Call it elusive, call it unattainable, call it the bane of my existence, this thorn in my flesh, the snag that prohibits me from completing my nine-year-old’s Christmas wish list is a Disney Mix Stick. Each morning at nine I call Target and Wal-Mart as if it is my job, Brad at Target (yes, I already know him on a first-name basis, and he knows me as well) checked every store in Middle Tennessee this morning — no luck. I will try again in the morning. Christmas just will not be Christmas without that Disney Mix Stick MP3 player.
Life is funny that way, when you have your heart set on something, nothing else will satisfy. Have you ever been thirsty for a glass of tea, picked up the glass, took a big drink, only to find it was soda? It’s quite an unsatisfying experience. It wasn’t that the soda was bad, you just had your heart set on tea.
Man has always had a desire to worship God. Just look at all the different ways man has devised of worshiping God and gods for the evidence. However, when it comes to worshiping God, not just any worship satisfies God. Our worship must be worship God desires.
Evidence of man’s desire to worship was found in Athens during the first century. In Acts 17 the Bible records the occasion when Paul enters the city and finds a very “religious” people yet very lost people. These people had altars set up to worship everything and just so they didn’t leave any “god” out they even had an altar set up to “The Unknown God.” Paul took this occasion to proclaim the one and only God to them.
Therefore, the One whom you worship without knowing, Him I proclaim to you: God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands. Nor is He worshiped with men’s hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things. And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their pre-appointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us (Acts 17:23b-27).
God predetermined that, if a man should seek the Lord, he would be able to find him! This does not take away man’s free will, it just means that God is waiting on you to turn to him. He is waiting for you to make a decision because he already decided.
Take my Mix Stick for example; I cannot buy one even though I want one really badly. Can you imagine how terrible it would be if we sought after God but could not find God? However, if the Mix Sticks were available on the shelf then I could buy one as soon as I realized I needed one.
God is there, he is always there, waiting, longing, hoping that his lost children might reach out for him, and he is not far from each one of us.