Want What You Have

A word for those who are tempted to stop seeking.   

Seeker” was the cool Christian moniker of yesteryear.  It meant you were somebody who read a lot of books by philosophers like Nietzsche, had late night rap sessions with friends about a theory of everything, and compared the claims of Christ against those of Buddha.  You questioned not only the status quo, but your own inconsistencies.    The Holy Spirit got involved, which was a good thing, because without Him, you would have decided all the answers were to be found in joining a hippie commune and becoming a marijuana farmer.  After a little while, you arrived at the pierced feet of the Savior King, according to His own promise that “he who seeks finds.”    

But “seeker” has changed definition over time.  It has come to mean a person always looking, but never finding anything.  In fact, the less you find, the smarter you are said to be.  Call me old-fashioned, but back in the day, smart folks were the ones getting answers, not the ones growing more clueless.  

Today’s seeker might even cross paths with the gospel a handful of times.  The problem is, they’ve been assured by other people who have no answers that it is a message of oppression, racism, hatred, bigotry.  Thanks to this anti-gospel, there’s a wider moat and higher walls for seekers to scale today.  

And yet, even after a person repents and comes to Christ, there’s a popular assumption that the need for robust seeking is over.  Indeed, why should you continue?  You’ve been born again, baptized, attend church, have regular devotionals.  Why keep looking for something you’ve already found?

But that’s exactly what the Bible commands us to do—continue seeking, not for something you don’t have, but for something you do have.  

Colossians 3:1 says, “If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.” 

The verse commands you to seek “if you have been raised with Christ.”  It does not tell you to seek to be raised with Him.  It goes on to say “Christ is your life,” and not to seek to make Him your life.  Thus, we are told to look for things we already substantially have.  Why?  Because we hope to see these heavenly realities integrate with our daily affairs here on the ground.  

As you read through Colossians 3, you’ll see such details of daily living that have to do with our personal space, our interactions with others, our identity, our behavior in the church.  Heavenly realities that are above should thoroughly interface with all of them.  

If we don’t unpack the things that are above, how can we benefit from them?  We are left only with elevated doctrinal concepts to “enjoy”—little more than inspirational soundbytes.   

This would be like carrying around a protein bar in your pocket for years.  On occasion, you fetch it out and excitedly read off the ingredient list to others, then put it back when you’re done.  If this goes on long enough, when crisis situations emerge, Christians will begin to desperately seek “protein” from other sources.  They thought having the bar in their pocket and having the nutrient list memorized was good enough.  Heavenly things, though, are meant to be unwrapped, consumed.      

Seek them, God says.  Want what you have!  He has a singular delight in the saint who searches out the glory of this new life in study and reflection, through tears and praise, on bended knee and while standing in the congregation.   

However, our eventual guarantee of success in seeking lies not in ourselves.  It rests with One who is completely for us, and occupies the position of unlimited authority—Christ, who sits at “the right hand of God.”        

 

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