I love those who love me; and those who diligently seek me will find me.
Oh, I want to diligently seek the Lord! Just saying the word diligent makes me think of something strong and stable. The online Oxford Dictionary defines diligent as showing care and conscientiousness. That makes sense, if we are diligently seeking God then we are showing that we care by spending time in His Word and His House. We are conscientious about our assignment and what God has called us to do for His Kingdom. As I was studying the verse above, this definition confirmed what I thought about being diligent and diligently seeking God. However, it was Merriam-Webster that caused me to pause and reflect. Webster’s definition uses words like steady, earnest and painstaking effort. This raises the meaning of Proverbs 8:17 to a whole new level.
I discovered that if I want to diligently seek God, I must be firmly placed or steady. Am I tossed about by deceitful scheming, doubt or trickery of men (Ephesians 4:14)? It is easy to say we are firmly planted but the devil is sneaky and a liar. He disguises things of the world as good and enticing. He can take something that is not initially harmful to us and use our desires to keep us so focused on something else that we lose sight of what God has for us. To be steady in our walk with God we must be constant and free from change. We must not be easily swayed but base our decisions on God’s Word.
To be diligent, I must also be earnest. I must be serious in my intention. Do I take each sermon serious, listening for what God has for me? I am as serious on Friday about my assignment as I am on Sunday during service? Earnestness also means I am sincere. Is my prayer over the meal sincere or rote? I am sincere with my praise? I want every praise and every prayer to be serious and determined.
Lastly, to be diligent, I must painstakingly seek the Lord. Sounds hurtful. Not really. To have painstaking effort would mean that I take “care” in my efforts. They won’t be haphazard or sloppy. It will be my best effort, each and every time. I have to ask myself daily, I am I giving God my best? Max Lucado put it like this, “be hungry in your quest, relentless in your pilgrimage.” Lucado also says, “Step away from the puny pursuits of possessions and positions, and seek your king. Risk whatever it takes to see Christ.” The Shepherds and Wise Men did. They sought Him diligently.
The Shepherds weren’t satisfied with a star. They sought him out just as the angels said. They couldn’t stay where they were and see him. They had to go find him. The Wise Men were also diligent. They traveled far but it was worth it! They saw the King!
And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
Pastor Julia Scott