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Am I looking for God or is he looking for me?
Thank you for this most interesting question! This is a topic that Christians have debated about for many hundreds of years! There are countless books written about this subject. I have tried to condense into two typed A4 pages what we believe. I have chosen to take some Bible verses from the Book of Romans. In Chapter 3 it almost directly answers your question:
As it is written: "None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one." (Romans 3:10-12)
Here Paul is saying that no one chooses to seek after God. That people are doing their own thing, following their own ways and not doing good or ‘Looking for God’. It may seem quite amusing then that we have called our website LookingForGod.com.
However there is an interesting development through the rest of the book of Romans which will hopefully explain why we have called it this.
We believe that God begins a good work in people that causes them to seek after him and want to live for Him. God gives people the gift of faith that opens their eyes to see Him.
The problem that separates us from God is called sin. Romans Chapter 3 develops this:
For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin...For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God's righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. (Romans 3:20-26)
This passage is stating that sin affects every human, but that God has made a way for us to know him by having sin removed from the equation.
Jesus was the ‘propitiation’ for our sin. This means he paid the price for our wrongdoing so we can be legally right before God. Jesus paid the price for all of the people who would believe in his death and resurrection. If you believe Jesus died for you, then you can also be forgiven.
This verse in Romans 6 sums it up well:
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23)
So no one starts off life looking for God, due to sin, but God gives people the gift of faith to believe Jesus died for them and then they are able to look for God. So the fact that you are on this website asking these questions is encouraging that God may be at work in your life directing you to have faith in Jesus. Romans goes on to say:
But what does it say? "The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart" (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, "Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame." For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. For "everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? (Romans 10:8-14)
So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ. (Romans 10:17)
This is why we Christians want to tell people the 'Good News', the Gospel, the life giving, saving work of Jesus' death and resurrection for new life and the forgiveness of sins.
Jesus does tell a parable (picture story) of how some people hear the Good News about him and find new life, but how others fall away. This can be found here:
"Listen! A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured it. Other seed fell on rocky ground, where it did not have much soil, and immediately it sprang up, since it had no depth of soil. And when the sun rose, it was scorched, and since it had no root, it withered away. Other seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no grain. And other seeds fell into good soil and produced grain, growing up and increasing and yielding thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold." And he said, "He who has ears to hear, let him hear." And when he was alone, those around him with the twelve asked him about the parables. And he said to them, "To you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God, but for those outside everything is in parables, so that they may indeed see but not perceive, and may indeed hear but not understand, lest they should turn and be forgiven." And he said to them, "Do you not understand this parable? How then will you understand all the parables? The sower sows the word. And these are the ones along the path, where the word is sown: when they hear, Satan immediately comes and takes away the word that is sown in them. And these are the ones sown on rocky ground: the ones who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with joy. And they have no root in themselves, but endure for a while; then, when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately they fall away. And others are the ones sown among thorns. They are those who hear the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. But those that were sown on the good soil are the ones who hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold." (Mark 4:3-20)
I hope that this short trip through the first 10 Chapters of Romans (and a bit of Mark) helps to answer your question. The last chapters of Romans (and almost the rest of the Bible) then encourage us to live a life for God, a life in the fullest! I hope and pray that you can find new life in God and forgiveness of sins through Christ.
Here are some more Bible Verses for your further consideration:
- Romans 3:10-12
- Romans 5: 20-26
- Romans 6:23
- Romans 10:8-17
- Mark 4:3-20
I hope this answer helps you to find peace with God through Jesus Christ. If you want to know more about what Jesus has done for you please watch the video on the main part of our site: Watch the video
I encourage you to attend a local Bible believing church and speak to the leader about your question. If you want to find a local church, our Church Finder may help you: Find a Church
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*All Scripture references are taken From The English Standard Version of the Holy Bible unless stated otherwise
*If anything in this answer affects you directly, then please feel free to call our confidential prayer line in the UK on 0845 4567729, where trained Christian volunteers will take your call and pray both for you and with you. If you are outside of the UK then you may submit your request for prayer on line at www.ucb.co.uk/prayerline
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