By Ron Bartanen
“You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13).
No one finds God by accident. They seek in vain who would seek Him through the words of philosophers, cult leaders or even preachers that claim to speak for God apart from the word of God. Trusting the various shallow wells of human wisdom would leave us void of the fountain of life. Only God knows God’s heart and His purpose and plan for man. The apostle Paul, in speaking of the “wisdom of men” in contrast to “the wisdom of God” (1 Corinthians 2), writes, “For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man that is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God” (1 Cor. 2:11). In verse ten he made it plain that this knowledge is not apart from the revelation of truth through Christ’s chosen apostles, such as himself: “But God hath revealed them unto us by His Spirit.” While a limited comprehension of God is through His creation, as Paul asserted in Romans 1:19-20, yet a fuller and clearer revelation of God’s truth was made in the giving of the Law of God in written form through Moses and the prophets, the completed body of knowledge awaited the coming of Christ. Hebrews 1:1-1-2a declared, “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son….” Through Christ and His inspired apostles the gospel (good news) of Christ was to be proclaimed to “all the world” (Mark 16:15), resulting in the salvation of baptized believers (v. 16).While the Lord’s apostles are no longer with us, the Holy-Spirit-inspired-message of reconciliation with God through Christ is not lacking but is recorded for us in the writings of some of the apostles and men associated with them in that book we call “the Bible.” The inspired writings of both the Old and New Testaments are frequently referred to simply as “the scriptures.” To what better source could we possibly go in order to seek and find God? They alone lead us to Jesus Christ, who declared, “…No man knoweth the Son, but the Father: neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and He to whosoever the Son will reveal Him” (Matthew 11:27). One cannot bypass Christ and still find God. He plainly made this known when He said to the apostles, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man cometh to the Father but by Me” (John 14:6). Christ and His message, as revealed through the apostles, are inseparable. By that message man’s claim to truth must be tested. Even those who questioned the apostle Paul’s preaching are declared to have been “noble” because “they searched the scriptures daily (to see) whether those things were so” (Acts 17:11). True preachers of the word will not contradict Scripture, which was “given by inspiration of God” (2 Timothy 3:16-17). Satan is a master of deception, and he uses those who speak “contrary to the doctrine” the apostles taught, and “by good words and fair speeches deceiveth the hearts of the simple” (Romans 16:16-18). If you would seek God from the heart, we would urge you to read and heed your Bible, and let it lead you to God through His Son, Jesus Christ.
- Ronald Bartanen is a retired minister who for many years served the Lord's church in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan and Tennessee. After the passing of his beloved wife, Doris, Ron has relocated from Illinois to Florida where he is near family. He may be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org