What are you searching for and where are you searching for it? Are you chasing the wrong thing down the wrong path? What will satisfy your soul?
30 So they were seeking to seize Him; and no man laid his hand on Him, because His hour had not yet come. 31 But many of the crowd believed in Him; and they were saying, “Whenthe Christ comes, He will not perform more signs than those which this man has, will He?” 32 The Pharisees heard the crowd muttering these things about Him, and the chief priests and the Pharisees sent officers to seize Him. 33 Therefore Jesus said, “For a little while longer I am with you, then I go to Him who sent Me. 34 You will seek Me, and will not find Me; and where I am, you cannot come.” 35 The Jews then said to one another, “Where does this man intend to go that we will not find Him? He is not intending to go to the Dispersion among the Greeks, and teach the Greeks, is He? 36 What is this statement that He said, ‘You will seek Me, and will not find Me; and where I am, you cannot come’?”
For those of you wondering, “THE DISPERSION”, was the general title applied to those Jews who remained settled in foreign countries after the return from the Babylonian exile, and during the period of the second temple (http://www.bible-history.com). Now that we got that out of the way, let’s look at the question posed by the Jews, What is this statement that He said, ‘You will seek Me, and will not find Me; and where I am, you cannot come’?
I’m currently reading a book called Soul Cravings. A good friend of mine suggested it to me after I mentioned to him what I refer to as the “God shaped hole” in our innermost being. I have found that it seems we all have a “piece missing” from inside of us and the only way that it can be filled, successfully and purposefully, is by seeking out God. I believe that we all have this emptiness inside of us and we do everything that we can think of and that others can tell us to fill it, but nothing seems to work: sex, food, alcohol, unhealthy relationships, TV and movies, video games, anger, church (dare I say it), pets, Facebook, shopping, drugs, stealing, murder, lying, cheating, the list goes on… Sometimes we find something that makes life bearable, at least for a little while and then we either get stuck in that addiction or we find a way out and into something else. I think we can all agree that the first high is always the best and after that, we are always chasing that original euphoria. Jesus, my friends, is the only high that gets better and better. THIS is what Jesus means when He says we will look for Him but will not find Him. We are looking in all the wrong places.
Some of the reason we look in the wrong places is because we don’t really know what we are looking for. I mean, if we did, it would be a little easier to find, wouldn’t it? If you knew you were looking for a TV remote, you would have an idea not only of what to find, but where to look, wouldn’t you? Have you ever walked up on someone on all fours searching the floor for something? You naturally ask them what they are looking for so you can help. Otherwise, it would be kinda pointless to try to help them look for something you don’t know what you are looking for, right?
If we didn’t know what we are looking for, we might find it and then ignore it, thinking it isn’t the object of our search. Herein lies the problem in our search for a relationship with God. I read in the book Radical a very important thought: we talk about “finding God” as if He is lost. In fact, it is us who are lost and He has presented Himself so we can be found, yet we pass Him right by and continue looking elsewhere because we have no idea that our desire will only be satiated by the relationship He offers us. This reminds me of a funny story someone told me long ago. Forgive me if you have heard this and I screw it up, but it goes like this:
A man fell overboard a ship in the middle of the sea. He began praying for God to save him. A couple days later, a cruise liner comes by and spots the man. They yell to him on a bullhorn and throw a life preserver to him so they can pull him aboard. “Thanks,” the man says, “but my God will save me, I don’t need your help.” Three times this happens and eventually the man drowns. He gets to “the pearly gates” and the man asks “why didn’t you save me?” God replies, “I sent you three boats but you wouldn’t climb aboard!”
As we have been talking about this week, we become stubborn in our ways and ignore the obvious signs God sends us. We cry out for answers, curse the skies, reject “church”, and ignore the man on the corner waving a bible, then we blame God for not helping us when we ask or just ignore His existence altogether and wonder why we “have it so bad”. We are either looking in the wrong places or looking for the wrong thing.
What is the object of your search and where are you looking?