The Word for today:
We Christians spend a lot of our time thinking about the seeker. We all aim to be seeker-sensitive. We want the seeker to feel welcome. We tailor our messages to seeker mentality.
Meanwhile, our culture romanticizes the seeker. The seeker is a free spirit, a free agent, unencumbered by commitments or responsibilities. In fact, it is so romantic to be a seeker that we've made it relatively unattractive to be a finder! I mean, how restricting to be bound by what we've found!
Boy, have we--both the church and the secular culture--gotten it backwards. Scripture points out the truth: we are not seekers of enlightenment, but sinners running from God.
In scripture, the seeker--and the finder and the keeper--is God. We do the sinnin' and he does the savin'. That's the biblical conversion equation.
The best illustration of these scriptural roles is the conversion of Paul on the Road to Damascus. Paul's Jewish name was Saul, and he was at the height of a prominent religious career (Acts 23:6; 26:5; Philippians 3:5). As a scrupulous Jew, Saul was vehemently opposed to Jesus Christ and had made it his mission to persecute Christians.
Saul's life was changed dramatically, however, when he encountered the risen Jesus. While on the Road to Damascus to arrest Christians and escort then back to Jerusalem to face trial, a resplendent light temporarily blinded him, and a voice from heaven asked, "Saul, why do you persecute me?"
"Who are you, Lord?"
"I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting."
Saul thought he was pursuing Christians in order to eliminate them; what he discovered was that Jesus had all along been pursuing him. And through him, Jesus would pursue the entire Mediterranean world. (Acts 9:15)
The Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost (Luke 19:10). We love him, because he first loved us (1 John 4:19).
I do hope the church continues to focus on the Seeker. I'm all for it--just as long as we understand who the Seeker really is.