If you have an unsatisfied hunger for God deep down within your heart, no matter how far away He seems or how miserable you may be, be encouraged. You are spiritually alive and God’s Spirit is prodding you to seek and find Him. But you may be thinking, “You don’t understand. I’d like to know God, but I’m not sure He’s even there, so how can I find Him?”
That’s a legitimate concern. Guy Duffield used to tell of a man who was in trouble in his personal life. A friend suggested that he pray about his troubles, and the man countered, “How can I pray when I don’t know whether there is a God or not?” “Look,” countered the friend, “if you are lost in the forest you do not wait until you find someone before you start shouting for help. You shout to find out if someone is there.”
How do you find God? It’s not as difficult as some make the task. Actually, a lot of people talk about searching for God when they really don’t want to encounter Him any more than a thief wants to run a red light and rear-end a police car. Here are several simple guidelines that will help you find God.
Guideline #1: Overcome your awkwardness in reaching out to God, whom you cannot see.
Some folks talk about “finding God” when in reality, like a shepherd searching for lost sheep, He’s been searching for them, allowing them to get to the end of their resources so they would hear His call and grasp the hand which has been reaching toward them.
Guideline #2: Ask God to reveal Himself to you.
That’s like driving a stake in the ground or running up the flag that says, “I’m lost, but here I am; now, God, send someone to help me find my way back home.” God is far more desirous of a relationship with you than you are with Him. He gave us some powerful promises in His word. Like what? Jeremiah 19:13 says, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Most of us don’t doubt God’s existence; we simply don’t know how to connect with Him. When you pray a simple prayer like, “God, I know you are there, and I want to know you personally,” you have gone on record as being a seeker.
Guideline #3: Talk to someone who knows Him.
A television program called “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?” captured the interest of people. When a contestant gets stuck, he can make a phone call to an expert. He wants to talk with somebody who has the answer. Do the same thing in your quest for God!
Guideline #4: Find out for yourself.
What book tells us about God? There is one that is tested and true. It’s called The Bible. I’ve spent a lifetime studying this book, and I’m convinced that the message is accurate and true. It answers the hard questions of life: Who am I? Where did I come from? and Where do I go after I die? It tells me that God’s grace and forgiveness is the answer to my failure, and if you want to know who God is, this book accurately and simply answers the questions of your heart.
Guideline #5: Accept and embrace the truth as you encounter it.
“But doesn’t everyone?” you ask. Not really. Some confront the truth and, fearful that God might not be as good as others say, keep on walking through the woods calling out for help, rejecting the shepherd of their soul who is trying to show them the way home.
Remember, when you are lost in the forest, you don’t wait until you find someone before you shout for help.
Resource reading: John 3:1-21