But we must be careful that in our seeking we are actually overcome by Him. We can’t catch up to Him. We can’t climb to Him. We can’t just casually walk in on Him. He is accessible because He makes Himself so. But sometimes we treat Him like ‘customer service.’ We expect Him to be there for us when we have a question or need, but we don’t necessarily expect to be owned by Him.
We like to talk about God being our Father, Christ being our Brother, and the Holy Spirit being our constant Guide and Helper. There is nothing wrong with these concepts as they are all Biblical. But I think we rarely view ourselves as servants or slaves of God. Yet this was a regular picture of the relationship seen among the early Christians. They didn’t believe that they just happened upon God one day and claimed Him as their own. They believed that they had been bought with a price, and were now owned by their loving Creator.
The apostle Paul referred to himself as a bond-servant of Christ, and even had this to say at one point…
“My goal is to know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, assuming that I will somehow reach the resurrection from among the dead. Not that I have already reached the goal or am already fully mature, but I make every effort to take hold of it because I also have been taken hold of by Christ Jesus. Brothers, I do not consider myself to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and reaching forward to what is ahead, I pursue as my goal the prize promised by God’s heavenly call in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:10-14)
Right there in the middle we find an interesting phrase. “I make every effort to take hold of it because I also have been taken hold of by Christ Jesus.” Paul is seeking and working toward the goal of eternal life. He isn’t there yet. He still has some of his race to run, some battles to fight. But he presses on toward the goal. He wants to lay hold of that because that is for what he has been laid hold of by Christ. I want to focus on that this morning.
Many people will go to church today to get something. But perhaps we should go to church so we can be caught. We should be caught up in His presence. We should be caught up in His mercy, love, and holiness. We want to get Him, but we should want Him to get us. I’m not trying to catch God. I want God to catch me. We try to hold Him in our hands. But we should be held in His hands. We want to have Him, but He wants to have us, and that should be the greatest truth. In a real sense, I can only get so much of God. But He can have all of me. That is where our hope is found. That is where redemption happens.
Certainly like a marriage, as He has more of us we end up with more of Him. But our primary goal should be to empty ourselves of our own control of our lives. Trusting God is the foundation. Being His is wonderful. I want to hold eternal life because Life has grabbed ahold of me. Life snatched me from death. Life’s grip is strong. Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one gets to the Father without going through Jesus.
As you worship today, I’m sure that there are things you need from God. Seek Him, and those things will follow. But it will be easier to find Him if He already owns you. So above all, seek for God to have you before you seek to find God. That will shorten and sweeten the process. For when He has you, He imparts to you His will. Then when you pray according to His will, you will receive that for which you are asking.
[Bible quotes are from the Holman Christian Standard Bible, unless otherwise noted.]
Find more of David’s work at Heart Of Ministry.