Thursday, July 10, 2008

How To Remain With God

The LORD is with you while you are with him. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will forsake you.
2 Chronicles 15:2
Why is the second sentence of this verse connected with but rather than and? Of course a person who seeks God will find Him. And a person who forsakes God will be forsaken by Him. But I would think that the person who seeks God is one who doesn't have Him while the person who forsakes God is one who does have Him. Therefore, I would naturally see these two conditionals applying to two different persons who find themselves in different stations.

But the Spirit of God is addressing one man, Asa. There are only two options for Asa: he can either seek God or he can forsake God. The but seems to imply this black and white contrast.

My conclusion, therefore, is that the second sentence of this verse is an unfolding of the first. The first sentence tells Asa the benefits of remaining with the LORD. The second sentence tells him how to remain with the LORD so that he might have those benefits.

Remaining with God is never passive. Those of us who are with the LORD are those of us who are actively seeking Him. And those of us who aren't with the LORD are those of us who are actively forsaking Him.

Therefore, we can and should always answer the question "Am I with God? Am I remaining? Am I abiding?" by asking and answering the question "Am I actively seeking after God?"

The most active seekers of God, then, aren't those who don't know God but those who do.
The LORD was with Jehoshaphat, because he walked in the earlier ways of his father David. He did not seek the Baals, but sought the God of his father...
2 Chronicles 17:3, 4 (emphasis added)

As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God?
Psalm 42:1,2
And I thank You, Father, that working underneath any power I have to seek You is Your own power in keeping me.

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