Many sincerely think they are seeking God, but it doesn't seem to have any effect.
Jesus promises rewards to those who ask God, to those who seek God for the rewards they need or want.
Matthew 7:7 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:
8 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.
8 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.
How do we seek God? Seek Him in everyday life; seek Him in your decision-making; and in all things seek Him to know -- and do -- His will.
Seek God in Everyday Life
We are not only to seek God from afar. We are to abide in God (John 15:4).
Abiding together is what a husband and wife do. They live together, they share each other's lives, they're totally involved with each other, and the involvement grows year by year.
God wants to share His Life with you, and in return He wants you to share your life with Him. He wants to move into your world, and involve Himself totally in it - in every relationship, every business transaction, every meal, every bill, every family problem, every joy.
God will be as involved with you as you let Him be involved.
That is the reason why He encourages you to seek Him. He doesn't expect you to be a monk and seek him in seclusion, somewhere apart. He provided a simple, realistic way to do it.
Philippians 4:6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
1 Peter 5:7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
God is saying, come to Him in every detail of your everyday life.
Are you bored with your daily routine? Take your boredom to God and ask Him to remove it. You might be surprised how marvelously He provides things to get involved in that the whole family will enjoy!
Sometimes God uses circumstances to remind us to pray about everything.
Some problem emerges that you have no control over. Instead of worrying, or trying to get control by finding your solution, think that God is calling you to submit the problem to Him, and watch His solution. It might be something totally out of your ability to control, but He does it for you.
James 4:2 ... ye have not, because ye ask not.
So often, rather than ask God, we resort to the other things James mentioned in the verse.
We try to express our strong desire, even going to great lengths (like getting others out of the way), we get competitive and aggressive, to get what we want. But we don't ask God for it! If we think of God at all, we grumble to him about it, blame him for it, we ask "Why is God doing this to us?" Or "Why is God letting this happen?"
How much better, if we desire and don't have, instead of resorting to aggressive ways of getting what we want, why not straightaway ask God to provide?
If the Israelites in the desert had gone to God with requests instead of grumbling, their journey would have been full of thanksgiving and praise!
It takes some work to remember to pray about everything, because sometimes it doesn't seem straightaway that you need to pray.
God does want you to be successful in business ventures, but you'd be better off consulting with your Partner before you make any "sure-fire" investments.
Why seek God? We need to be clear on why pray about everything.
The idea behind it is to open your life to God so that He will be free to do whatever He wants in your life and circumstances.
We don't pray to get God's OK on our little plans. The idea is not to pray, "Now, God, I want You involved in this business venture or this family problem so things will all work out my way."
We pray about everything so t will go God's way, so we're living in the center of His will, and so that His will might be accomplished on earth as it is in heaven. And that is 100%.
Seek God in Your Daily Decisions
God didn't intend that praying about everything would be a burden to you, but rather a help.
Many of us really want to do what God wants, if we can only be sure of what that is.
We care about circumstances; God cares about our hearts.
Christians are nervous about being out of the Will of God. The high school graduate asks, "Should I go to this university or that? I don't want to be out of the will of God." The businessman says, "I wonder whether I should buy this new equipment or not. I would like to know God's will on this." The housewife wonders if the new house her family is considering is really God's will. "We don't want to get into something God doesn't want us to."
Most Christians seeking the Will of God are looking at choices involving geographical location, or their career or vocation.
The Scriptures say almost nothing about these things. There are some general guidelines. If you're considering marriage to a non-believer, or getting into a career of thievery or prostitution, it would be easy to determine the will of God would be a No.
But on the whole, the Scriptures have very little to say about the specific careers or locations involved in your decision options.
In one of the few places where these issues are even touched on, is Jesus' sermon on the Mount, in which He brings up the questions of food, clothing, and shelter. Even there, you're only told God doesn't want you to worry about these things.
Does the Bible's silence on choices that concern you indicate that God doesn't care about them? Not at all. It's just because there's something that God cares about more, and that is your heart.
Most of Scripture deals with what you are on the inside, not the effect that has on your outside style of life. God is not impressed by those who do the right things on the outside, but aren't with Him in their hearts. In fact, the Lord rebukes His people when He says in Isaiah:
Isaiah 29:13 Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men:
Jesus was not impressed by the Pharisees. He was more impressed by fishermen, tax collectors, and even former prostitutes who honestly trusted him than with the Pharisees who had a religious job but didn't have a right heart.
He cares more whether you are living by faith than whether you are a missionary or a carpenter. More about you having a loving attitude towards your fellow workers than whether they are engineers or church staff. More about His order in the home than whether it's an expensive house or a cheap rented apartment. More about your heart being free from pride and covetousness than whether your car is a silver Mercedes or a cheap second-hand car.
That doesn't mean that you shouldn't ask God about these areas of life. Just be sure that you know what God's main concern is, and make that your concern. Before you ask God about His will relating to your vocation or vacation, your car or your investments, ask yourself this: Has the Lord already shown you some things that He wants you to be doing that you aren't? Let God be concerned about giving you the right directions.
Let your concern be whether or not you are obeying the will of God that you already know.
You need to be more concerned about whether you're living in obedience to the light that you already have than in whether God will give you new light on a decision you have to make.
The reason you can relax about finding God's will in your life decisions is that God is more concerned about showing you His will than you are in finding it!
Remember Jonah? God told him to go to Nineveh, so Jonah took a ship and headed in the opposite direction. Jonah wasn't interested in doing God's will. Did God dump him? Not at all.
God brought up a huge storm, fixed a dice throw, arranged for a great fish to swallow Jonah - all this so He could get Jonah to the place ad heart attitude that He wanted.
If God would go to all this trouble for a man who was running from His will, what would He not do for you if you were seeking God's will?
David said, "The Lord is my Shepherd". And whose job is it to do the guiding: the shepherd's or the dumb sheep's? God's rod and staff was such a comfort to David because he knew that God knew that he was just a sheep, so if he ever got off the track, God would be faithful to bring him back on!
God delights in showing us what He wants us to do.
So, if you're concerned about a decision, and you need to know God's will, remember that He's more eager to show you what to do than you are to know. That takes the pressure off you.
All you have to do is to wait for Him to show you, and then do what He tells you to do.
How to Know the Will of God
1. Commit yourself to doing God's will.
Search the Scriptures. What the Bible says about the will of God concerns doing it, obeying it, rather than knowing what it is.
God's major problem is finding people who want their lives lived His way rather than their own. When He does find one of these people, showing them what He wants them to do is the easy part.
God is not in the business of satisfying curiosity seekers. So don't come to Him to find out what He wants so you can then decide whether or you'll do it. Decide first whether or not you really want God's will. If you decide you do, and you'll do what He wants, no matter what it is, the battle is 99% over.
2. Believe God is already working within you to guide you.
Philippians 2:13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
You want to do His good pleasure? then you need to believe that God is at work in you, helping you to want what He wants, and then helping you do what He wants.
3. Look at your heart's desire.
If you are committed to doing what God wants, and He's been at work inside you, then move out in the direction of your desires, and God will do one of two things. He'll either shut the door you're headed toward to show you another way, or He'll supply the resources you need to do the job as you go.
Paul launched out thrice to visit the Christians in Rome, but each time the Lord closed the door. And the door was closed because God was opening the door to other service that He had in mind.
Abraham launched out to Canaan (Genesis 12), and God provided the necessary resources and reinforcements as he went.
But have you ever wondered how Abraham knew where to go? God didn't tell Abraham his exact destination. How did Abraham know that it was God'w will that he wind up in Canaan?
Go back to Genesis 11 where we are introduced to Abraham's father, Terah. Terah was the one who first had the idea to move the family to Canaan. We don't know what was in his mind when he packed his family for a journey and picked Canaan for his destination. Maybe he thought there'd be a better future for his children there. Whatever, we know that the family was on the way to Canaan.
They got as far as Haran, and Terah died. It was at Haran that the Lord spoke to Abraham and told him to move. Now Abraham was God's man, and he wanted to do what God said, but since God didn't say exactly where the land was that he was to go to, Abraham followed his heart's desire and headed for Canaan, following the dream that his father had given him.
We know today that he was absolutely correct, because Canaan was indeed the Promised Land. He found that out only when he got there. But Abraham actually was merely going in the light of what he wanted to do, trusting God to stop him if he was going the wrong way.
Living by faith!
God's part is to be your total resource and to reward you.
Your part begins by seeking Him, by including Him in your everyday life, and by looking to Him for those major decisions you face.
As you look to Him more and more, you'll find your life getting simpler and simpler. It's just a question of "What will You have me to do?" (Acts 9:6) and then doing it as God answers you. And He will answer, because "He is a rewarder of those who seek Him." (Hebrews 11:6)