Just Browsing

by Alan Stewart

Several weeks ago, I made an unusual observation while visiting an office supply store. While it may not be for you, for me to visit such a store is to approach the threshold of temptation. I lose track of time as I find myself intrigued at all the new and fancy gadgets that help you stay organized.

The scene for this particular visit looked like all the rest; a friendly sales clerk, an aisle of customers, and shelves filled with products. As the sales clerk made her way through the crowd, it was then that my attention shifted to the answers to her question. One by one, she asked if assistance was needed. Every reply was exactly the same that day, "no, I am just looking"-simply browsing with no particular item in mind.

Have you ever noticed how often that statement describes our lives? Lives whose shelves are beautifully arranged and loaded with potential, but nothing of particular interest or usefulness is drawn from them-just simply browsing.

In John 1, Jesus is being followed by two disciples of John the Baptist. Sensing their presence, Jesus turns and asks, "What seek ye?" Their answer of wanting to see where He lived seems so shallow. Were they caught off guard? Did they fear it being a loaded question? What makes this question so intimidating is who it is that asks it-He knows the answer even before He asks.

As you seek to follow the Lord in your life, how would you respond if unexpectedly He should turn and ask, "What seek ye?" Before you answer, let's dig a little deeper into what Jesus was asking. This word "seek" carries some interesting meanings.

The word speaks of our diligence. It implies "to be about." Jesus is asking in essence, "what were you after to begin with?" It is interesting; in our jobs we are working toward retirement. As parents, we are working toward setting our children out on their own. However, when it comes to our spiritual lives, far too many lives are just browsing. There is a sense of urgency in the question from Jesus. Most would have pondered His question. Some would have debated it. Others would have "prayed about it."

However, hesitancy would have meant the loss of opportunity. A wrong road chosen in life will take years to recover from-if one ever does fully. What are you achieving spiritually in your life from the road you are currently traveling?

The word speaks of our devotion. It implies "worship." Have you given much thought as to what worship is? Worship is the humiliation of oneself to exalt another. True worship will exact a price from our lives. Jacob learned this the hard way at Peniel. His wrestling match with the angel was not to determine physical strength, but rather spiritual position. Jacob lost the ability to walk correctly, but he gained the privilege of clinging to the Lord and worshipping through the hurt. It was then he got what he sought afterthe blessing of God. Worship will always precede the blessing of God.

The word speaks of our desire. In I Kings 3, Solomon has become king and God appears to him with these words, "Ask what I shall give thee." What a statement! "Solomon, anything I have is yours simply by asking." Being young, inexperienced, and scared, he could have asked for riches, fame, and longevity of life, but he only asked for wisdom and it was granted.

You might ask, "how do you get the things you seek after in life?" The answer is found in the priority of our desires. God grants us the desires of our heart when our heart is delighted in Him. Keep in mind that because his desires were in order, Solomon got more than he asked for.

"What seek ye?" A church will determine its destiny in how it answers. Individual lives will set a course of direction in life that is hard to alter in how it answers. "What seek ye?" Is it a blessing? Is it a spiritual gift? Is it a miracle? To seek anything less than Jesus is to settle for second best. So, are you just browsing, or seeking for the best?

Alan Stewart pastors Recoboth Baptist Church in Soddy-Daisy, Tenn.

2011 Disciple 155x50 2011 AMG 155x50
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