“‘You would not have called to me unless I had been calling to you’, said the Lion.” – The Silver Chair
The Evangelical church, especially of late, loves to use the term “seekers” when referring to those particular unbelievers who are interested in hearing about Christianity. Willow Creek and Emergent churches alike, love the terms: “Seeker Driven Worship”, “Seeker Sensitive Ministry”, “Seeker Friendly”, “Open to Seekers”. It sounds cool. I like the feel of it personally. I would love to believe that people are seeking – “We’re just seeking a church,bro…seeking the truth…just seeking in the hopes that someone will tell us what we long to hear.
Certainly the scripture says somethings about seeking God. In Matthew 7:7 Jesus says, “Seek and you will find”. Jeremiah 29:13 affirms this saying, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” But on the other hand, Proverbs 1:28 says, “Seek, and you shall find. And Wisdom also says (and Who is Wisdom but He?): The wicked shall seek me, and not find me”.
So what does this mean? Jesus makes it clear that there are many who have ears, but do not hear; who have eyes, but do not see. They seek, but they don’t seek. The Rich Young Ruler in Luke 18 is like this. He came seeking, but he was not seeking Jesus. He was seeking something else. So, Jesus made things harder for him, not easier, and the Rich Young Ruler went away saddened. It’s interesting that Jesus did not run after him. He let him go. It seems that Jesus was O.K. with people walking away, that He was seeker friendly to those who were seeking Him. But He was hard on those who sought something else. There are those who seek Jesus but they seek Him as a means to another end. For example, there are those who seek Jesus to fill their stomachs. To these Jesus says, ” “I tell you the truth, you are looking for me…because you ate the loaves and had your fill (Jn 6:26).” Some come looking to see signs and wonders. Jesus says, “A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a miraculous sign (Matthew 12:39)!” Some come wanting to fill their purses with material blessing. To these Jesus says, “it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God (Mat 19:24).” Some come seeking knowledge. To these Jesus says, “anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it (Mark 10:15).”
Jesus seeks those who seek Him. He does not seek those who seek anything else.
And let’s be clear. Those who seek Christ, do so only because Jesus first seeks them! Again, John 6 makes this so very clear – “All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me (v.38-39)…no one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him (v.44)…no one can come to me unless the Father has enabled him (v.65).”
Just as the children’s song so beautifully proclaims, “Oh how I love Jesus, O how I love Jesus, O how I love Jesus, Because He First Loved Me!” Not that we have loved Him, but that He has loved us. Not that I have called out to Him, but that He has stooped down to call my name. Not that I have reached up to Him, but that He has lovingly condescended to grab my drowning hand, to whisper the love of God into my hardened heart, to compassionately fill my starving soul with the Bread of Life. Did I come to Christ because I was seeking Him? Yes, indeed I was…even though I knew it not. And why was I seeking Him? Because He was seeking me. And any that He seeks, will surely find Him.
As Lewis so beautifully describes in “The Silver Chair”, we call to Jesus, only because Jesus calls to us:
“I was wondering”, (said Jill) – “I mean-could there be some mistake? Because nobody called me and Scrubb, you know. It was we who asked to come here. Scrubb said we were to call to–Somebody–t was a name I wouldn’t know–and perhaps the Somebody would let us in. And we did, and then we found the door open.”
“You would not have called to me unless I had been calling to you,” said the Lion.
“Then you are somebody, Sir?” said Jill.
“I am”, said Aslan.