. He could have sat there questioning how a loving God could do this to him.
But instead, Paul intentionally chose to seek God.
Seeking God is your choice. What are you going to do about the needs that you have?
Paul’s biggest need was not to regain his sight. His biggest need was to hear God’s heart for his life.
When you choose to seek God, you close off people, close off work activities, close off circumstances, close off distractions. You close everything out of your world for a moment or maybe hours or days to focus on seeking God.
As Paul was seeking God, the first thing that God lifted from his heart was shame and guilt. Paul had been a persecutor. He had been a blasphemer. He was a violent man. He was someone that was throwing people in prison, men and women. But as Paul cried out for those three days, God forgave him.
During that three-day period as Paul is praying and seeking God, God received a young man that was in total submission to His will.
Paul learned that the beauty of serving God is wrapped up in one word—obedience.
Seeking God Is Hard Work
The seeking God kind of praying.
The fervent kind of praying.
The passionate kind of praying.
The persuasive kind of praying.
The kind of praying that says, I have got to get ahold of God and won’t stop until God provides a breakthrough—that kind of praying is HARD WORK.
Years later, after his conversion, Paul wrote in Colossians 4:12, “Epaphras, who is one of you,
says hello. He’s a slave of Christ Jesus who always wrestles for you in prayers so that you will stand firm and be fully mature and complete in the entire will of God. I can vouch for him that he has worked hard for you and for those in Laodicea and Hierapolis.”
This word wrestle is brought in from the Greco Roman world. It’s the kind of wrestling where it’s hand to hand, it’s tussling, pushing, and shoving. It’s almost like a judo type of wrestling where you’re trying to pin your opponent.
That’s how Paul is describing the kind of prayers that are being prayed by Epaphras.
It’s easier to Netflix and chill, but you have to be willing to take that binge time and turn it into prayer time and wrestle. Why? Because we are wrestling for the purpose of God.
It doesn’t take you reading one little verse of Scripture and praying one nice song while you’re sipping your coffee, driving to work. That’s not prayer. That’s not seeking God.
Seeking God is hard work.
Prayerlessness is sin and lazy people don’t press in.
Lazy people don’t get anointed.
Lazy people are not a threat to the enemy.
Lazy people don’t see breakthroughs.
Lazy people stay spiritual babies for the entirety of their spiritual walk.
It doesn’t matter if you’ve been walking with Jesus for 30 years. If you have no life of prayer, you are spiritually lazy. We have to be men and women that give ourselves to prayer.
Seeking God Makes a Difference
Jeremiah 29:12-13 says, “When you call out to me and come to me in prayer, I will hear your prayers. When you seek me in prayer and worship, you will find me available to you. If you seek me with all your heart and soul.”
That’s what Paul was doing, he was seeking God with all of his heart. He told Judas I can’t talk with the family. I can’t engage myself in the normal niceties of social conversation. He blocked out everyone. Not because he was rude, but because he was hungry for God.
God Will Do for You
God is not a respecter of persons. What he did for Paul, He can do for you.
But Paul didn’t sit around moaning about his circumstance of being blind. He made the choice of seeking God. He put in the work of seeking God and he saw the difference that seeking God makes.
Do the work—seek God!