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“Seek the Lord while He may He may be found, Call upon Him while He is near”. Isaiah 55:6
“But seek you first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” Matthew 6:33
These days, there a lot of things men seek for. Men seek for basic necessities of life such as food and clothing. There is an innate desire in men to be comfortable in life and this has driven them in search for means to obtain this status. Quite unfortunately, the desire for wealth has driven some men to wanton destruction because of greed and lack of contentment. This search by man is not necessarily wrong, however, for us who are Christians there is an instruction by God which if we are wise we should take note of. The verses above depict the instruction clearly and this serves as a guiding principle in life.
It is expected that as Christians we should know that our Father is not only aware of our very need, but has made a provision for us. That provision is Jesus Christ who is the source of life and every good thing. Ephesians 1:3 says that we have been blessed with every spiritual blessing which includes every earthly necessity, in Christ Jesus. This has been done this way because it is the desire of our Father that we depend on Him alone. However, to obtain all the wonderful blessings and treasures which we desire in life, we would need to FIRST seek Him and then, all those things become ours automatically. In actual fact, we must understand that anyone who doesn’t seek after Him is in essence forsaking Him and also denying his own self of every good and perfect gift that is obtainable in Christ. So for us as Christians it is imperative that we seek Him. Thus, in this study we shall critically examine the life of a man called Zacchaeus who sought Jesus and found Him. We are hoping to be able to learn what seeking Him entails and how it can be done.
You need Him and so you must seek after Him. Your soul must thirst after Him just as the deer pants after the waters.
Zacchaeus: The man who sought the Lord. Luke 19:1-10
The need to seek Him.
The scriptures describe Zacchaeus as a very rich man who was in fact the chief amongst the tax collectors. In other words, judging by the standard of the world, Zacchaeus was an established man. He was wealthy and seemed not to lack anything. He was well known by all and sundry and was a god-father as far as the politics of the town was concerned. This was a man who could afford to give out huge sums of money without blinking an eye. Several people envied him and many desired to attain the social status of such a man. However, despite all the earthly possessions at his disposal, Zacchaeus was restless, he had no peace. Yes, all his dreams had been accomplished yet there was a void that money and fame couldn’t fill. In truth, he was a very poor man! His soul was lost even though he had gained a lot. But, Zacchaeus sought to correct this anomaly. The truth is that though several men have not yet acknowledged the fact, only in Jesus can one find REAL peace and contentment. It is only Him that can bless a man without adding sorrows. Remember Paul an acclaimed scholar with reputation, he was a thorough professional, an accomplished and distinguished lawyer. Yet later on, he sought to know God and was ready to lose all these things so that he could gain Christ. What about you? You think you don’t need Him. After all is said and done, after all your pursuits in life, have you found peace? You need Him and so you must seek after Him. Your soul must thirst after Him just as the deer pants after the waters.
He sought to see Jesus
We can see from the scriptures even though Zacchaeus had it all, yet he desired to see Jesus. There was a thirst in his heart to have a revelation of Jesus. He knew that only a revelation of Jesus could fill the void in his heart. He was desperate, he wouldn’t stop. The scriptures in Isaiah 55:6 admonish us to seek Him while He may be found, and this is exactly what Zacchaeus did. At this time Jesus was passing through Jericho, so we see that Jesus was around, He could be found by those who sought for Him. I perceive that Zacchaeus knew that this was his only chance, he must not allow Jesus pass Him by. I can hear him singing
“Pass me not o gentle saviour, hear my humble cry
When on others thou art calling,
Do not pass me by”.
This was the cry of a man who was thirsty for a fresh revelation of Jesus, hungry for a divine encounter. This was the cry of a man who though he had heard of the man called Jesus and all His wonderful works wanted a personal testimony! He was not satisfied with the testimonies of others. Yet this man had not even given his life to Christ yet. How unfortunate that several of us Christians have become all too familiar with God, the desire we had when we first gave our lives to Him is far gone. Oh! Those days of tears of joy as we worshipped Him and studied diligently our Bibles seem to be of distant memory. Now we have entered the mode of religion, ritualistic ‘spiritual’ activities! But God is looking for a man who would seek him as a young man wooing his lover. Such a young man would not allow a day to pass by without speaking to the ‘love of his life’. Yes, he wouldn’t mind using ‘extra cool’ (free night-call bonus) so that he could have more time to talk to his lover. He would constantly speak words of endearment, and buy wonderful gifts. So also, we must seek Him who is our Saviour yet again with all our heart and mind and at all times. We must overcome all hindrances and seek our Lord yet again.
How unfortunate that several of us Christians have become all too familiar with God, the desire we had when we first gave our lives to Him is far gone.
What are the hindrances in seeking Jesus?
“And he sought to see who Jesus was, but could NOT because of the crowd, for he was of short stature” Luke 19:3
In this verse, we see two difficulties that Zacchaeus encountered in his quest to see Jesus:
1) The crowd.
Any man who would find Jesus whom he is seeking after would of necessity have to deal with the ‘crowd’. What does the crowd signify? Several Christians have lost focus, zeal for God because of influence from friends. Have you not heard friends chide you for fasting, or going for bible study, saying that you are overdoing things? What about that your best friend who doesn’t encourage you to know God the more, rather he or she serves as a distraction. The truth is that just as it is easy for a man to get lost in a crowd, so also the zeal for God is always lost when a man is in the crowd. Yes, it is easy for the love of God to wax cold in the life of a man who associates with the wrong people. Let us also not forget that one of the things always associated anywhere there is a crowd, is noise! Several people have lost clear sight of Jesus neither can they hear him anymore because of the ‘noise’ of endless religious activities that are not life-giving. Pastors, men of God and leaders cannot see Jesus anymore because they have allowed the crowd which they call their followers or congregation to hinder them. They have forgotten that a priest of God who would continually bear the ark of God (His presence) on his shoulders must of necessity be some distance ahead of others. Such a priest must not allow the crowd to push him into disobeying God as was the case of Aaron and King Saul. Build us gods who shall go before us they cried, and so Aaron pushed by this crowd made a golden calf as a substitute for God! Now in our time, we see the congregation convincing their leaders to ‘step up’, to package their churches and themselves so that they can be more accepted. Alas, this has resulted in the presence of God being substituted for more sophisticated worship centres, gadgets, assets, and etcetera! Not until we run ahead of the crowd just as Zacchaeus did, would we be able to find Jesus. Note that the rich man forgot all about his status, he cared less about what men thought, and he ran, he surged forward, he pressed ahead so that he may find Jesus. Friends, let us not be distracted, let us put aside every hindrance from friends and even family and let us again thirst and seek Him.
2) He was short.
One other thing that made it difficult for Zacchaeus in his search for Jesus was his height disadvantage, it was a limitation. Quite unfortunately, several people have not been able to see Jesus clearly because of disadvantages and limitations such as their background, fears, doubts, and etcetera. A lot of people have given up in their pursuit of God because of past experiences that have served as limitations to them. We must however be determined to overcome every disadvantage, challenges and limitations just like Zacchaeus who did not give up, and we shall then find Him. Do not allow your past to be a disadvantage no matter how it was. Rather, put the past behind and press on into the future with your life in the hands of your maker.
I must also at this point add that God has in His infinite mercies provided ‘platforms’ to help us overcome every limitation in our search for Him. For Zacchaeus, his platform was the sycamore tree which he climbed. For us, we have a great platform called GRACE which we can ride on. Several other platforms exist but we must be sensitive and bold enough to identify such platforms, and make the best use of them if we would find Him who we are looking for. We have godly men who we can ask to help show the way to Jesus, we have spirit-inspired messages and programs we could make use of as platforms to help us. However, I must quickly point out that all these are means to an end, not the end in itself, so we must not lose sight of Him who we seek.
We also see that Jesus seeing Zacchaeus and knowing him, called out to him to come down! Is it not clear to us that even as we seek Jesus, He also sees us and is ever ready and willing to make himself available to be found. In fact, even while we are still afar off seeking Him just as the prodigal son, our father sees us and is ever willing to welcome us. He says that He stands at the door of our hearts knocking and if we hearken and open, He will come in and dine with us. Are you getting weary in your search for Him? Have you tried all means and you are beginning to think it is not possible? I want you to know that the Lord Jesus sees your heart, he sees and know the desire you have to see Him, to understand His word the more and He is ever willing to be found! Come all ye who thirst, for you shall be satisfied.
I conclude by saying that the key to blessings, prosperity in life for every believer is in seeking Jesus first. For in doing that we shall not only find Him, but we shall also be satisfied with good pleasures. Seek the Lord, and you shall be richly rewarded. Shalom!
The Post at A Glance!
Summary Are you getting weary in your search for Him? Have you tried all means and you are beginning to think it is not possible? I want you to know that the Lord Jesus sees your heart, he sees and know the desire you have to see Him, to understand His word the more and He is ever willing to be found! Come all ye who thirst, for you shall be satisfied.
Prayer, Spiritual Thirst and Hunger for God