Here is a final quote from my journal this week. I know this is difficult to understand, because we hear so much human wisdom about spiritual matters (much of which is not true), but I have a feeling Sproul is right about this. Think about it, and about Who it is that calls people to Himself.
Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness. (Mt 6:33, ESV)
In learning to please God, the Christian must have a clear idea of what his goal is. Though the Bible makes that goal clear, it is one that is easily forgotten.
Jesus stated the goal in Mt. 6:33. First, Jesus said we must seek. To seek something requires effort. It involves a diligent search. Seeking is not accomplished by taking a nap. It involves persistent work. We do not sit back and wait for God to drop it in our laps.
We are to seek the kingdom of God and God’s righteousness. Jesus says we are to seek these things first. The New Testament word used here for first carries the force of priority. A more accurate translation of the concept would be, “Seek first, above all else, the kingdom of God and HIs righteousness.” Seek the kingdom. Seek righteousness. These are the priorities of the Christian life.
There is much confusion about spiritual seeking in the Christian world. We frequently hear this comment: “My friend is not a Christian, but he’s seeking.”
What is the non-Christian seeking? One thing we know he is not seeking. He is not seeking God. Paul declares, “There is none who seeks after God” (Rom. 3:11, NKJV). The unbeliever never, never, never seeks God. The unbeliever is a fugitive from God. In his sinful state he may look for answers to life’s puzzles, but he does not seek God. Unbelievers are seeking happiness, peace of mind, relief from guilt, a meaningful life, and a host of other things that we know only God can give them. But they are not seeking God. They are seeking the benefits of God. Natural man’s sin is precisely this: He wants the benefits of God without God Himself.
I belabor this point for this reason: Seeking after God is a Christian enterprise. The seeking of God begins at conversion. — R. C. Sproul, in Pleasing God, as quoted in How Great is Our God, 4/1/16
In other words, for an unbeliever, God is the one seeking us, not the other way around. Once we recognize Him trying to draw us to Himself, and we finally believe, then we start seeking to know Him, to trust Him and to understand all we can about His sovereignty, righteousness and power. Wow.