The Seeker Must Do Some Seeking
Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. Luke 11:9
In my first attempt at recovery, I was told I needed a sponsor. I wasn’t convinced, but I went along. When I asked the individual who would become my sponsor, his response was less than enthusiastic. He said we could give it a temporary try and see if it worked. He told me that I would have to work at the relationship, and he made it clear that he wasn’t going to pursue me.
It seemed odd at the time, but once I made it clear that I wanted to work through the 12 steps, he poured himself into the process, giving tremendously of himself to help me. I asked him about it later and he said that many addicts had asked him to be their sponsor, while so few actually put the work into it. He just didn’t have time for those who weren’t willing to invest any effort. He wanted to see if I was committed or not.
God expects something similar of us. In today’s passage, Jesus repeated what is a common theme and a central truth in the Bible. God has gone to great lengths to pursue us, but now, he asks that we respond. God has given us the freedom to follow ourselves or to follow him, and he finds great pleasure when we follow him. This isn’t a once-and-done event though. This is a daily process that we must engage in for the rest of our lives.
This is a common error in our faith. We often think that when we believe in God, that we are instantly transformed, with no effort on our part. We mistakenly believe that faith means sitting back and letting God do it all.
We do gain new spiritual life when we come to faith, but that is the beginning of our seeking. Jesus said that as we pour ourselves into the relationship, God pours his Spirit into us. Our pursuit absolutely affects how much we are filled with God. At some point, if we want a changed life, we must do some intense seeking.
It is in this seeking of God, that the process of transformation happens. We may not see it immediately, but in reading, praying, and obeying, God fills us with him, gradually growing us into what he made us to be.