Seeking God: Motive #3

It is our benefit to seek God. It is no benefit to God if we do not seek him. The Lord hath no less, though we have less. He that hides himself from the sun doth not impair the light. We derogate nothing from God if we do not seek him. He needed not the creature, he had happiness enough in himself, but we hide ourselves from our own happiness and our present benefit: ‘They shall praise the Lord that seek him’ (Psalm 22.26). You will have cause to bless God before the search be over, God hath passed his word, there are a great many experiences we taste. As they that continue in the pursuit of the philosopher’s stone find out many experiences, which are a satisfaction to their understandings; so one way or other we shall have cause to bless God. The God of Jacob hath openly professed we shall not seek him in vain (Isaiah 65.19). That is, this is a truth God hath written as it were with a sunbeam, that something will come in seeking of God. By seeking him in prayer we carry away a great deal of comfort and strength. As we read of that emperor that sent not away any one sad out of his presence, so neither doth God, there is some comfort to be had in waiting upon him. And as it brings present comfort and satisfaction, so it brings an everlasting reward, ‘He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him’ (Heb. 11.6). If you would have the fruit of your holy calling, that which is the result of that religion you do profess, you must diligently seek him; so that in effect we never seek ourselves more than when we seek the Lord. ‘Seek the Lord and [you] shall live’ (Amos 5.6). It is the undoubted way to get eternal life, to live for ever. They that seek not his face here, shall never see his face for ever. With what diligence will men court an outward preferment, which is yet very uncertain? ‘Many seek the ruler’s favour; but every man’s judgment cometh from the Lord’ (Prov. 29.26). What a deal of observance and waiting is there for the ruler’s face and favour, and yet God dispose[s] of every man’s judgment; it is uncertain whether they shall obtain it yea or nay. But now if you seek the face of God, in Heaven you shall live for ever.

– Thomas Manton, One Hundred and Ninety Sermons on The Hundredth and Nineteenth Psalm, vol. I (Carlisle, PA; The Banner of Truth Trust, 1990), 19.

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