|It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; |
to search out a matter is the glory of kings.
- Proverbs 25:2
"Did you find everything alright?" That's usually the question asked when you're checking out at a store and the associate is politely trying to make sure you have gotten everything you've come for. Usually, a person's answer is "yes," right? We go into a store with a list or a particular item in mind; and we don't leave until we have gotten what we've come for. Most of the time, we know where something is. We seek and find it right away. Other times, we're looking for something special that we wouldn't typically search for. It may take us longer to find it, but we're on a mission! Even if we don't find it at one store, we keep looking until we finally complete our quest. A seeker's mentality gets a finder's reward.
What about the non-material things? What about the treasure of wisdom that is worth far more than rubies (Job 18:18, Proverbs 8:11)? What about the things that aren't tangible; things you cannot buy, earn, or find in stores? How often do we go on an intentional and purposeful quest for that? How often do we find it when we look for it?
I have been thinking about this concept because I "found" something that I was looking for. Over the years, I've learned to have that seekers mentality. I know that if I seek the Lord, I will find Him. If I desperately need answers, He will give them to me. That's what His Word says (Deuteronomy 4:29, Jeremiah 29:13, Proverbs 8:17, Matthew 7:7-8, Luke 11:9-10). The "catch" is being "all in". Being wholehearted and intentional. Just like shopping, you're on a mission; purposefully and intentionally looking for something (and not giving up until you've found it). It's also like when we were recently car shopping for my son. Of all the makes, models, mileages, prices, etc. you don't give up until you find the right one. There were moments where we almost settled for less, but a true seeker's heart will be paired with wisdom and discernment. Those are the things Holy Spirit uses to confirm to you that you've found what you're looking for.
Naturally, awakening to a verse echoing in my mind prompted me to read Hebrews 11 in its entirety. It's a faith builder full of testimonies of so many in the Bible who walked by faith. Some didn't even see the full promise in their lifetime, but "welcomed it from a distance." The last verses say that together with US, they would be made perfect.
The full impact of Hebrews 11 didn't come until I listened to Dutch Sheets' "Give Him 15" post. I thought I was listening to Monday's post, but I was actually listening to Friday's post that I had missed but intended to listen to later. In it, he was talking about God's timing and about....Abraham. I was awestruck and blessed, and then I heard "see you on Monday" and realized that I had listened to Friday's (and like I mentioned earlier, Abraham was mentioned at our Friday Worship Night). I couldn't wait to listen to Monday's post, but it would have to wait for my drive home.
In the meantime, I was also exploring two numbers that had popped up on Sunday. One was a total of $15.15 and the other $80 even. Neither one seemed like coincidences. When searching the Bible app, I found the treasure I was looking for in Proverbs 15:15 and Luke 1:80 :
All the days of the oppressed are wretched, but the cheerful heart has a continual feast.
And the child grew and became strong in spirit; and he lived in the wilderness until he appeared publicly to Israel.
Once again, MORE treasure! Bible Hub has some insightful commentary notes on Proverbs 15:15. It explained how the oppressed/afflicted is a mental state. A cheerful heart and good attitude fuels a person and they can draw upon it and feast upon it. Likewise, someone that lives off of a bad mindset will feast off it and wallow in self-pity. It paired nicely with what I was seeking about the wilderness. Like Jesus, John the Baptist experienced growth, transformation, and power in the wilderness. When they both appeared and started their public ministries, they were FULL of the power of the Spirit. They had been feasting on and drawing their sustenance from the Spirit throughout their time in the wilderness. By contrast, the Israelites did the opposite when they were in the wilderness for 40 years. They had an oppressed and anxious mentality. Their mentality left them powerless instead of powerful. They feasted on negativity and scarcity; hoarding manna and quail to feed their flesh instead of feasting on the Spirit of God. I don't know about you, but I want my time in the wilderness to look less like theirs and more like Jesus and John's. I want to emerge victorious, transformed, refined, and empowered!
To put the icing on the cake, Dutch's Monday post was about.....Hebrews 11. You can't make this stuff up lol! In it, he talked about agreeing with our brethren in prayer and the synergy of the ages (not just present prayers, but the prayers prayed by those that proceeded us). He describes those last two verses about being made perfect together like this:
The last two verses of Hebrews 11 give us the amazing answer; they did not receive the fulfillment of their promises because God wouldn’t allow them to be “complete” without us. That is incredible! We, today, are a continuation of these individuals’ callings and assignments. The Greek word translated “complete” also means “to finish; to mature; to reach the intended goal.” Think about the ramifications of this: without us, God can’t finish what He began through those saints; what He started through them cannot mature or reach its intended goal until we grab the baton and run our leg of the race. That is mind-blowing!
God gave these individuals promises, but He often didn’t give them timelines. He did not tell them He would bring the fulfillment into their lifetimes, although I’m sure most of them expected Him to do so. The eternal God, who transcends time, speaks promises that are sometimes more reflective of His nature and relationship with time than ours. At times, He makes promises to people, knowing full well He will deliver on those promises through their children, grandchildren, or spiritual descendants. I wonder what I may be finishing for some pastor or teacher from a few decades ago? Or perhaps for even some flag-waving patriot warrior?