“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with Me.” Revelations 3:20 ESV
How does one find God? Most of us, at some point in our lives, mostly in our teens or early adulthood, have experienced a spiritual yearning which is difficult to describe. There seems to be a deep vacuum within and a longing for something more. Or perhaps the question, seemingly out of nowhere, has presented itself to our minds: Does God exist? Can I find Him and truly know Him?
Sometimes, we try and fill this inner emptiness with things that provide temporary satisfaction – work, ambition, friendships, pleasure; and find that none of these things can truly still that inner longing. After a while, we might abandon our quest and simply get on with the practical things of everyday living.
St Augustine in his ‘Confessions’ writes of the ‘succession of [his] desperate searches for fulfillment: excessive pleasures, false religions, philosophy, dissipation and distractions—futilities that left him so weary of himself he could only cry out, “How long, O Lord, how long?” At the very moment when he uttered that cry, circumstances led his eyes to a passage in Romans that showed him he could be freed from sin.”
His conclusion? “You have made us for Yourself, and our hearts are restless, until they can find rest in You.”
Richard Dawkins, the author of ‘The God Delusion’ also talked of his search for God. As a 13-year-old, he ‘would fantasise about praying at an altar then seeing an angel dramatically appear in a burst of white light… but God never actually did get through to me for some reason… I was briefly seduced by it and took it all in and would pray very vigorously every night…”‘
If only he hadn’t given up… perseverance is necessary here; and even after we have experienced Him, God works to develop that quality in us.
The Bible is all about God’s perseverance in seeking us. Every day and in every way, all through our lives, the heart of God seeks to make that inward connection with our spirits. The yearnings and the emptiness we experience – are actually evidence of that heavenly ‘knock’ on the door of our hearts, and His whisper, “Let Me come in and fill the empty spaces within your soul”. If we just step forward – laying down every hesitation and resistance – to open wide the door to welcome Him, His presence will come in and dwell within our hearts.
“But… you will seek the LORD your God and you will find him, if you search after him with all your heart and with all your soul.” Deuteronomy 4:29 ESV
Try it. No one who has truly experienced Him in that way can ever deny that He exists. Just a word of caution: He may not do it the way you imagine or within your set time frame. This does not mean that God has not heard you or that He will not answer. But He may not give you an immediate emotional response, and He may never give you, as young Dawkins had hoped, a physical manifestation of His presence. He might wait just a little bit longer, till you are truly ready to meet Him. Sadly, some give up too soon.
“If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.” Jeremiah 29:13 NLT
“God, I long to know You. Remove every hindrance within me to receiving You. Change my heart. Fill me with Your presence. Open my mind to understand the truth about You, so that I may serve You for the rest of My life.”