In times of trouble, who or what do you seek? Seeking God should be the first step all believers take. This week’s sermon focuses on seeking God
And when they say to you, “Seek those who are mediums and wizards, who whisper and mutter,” should not a people seek their God? Should they seek the dead on behalf of the living?
At what point in time do you most need God in your life? You, like me, would probably respond, “I need God at all times in my life.” I would certainly preach and teach that we need God in our lives every second of every day. We need God when we are up on cloud nine, and things seem just right in our life. We especially need God in our life when we are going through those valleys of the shadow of death. I want to take a look at those times when we are going through those valleys. I want to look at us and what we seek during those dark, gloomy, weary, and troubled times. Who do you seek during your times of trouble?
In times of trouble
When you are in a situation, a tough a difficult situation, what is the first thing you do? Do you try to trudge through the difficult times all on your lonesome or do you try to call out for help? The one thing I can recall being taught as I grew up was that you should always seek help when you needed help. When you were in school and you didn’t understand the work, you was taught that you should ask your teacher for help. If you got home and didn’t understand the school work you would ask your parents to see if they could help you out. If your parents couldn’t understand what they was looking at they would tell you to ask your teacher to help you out.
There is nothing wrong with seeking help. Now women will tell you that some men have problem when it comes to asking for help. My dad was a man that could do some of everything but asking for help was something he finally started to do the older he got. I’ve gotten so where I will quickly ask my brother for help when it comes to some things I cannot do. Women are right, though, because we men can be stubborn creatures of habit when it comes to seeking help. Men will get lost and start driving around in circles before they finally decide to ask Siri or Google to help them out!
Believers, we cannot have the stubbornness of men when we are going through times of trouble! Our stubbornness will only make things worse and worse which is simply not good. Life is difficult as it is with what we face in both our daily lives and in our spiritual lives as well. What we fail to understand is that during our times of distress we are at our weakest. During our times of distress we are at our weakest physically, mentally, and spiritually which makes us vulnerable to anything. During our times of distress we could be liable to fall for any kind of help that is offered. What do I mean by that?
When you’re drowning and you scream out for help, do you care who comes to get you out of the deep? If you were sinking in quick sand, do you care who throws you the rope to pull you out of that sand? So long as you are able to get out you would not care. When we are going through our times of trouble there are many avenues for one to take that could “help them out”. The problem is, not all avenues in life are good avenues in helping you in your times of trouble. Some of avenues have led some people into very bad addictions that they struggle to break; all because they thought that avenue was helping them out. We are at our weakest when we are going through times of trouble. We are gullible to fall for any kind of assistance, and could end up being led anywhere. Most importantly, our vulnerability in our time of trouble leave us open for attack from Satan. In our times of trouble we, believers, should first seek God.
First, seek God
Not seeking God first is one of the biggest problems that we believers have. There are many examples in the Bible of what happens when you do not seek God. Time and time again throughout the Bible you can find a lesson from how the nation of Israel turned from God and the consequence of their decision in seeking others over God. Because they chose to dance and praise a golden calf at Mount Sinai, the children of Israel was made to wonder in the wilderness for 40 years. Because they sought after the ways of other nations they ended up finding themselves under the rule of these other nations. Within today’s text you will see that because Israel no longer sought after God, they would end up under the thumb of Assyria.
No good ever comes to the children of God when they choose to turn from Him and seek their own way. In our key verse we find that the children of Israel even chose to seek those who thought they could talk to the dead. We, the believers in the world today, are God’s children. We can see that no good ever came to the children of Israel when they chose to seek others outside of God. Why do we, His children, continue to do such a thing as not call on Him in our times of trouble? Why do we choose to seek others over God? What can they do to bring you out of your troubles that God can’t do? Why do we choose to seek other means over God? What can those other means do that God cannot do?
In our times of distress we cannot be led to others who think that they can help. We are told that we should seek those that have light in them, yet we are we are quick to turn to those who have not seen the light. We look at those that are in darkness and think that they are doing alright, but in actuality they aren’t doing alright. We cannot be led into following after the ways of those that are blind, spiritually. Where can the blind lead the blind but into a ditch? If you go seeking after others and their ways, you will soon find that you have been led astray. If you are a believer, the last thing that should happen to you is that you have been led astray, especially, when all you have to do is seek God!
God is already standing by, waiting for those that are His children to call on His name. God is already working behind the scenes on our behalf. Do you understand that God is already working in your life? You may not see it right away but God is already doing work in your life! What I have realized is that a lot of times we find ourselves butting heads with what God has for us. We get a lot like the children of Israel and turn away from what God has for us. Guess what happens when we do that? Trouble comes.
Understand and know that God is already doing work in your life. Know that God is setting you up for something greater! In Romans 8:28 Paul said:
We know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
All of the good, and what we perceive to be bad, is God working to the good of those who call Him, Father. God has something good for all of His children, but we are too busy trying to do it our way. What, is our way better than God’s way? We rob ourselves of our blessings because we don’t want the greater blessing that God has for us. We create the trouble in our lives because we are too busy ignoring the way God is trying to lead us. We then make an even bigger mess of things because we want turn to seek after Him and understand what and why things are happening. We make an even bigger mess of things when we refuse to seek and understand the work that He is doing in our lives!
God is doing no evil thing in your life. I truly believe that sometimes we bring on our own trials and tribulations because we choose to seek our own way instead of seeking after God’s way. Remember what I said about us stubborn men? We get like a bunch of stubborn men, women too, and reject God trying to show us the right way to go because it’s not the way we want to go. This creates a bunch of trouble in our life. What we should do is seek after God and try to understand the way He wants us to go. In our times of trouble we should first seek God because know how to get us out of those times. We must ask, seek, and knock on the door of God as it is said in Matthew 7:7 –
Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.
We don’t go asking God enough. We don’t go seeking God enough. We not going to the Father’s door and knocking on His door enough. Here’s the kicker, God wants you to come knocking!
God wants us to seek Him
Friends should turn to each other, right? Friends turn to friends. When you are in trouble a friend may be the first person that you call on. I certainly hope that this friend has time for you because there are times when you might call on a friend and friend can’t get to the phone. Do you know we have a friend in God? Jesus told the disciples that those who love Him were no longer considered servants but were considered friends. Jesus is God in the flesh. We have the greatest of friends in God, so why not turn to Him? You don’t need a psychic, you don’t need the drugs, you don’t need the alcohol, and you don’t need those so-called friends who never seem to provide you with any kind of help. We have a great friend in God, call on Him!
In times of trouble we should be like the Apostle Paul who said he sought the Lord thrice because of the thorn in his flesh. Paul was burdened by this thorn in the flesh and called on God who responded, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness. (2 Corinthians 12:9)”. In times of trouble we should be like Job, who we always way had great patience, but we don’t realize just how earnest Job was in seeking to speak with God. Job cried out God wishing that he had someone that could mediate on his behalf just so God could hear from him. I tell you that we have ourselves a mediator in Christ who when He died, and was risen from grave, ascended to heaven and now sits on the right hand on of the Father.
We should seek Christ’s ear, especially in our times of trouble. Do not be led astray by those in the world and by all of the other avenues that this world can offer. Go knock on the door of the Father, Christ will see to you speaking to Him directly! How can you be led out the valleys of the shadow of death if you do not seek help from God? David traversed those dark and gloomy times because he knew that God was with him! When we are walking through those dark and gloomy times we ought to turn and seek God so that God can carry us through! In our times of distress we should seek God so that He can place us on top of His shoulders and leave us with no worries as He carries us.
I will end on verses 13-15 of our text –
The Lord of hosts, Him you shall hallow; Let Him be your fear, And let Him be your dread. He will be as a sanctuary,
But a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense To both the houses of Israel, As a trap and a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. And many among them shall stumble; They shall fall and be broken, Be snared and taken.”
Let God be your fear and scare away all those times of troubles you face. Allow God to put fear in what grieves you so that those times of distress go away. Let God be your rock of offense to attack your troubles. Allow God to be the trap and snare to the predators and predator that seek to cause you harm. God will take your time of troubles and destroy them! Seek God. Trust in Him.