Jentezen Franklin - Seek
Psalms 63, "O God, You are my God; early will I seek You: my soul thirsts for You, my flesh longs for You in a dry and thirsty land where there is no water. So I have looked for You in the sanctuary, To see Your power and Your glory". "O God, You are my God; and early will I seek You". Do those words describe your relationship with God? Are you thirsty for Him? Listen to the words. Does your soul and flesh long for Him? Most importantly, are you seeking Him? This is what God laid on my heart, this word seek; and that's what I wanna talk about is the need to seek, the need to be aggressive and the pursuer of God. Are you seeking Him? Do you long for Him? Are you after Him? Are you seeking Him?
Listen. If I'm going to live for God, if I'm going to be strong, if I'm gonna have a vital relationship with Jesus Christ, I must seek God daily and fervently. I must. I must seek God daily and fervently. When we are weak with God, temptation is strong. When we're strong with God, temptation is weak. The stronger I am with God, the more I'm seeking God, the weaker temptation is. The weaker I am, the less that I seek God, the stronger temptation becomes in my life.
I must earnestly, daily, fervently seek God. Often we someone in an awesome relationship with the Lord and we say, "Oh, they must have been born that way", and, "That's what I've always wanted" or, you know, "They found something". We act like they found something; like, they're different. They're something about... No, they're not. They're just earnestly seeking God. They're seeking God. They're seeking Him daily. They're seeking Him fervently. That's the difference between people who have the touch of God and the favor of God and the presence of God in their words, in their spirit, in their prayers, in their disposition, the way they life.
There's a difference in those people because they seek God. You don't stumble upon a great relationship with God. Listen to me, young people. You're not born with it. You have to seek it. You have to seek it through the scriptures, the reading daily of the scriptures. You have to seek it through giving God, and I don't even like using that word, "have to". I really want you to understand that there's a place in God where it is who you are to seek God. It's not a "have to"; it's "that's what I want to do".
I don't want a Sunday morning thing with God. I want to seek Him. And there are two reasons that someone has a relationship that's powerful with God. I believe everybody here who has come that's a believer sincerely desires, If you were asked, "Could you have a powerful relationship with God"? You would say, "Absolutely, yes". But I don't know if you understand what you have to: you have to seek Him. It requires something of you. And there are two things that people with a powerful relationship with God will always have that I've noticed through the years.
Number one, they will have people pouring into their life. If they have a powerful relationship with God, you can count on it they have people in their life who pour into them on the spiritual side. They pour into them and shape: they're being shaped by people. Or they are going through pain. And there's something about problems and pain that can help you develop a powerful, powerful relationship with God. The word today is seek. Seek. So whether it's problems or pain that drives you into that place to seeking God and there's nothing like problems and pain to make us turn to the word, make us turn to prayer, make us turn to God with all of our heart, to get spiritually-minded and seek Him and go after Him and ask and pray. Or it's people pouring into our life or listening to iPods or listening to speakers all week long and listening to TV shows or whatever it is that feeds your spirit.
These are the things that can help us seek God. But in Psalms 9:10, "And those of you who know Your name will put your trust in You; For You, Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You". Some of you today feel like you're forsaken. Some of you feel like God's nowhere in your situation. You got problems going on. Notice, He says, "I won't forsake the person who seeks Me; if you'll seek Me and read My scripture, if you'll seek Me and get along with Me and pray about your problems, I will not forsake you". Psalms 10. Let's go right. Turn right to Psalms 10:4. "The wicked in his proud countenance does not seek God".
Now, notice something about wickedness. God's definition of wickedness is wickedness does not seek God. Wickedness does not take the time to read that book and to get along with God and to cultivate their spirit and to create an atmosphere in their life of God consciousness. Wickedness does not seek God. Righteous people seek God. "The wicked in his proud countenance does not", listen to why, proud, proud, proud countenance, "I don't need to seek God. I'm okay. I'm saved. I'm going to heaven. I don't have to seek God".
If the last thing that comes up in your mind when somebody's sick in your house is God, you're not seeking God. The first thing that ought to come up is, "Let's pray". The first thing that ought to come up with problems and challenges with your children is not who are we gonna run to, who can we call, who can we... Pray. Let's seek God. Let's seek God. Let's seek God about this. We seek God about our problems and our issues.
Look at Psalms 27:8, concerning seeking, "When You said, 'Seek My face'", this is David praying it to God, "When You said, 'Seek My face,' my heart said to You, 'Your face, Lord, I will seek.' Do not hide Your face from me; do not turn Your servant away in anger; You have been my help; do not leave me nor forsake me". He goes on to say, "If my father and my mother forsake me, the Lord will take care of me", if I'll seek Him. If I'll seek Him. Listen to what he said. "When You said, 'Seek My face,' my heart said, 'Your face, Lord, I will seek.'"
See, what he's saying there is God will absolutely whisper to you in your walk with Jesus, "Seek My face. I miss you. You're not who you started out to be. You're not seeking Me. Seek My face. Don't eat that meal today. Fast. Seek My face". And he said, "My heart says back to You, 'Your face will I seek'". Hey, come read the Bible. Hey, you, hear this voice. Hey, read the Bible. Hey, hey, read the Bible. That's the Holy Spirit. And He's saying, "Seek My face, seek My face. Don't ignore me again and again and again and again and again. Seek My face". And my heart says, "Your face, Lord, will I seek".
Psalms 34:10. Turn right to Psalms 34:10. I laid it out so that you can just keep turning right. It's real easy. Psalms 34:10. I love this verse. "The young lions lack and suffer hunger; But those who seek the Lord shall not lack any good thing". You know, when I began to seek the Lord as a young teenager, I didn't know all these verses. I didn't know that He'll withhold no good thing, I'll lack nothing. I'll lack no good thing if I seek the Lord.
You know that a spouse or a mate for life is a good thing. Do you know a husband, a wife is a good thing? Do you know children that are blessed are a good thing? Well, how? "Look, that family's just blessed. They just luck out". No, they're not. They're seeking God. And if you seek God, you will lack for no good thing: a house, a car, a job, increase, blessing, success, prosperity, healing, help, strength, peace, direction, will of God. It's all in seeking Him. He'll withhold nothing. He said, "The young lions lack, but you won't lack anything. There's nothing that I will withhold from the person who will daily and fervently keep on seeking Me".
Through the ups, through the downs, through the plenty, through the want, through the good times, through the bad times, you just stay in that word and you stay in God and you go after God and you're seeking Him. Every day, daily, fervently. Psalms 40:16. "Let all of those who seek You rejoice and be glad in You; let such as love Your, salvation say continually, 'The Lord be magnified!' Let all of those who seek You rejoice and be glad". I'm telling you that if you seek the Lord, He'll give you joy, He'll give you gladness, He'll cause you to have joy no matter what's going on in your life, because our joy does not come from the world, our happiness is not determined by happenings, our joy source is Jesus Christ. He is the center of our life.
And He says, "If you'll seek Me, there will always be a portion of gladness and rejoicing that you have in your life". Jeremiah 29:11 is a kind of one of those famous scriptures, and we love to speak it over our young people, but we only quote half the verse. "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all of your heart".
That hope, that future, that plan, that big deal that destiny and purpose that God has put you on this earth will only be found, "if you seek Me. And if you seek Me and search for Me with all of your heart, you will find Me". But you've gotta seek it. You've gotta seek it. I'll tell you, when I got saved and filled with the Holy Spirit as a young teenager, I began to seek God. I'm concerned that young people don't just come to an altar, and even adults, and we just become religious people. We don't have a heart that's desperately seeking for God, because the key to finding the will of God, finding the direction and path and plan that God has for your life.
There is no question: He has it. "I know the plans I have for you; to give you a future, to give you hope. But you'll only get it if you seek Me. Quit wasting your life. Quit wasting your days. Quit getting up and ignoring this book. If you seek Me, I'm going to direct your life. Acknowledge Me in all of your ways. I will direct your path. Seek Me. Get that trash out of your car that's filled with vulgarity and filth and get some worship and seek Me. Live in an atmosphere of seeing Me, praying to Me, talking to Me. Seek Me".
A.W. Tozer said, "For there will be no manifestation of God to His people apart from earnest seeking". We see people with an awesome relationship with God, we just say, "Boy, they just have an awesome". No, they don't. They're earnestly seeking. They're earnestly seeking. They're earnestly going back to the word daily and fervently and seeking, listening, putting, pouring the word in because this is what we're called to do. Out of that, God begins to move. Then He puts a word, it's funny. You'll read a scripture, if you read it for yourself, God'll burn that word in your spirit and a few days later, you'll come to church and somebody'll preach on it and just coincidentally somebody'll bring it up over here and out of the mouth of two or three witnesses, God'll say, "I'll establish your destiny because you spent time to seek Me in the word".
That's how God does it. It really is. And you're cheating yourself. It's not to become some kinda religious freak. No. When you seek God, there's something powerful that is released into your life. I wanna go to a scripture, I'm gonna close with this one and one more, but in 2 Chronicles 26, "He sought God in the days of Zechariah, he had understanding in visions of God, As long", and here's what God lit up in my soul, "and as long as he sought the Lord, God made him to prosper".
I want every business person in this room, I want every person, I want every teenager, I want every college student, I want every young man, every young woman, I want every person to listen to that verse again. "And as long as he sought the Lord, God made him to prosper". Well, what did that look like? Verse 7 said, "God helped him against the Philistines". God helped him. He had God help against his enemies. Verse 8 said that "His fame spread as far as the entrance of Egypt, for he became exceedingly strong". Verse 15 said that he started inventing stuff. He had devices that he invented by skillful men. And their fame spread wide and far, for he was marvelously helped 'til he became strong. Verse 16, "But when he was strong his heart was lifted up, to his destruction".
Notice that there is a strength in weakness and there is a weakness in strength. The strength of weakness is when I'm weak, then He is strong; and I'm seeking Him, and as long as I seek Him, He made me to prosper. But the dangerous period for all of us is when God blesses us and we stop seeking Him because then when we look strong, we're really weak because it's our effort and God is not in it. And my deal to you today is as long as he sought the Lord...
If you don't get nothing else out of this message, you ought to take that verse and put it up in your business and put it up somewhere on your desk, and say, "As long as I seek the Lord, God'll make me to prosper". But if I ever get so strong that I lose my seeking, I don't go to the scriptures anymore, I don't have time to do that anymore, I don't have time for prayer, I don't do much fasting... He says, "Seek My face", but I know I'm distant, I know I'm cold, I know I'm just going along, bumping along in my walk, but I'm not gonna seek Your face. No, I'm a busy man. Then a problem will come.
And last verse and then I'm gonna close with one little statement. Genesis 4:7. God said to Cain, "If you do well, will you not be accepted? If you do not do well, sin lies at the door". One translation says, "Sin is crouched like a lion at the door". "And its desire is for you". I want you to look, think of the faces of your loved ones. Think of the faces of yourself, your wife, your husband, all of it, and sin has a great desire crouched at the door, outside your house, ready, ready to rip to shreds and pieces. And then he says, "But you should rule over it".
So I found this in an article this week and I thought it was profound. I really did. And I wrote it down, "How to Fall Flat on Your Face". And he warned about David and he was talking about David, This author was talking about David in this little article. And he said, "The most dangerous time in a person's life is in the prosperous time". And he said, "When the kings went out to battle, David stayed home 'cause he didn't need to do that seeking stuff anymore". "I'm good. I'm blessed".
So watch this. This writer said these words, and I think they've got a little outline. "When you're in prosperous times, prosperous times lead to passive wills, and passive wills lead to overpowering emotions, and overpowering emotions lead to impure thoughts, and impure thoughts leads to private sin".
Now, catch this part. This was the most powerful thing, to me. "And private sin leads to public consequences". Private sin always, every time, eventually leads to public consequences. And sin's crouched at the door. You may have a beautiful, wonderful family, but I promise you sin is crouched at the door. And I don't want this to be some kind of negative, no, no, no. What I'm saying to you is it ought not to rule over you. It doesn't have to go that way. If you'll seek Him, He'll give you strength. If you'll seek Him, He'll give you wisdom. If you'll seek Him, He'll give you success. If You seek Him, when the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord'll raise up a standard against them. If you'll seek Him, no weapon formed against you will prosper. If you'll seek Him, God'll help you. And as long as we seek the Lord, God will make us to prosper.
When's the last time you heard that voice, "Seek My face", and your heart said, not your head, your heart said, "Your face will I seek"? I must seek Him daily, I must seek Him fervently, and if I will, I will rule over it. Whatever it is for you, you can rule over it. You can rule over it. Now, I want you to stand to your feet all over this room and at every campus. And I feel the presence of the Holy Spirit here right now. You don't have to do this, but does anybody hear that voice saying, "Seek Me"?
Get out of your seat for a few moments. Break the norm and walk down an aisle in total humility and surrender, and say, "God, I'm coming to start anew, a fresh seeking of Your word, a searching for You, a seeking as the water. As a parched desert longs for water, my flesh longs for You". Just come. Come. Come. You can stand. If God's speaking to you, would you say from your heart, "Your face will I seek, Your face will I seek"? And I don't care what anybody thinks. You say, "Well, we can't all get down there". But there's something about physically moving and obeying God when His voice speaks to you. It is important. Obedience is important to God. And everybody, pray this prayer.
Lord Jesus, I seek You; and You said if I seek You, that I would find You. And today, I have found You. I see You on the cross. You shed Your blood for me. It cleanses me. It forgives me of all my sins. I know sin is at the door, but I have You; therefore, I have authority over it. And I receive You as my Savior. Teach me to seek You. Teach me to read that book he's got in his hand. Every day of my life, I wanna grow. I wanna be seeking You, earnestly and daily, because You have a future and You have a hope and a purpose for my life. I receive it in Jesus' mighty name.