Do you like to play games? I think that everyone has played some sort of game in their lifetime. One of mine, that I loved to play was “Hide and Seek.” The object of this game was a person was picked out from the group to be the “seeker.” This seeker would have to go and find everyone else. When the seeker found another person, he or she would tag the person and they were then caught.
Everyone of us has played this game for real in our lifetimes. One way or another, we have been seekers looking for something that had true meaning to us. This could be a person looking for “true love” or it could be a person looking to have their “dreams fulfilled,” there are many reasons that we become seekers.
Jesus said, ““Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.”(Matthew 7:7) For years I have looked at this Scripture out of the Bible, and thought to myself, “This must mean something more then what I am reading.” I said this because God’s Word is not to be taken at face value. Every time I read this Scripture I would see something different.
I remember the day I first read this passage out of my Bible. I was sixteen years old, still in high school, and I was a newly “born again” Christian. The Bible was new to me and I was reading it for the first time. This Scripture seemed to come off the page at me. It was amazing how these words could have such an influence upon my life. Throughout the years that followed, this Scripture would impact me in many new ways. Each time I read it, it caused me to think about its true meaning.
I remember one of the first songs I wrote after receiving my first guitar and this Scripture was what I would sing at prayer meetings and other events. This Scripture had so much effect on my life, that I would recite it many times over. I found myself chewing on it, digesting it and then pulling it back up from within me and chewing on it again.
As I grew in my new life as a Christian, the Bible became more real to me. My life became more centered around the Scriptures and I wanted to learn more.
I was raised in a household, who believed in religious beliefs. My grandmother was a devout Catholic and because of her strong beliefs, her influence in our family made us all have to become Catholic. Even at the young age of five years old, I new that God had chosen me for something, I just didn’t know what. The desire to know more about God began in my early childhood. Maybe that is why king Solomon said this about finding God, “I love those who love me, And those who seek me diligently will find me.” (Proverbs 8:17) The hunger inside of me became stronger, and I sought out to know more about God. I went from being a Catholic to being a Protestant. This was a true “culture shock ” for me and I went from a lifetime of having everything about God being formally introduced to me from a priest who was hearing my inner thoughts and confessions, to a pastor of a flock and people who praised God openly and who believed in water baptism as an answer to salvation by immersion.
I kept reading the Bible and as I grew up I still thought in my heart that there has to be more to knowing God then just reading the Bible, and getting baptized into water and just being in church.
Then it happened, I went to a movie and there the Holy Spirit drew me to ask Jesus to come into my heart. It was the first time that I truly experienced love. It was a love that I can’t explain to you. All I know is that while I knelt in this movie theater, every part of me was experiencing a sensation of liquid love being poured all over me. No expression of words can tell you how I felt.
I wanted to know more about Jesus. I wanted to know more about the Bible. I wanted to know more about prayer. I wanted to know more about heaven. My seeking took a new turn and I went to the church who had sponsored this movie. It was here, I began to find out about who God really is. I came to know Jesus as my friend and I received the Holy Spirit as my friend also. I went from being a Protestant to becoming a Pentecostal. This place of worship would teach me many things about God and it would teach me one important thing, it would teach me how to worship Him.
Many people in this church became my mentors. I could tell you of what was instilled into my heart through these people, but there is not enough room in this blog to write it all down so that you can understand. Although many people in this church had a lot to do with me learning about God, I will tell you of two people who meant the most, these were the most influential in my becoming a seeker. They were Pastor Anthony Testasecca and David Ledger, these two people helped me to grow up in seeking God. Pastor Testasecca had such a love for the Lord that he would weep f.or hours upon hours at the alter. Never was there such a man who was not afraid to seek Christ as he did daily, he inspired me to seek God in prayer. David Ledger was like the father I never had, he used to take me hiking up the “Appellation Trail” it was there in the woods away from civilization that I learned to behold the glory of the Lord and I learned that everything had a purpose. This would cause me to seek Him even more. I believe that God placed these men in my path to help keep me to seek the meaning of Matthew 7:7, “…seek and you shall find….”
My hunger and thirst increased. I would find myself wanting to have more. The more I sought out to know God, the more I would meet people who had the same unsatisfied hunger. I found myself searching through books and publications to find out more. I began to see that I wasn’t just satisfied with being in church, going to Bible Studies on Wednesday evening, I still wanted more.
I went to Afghanistan for one year, returned to the United States because of an injury. Upon my return home, God began opening up His Word to me. I studied the Bible for the seven months that I at home. I became hungrier for more of the Word and I would spend hours upon hours in my prayer closet searching the Bible. Things began to take shape for me, I understood the meaning of what our words do. I learned about the law of confession and about faith. I was miraculously healed and within a year I returned to Afghanistan for another mission. The Word went with me and many men and women who I served with were taught God’s Word, even Afghanistan citizens.
I returned home in 2010, and began teaching people God’s Word. During these times of teaching, people were healed of cancer, my wife being one of them. People were healed of arthritis, a three time stroke victim was healed and allowed to walk. People who were addicted to drugs were set free of their addictions and people began to thrive in their businesses because God’s Word was a part of their lives. You can call it whatever you want, fate, faith or anything else, but I call it God.
The first part of Matthew 7:7, “Ask, and it will be given to you…” was being fulfilled. The more people asked God for His blessings and believing in their hearts for them, they received. Many people were being taught the power of the Word. Lives were being transformed! People were finding who Jesus really is and He was changing their lives.
Still I believed that there was more to knowing God then just being saved, being filled with the Holy Spirit, and having God’s favor. I began seeking deeper. I wasn’t satisfied and my hunger intensified even more. I wasn’t content just knowing about God. I wanted to know Him! I began diving deeper into the Scriptures and I read this, “And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13) I began inquiring about “soaking.” I wanted to know God personally. I prayed and I soaked in His presence and although I felt good, I needed to know Him even more. I wanted Him above anything else. I wanted to know Him. I wanted to know His heart. I wanted to hear His voice, smell His fragrance, experience His touch, feel His breath and see His face.
I knew that this was possible because Moses had wanted the same thing. Moses asked to see God’s face. When Moses was in God’s presence, the Bible says that his face shown with the glory. I wanted that! I continued studying God’s Word and the more I asked Him to reveal it to me, He opened the pages for me to understand. The Word became alive within me!
Recently He has opened the meaning of the book “Song of Solomon.” For years I didn’t read it, matter-a-fact, I avoided reading it, because I thought it was a love story between king Solomon and the “Shulamite woman,” but I found out that this was not the case. This book, is about the bridegroom (Christ Jesus) and His bride (The Church, those who only have an eye for God). I began to understand it’s pages and their meaning. It gave me what I have been seeking for most of my life. It revealed who God is and about His love for me. I also saw how it revealed His heart toward me. I saw how He searches for me. How He wants to woo me like a bridegroom woos his bride.
As I opened up the pages I saw how the bridegroom looked for His bride. Notice one important detail, the bridegroom sought His bride. She was chosen! This is why I believe Jesus said this, ““For many are called, but few are chosen.”” (Matthew 22:14) The bride had to be first chosen then He started wooing her. Giving her gifts. I found that just receiving God’s favor wasn’t enough for me. I needed more! The hunger got greater and greater within me and nothing was satisfying me unless I was in deep prayer. I wanted to know God! I wanted Him more than anything in life.
I began reading more and more; the Holy Spirit brought me revelation about how Jesus even will go to the doors of our hearts. He taught me that the Lord beckons for us to come away with Him. “My beloved is like a gazelle or a young stag. Behold, he stands behind our wall; He is looking through the windows, Gazing through the lattice.” (Song of Solomon 2:9) He is such a gentleman…never imposes His will upon us. He looks to see where our hearts are! Do we desire what He does for us or do we want Him? He courts us and He comes to the door and He knocks to let Him come in, but many people don’t want to open the door. They tell him it is late, and I have already laid down to rest for the night. They are content with just salvation and the gifts.
“I sleep, but my heart is awake; It is the voice of my beloved! He knocks, saying, “Open for me, my sister, my love, My dove, my perfect one; For my head is covered with dew, My locks with the drops of the night.”” (Song of Solomon 5:2)
Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.” (Revelation 3:20)
Jesus, the bridegroom knocks on our door and He is asking us, do we want to have fellowship with Him? I found out that during Jesus’ ministry on the earth, that the doors in Israel had the handle on the inside. When a person was in their home they had to let people into their homes. The bride in this story was home in bed asleep. She was content and when the bridegroom knocked she didn’t open the door. Some people are this way. I on the other hand had this hunger that couldn’t be satisfied with just God’s gifts, so I became like the “Shulamite woman,” I wanted to be with my love so I searched for Him. God was my everything! I searched for years to be in His presence.
Being in His presence was what satisfies my hunger and thirst. I am sure that is why Moses was always in the presence. I am sure that is why Jesus always was in the presence. It is satisfying to my spirit and my soul.
God will test us! He will test us to see are we wanting His presence or do we want His gifts?
There will be times when you will feel like He isn’t there with you, but remember what His Word says, “And the LORD, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.”” (Deuteronomy 31:8)
Why was this done? This is done so that the Lord knows where our hearts are! I know it seems forever but this is God’s way of saying, “Do you love Me?” I have been in this place many times since becoming a seeker. At first I didn’t understand it, but now it makes perfect sense. I am thankful daily for being in the wilderness. It is in the wilderness where I am only dependent upon God, so now I understand more about seeking then I did when I first read the Scripture 45 years ago.
I am not there yet, what I mean I still have not achieved my goal and that is to be invited into God’s chambers and experience the full relationship that He wants to have with me. I have steps to still climb to get there, but I know that the last part of Matthew 7:7, “…knock, and it will be opened unto to you,” this will be when I enter into His courts with thanksgiving and praise and true pure worship will be come forth out of me and then once I know that I am one with the Father I will become the ” fisher of men” and together we will do the Father’s will “I am my beloved’s, And his desire is toward me. Come, my beloved, Let us go forth to the field; Let us lodge in the villages. Let us get up early to the vineyards; Let us see if the vine has budded, Whether the grape blossoms are open, And the pomegranates are in bloom. There I will give you my love.” (Song of Solomon 7:10-12)
I have found that ministry has to be in cooperation with Jesus. After He has called me to come up to His chambers and we have an inseparable fellowship with one another, then when we have become one, will ministry work.
There are many of you reading this and you too have been seeking the presence of God. Continue seeking because you will find Him.