That They Should Seek God [Devotion]
One of my favorite passages comes from Acts chapter seventeen. Towards the end of the chapter Paul finds himself addressing the Areopagus, a sort of philosophy club that met near the Athenian acropolis and discussed the trending ideas of the day. Understanding that his audience did not have the benefit of an upbringing steeped in the word of God, like he had, Paul gives them a whirlwind account of history to include this statement: “And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us,“ (Acts 17:26-27). The reason I love this passage so much is it lays out one of the central purposes of God’s work in time and space.
Verse 26 gives us this quote, “…having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God…“ here Paul is declaring that God is working all the events of history, the rise and fall of tribes, nations, and empires so that men will seek Him! In other words, one of if not the central theme of God’s work in history is His plan of redemption!!! God isn’t sitting up in heaven haphazardly playing a reactionary game with the lives of mortals (as the Greeks Paul was speaking with might have supposed). Instead God is purposefully working every facet of time (which includes the present and future) to bring about His plan to save His people!
But this should help us understand something that David says in Psalm 103:15-17, “As for man, his days are like grass; he flourishes like a flower of the field; for the wind passes over it, and it is gone, and its place knows it no more.But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him, and his righteousness to children's children, “ Man is fleeting our lives are like the flower in the field that doesn’t even last beyond a season. But I don’t want to focus on this in a despairing way but rather in a challenging one.
Our lives are fleeting but it says that the Love of God lasts forever! As we see Paul’s big picture comment on history next to David’s individual understanding of a single human life perhaps it puts into focus the purpose of our lives. Our purpose is one and the same as that of History, to bring glory to God by being part of His plan of redemption. One way or another we are all part of God’s plan but as believers when we realize that our lives are for more than our own amusement or gratification then we can change the way we see where God has us. God does not have you in that job so that you can make a name for yourself but so that you can uplift His name! God has not given you those resources so you can build wealth for yourself but so you can be a steward of the kingdom of God, rightly using God’s resources for His glory. This applies to every aspect of life. We are not our own. One way or another we’ll be part of His plan but how much better to know it now and be an active and willing participant in the work of the Lord.
As we work on this film it is important for us to keep in mind that this is not about our movie. It is about God’s ultimate plan. We must take every thought and task captive to that idea making sure we are serving God not ourselves because God is working all of history toward the single point of His plan and His glory and we want to be part of that!