8 For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks the door will be opened.
“Seek and you will find.”
These immortal words from the Sermon on the Mount are among the most encouraging words that Jesus ever uttered, but they contain a command as well as a promise. The command is implicit but unmistakeable, and it’s directed to each of us, in our capacity as a thinking, conscience-possessing human being. Apathy and laziness will not do! It is your duty to ask the tough questions. Is there a God who created me? If so, what does God want of me?
I believe that if you search long enough and sincerely enough, then you will find God. That is the nub of Jesus’ promise, and it’s the message to be drawn from other Biblical passages too (e.g. Jeremiah 29:13; Hebrews 11:1-40.) But making the effort is critical. God is gracious, and understands that all of us have doubts. However, He does require that, in Martin Luther King’s words, you be “on the right road”. If you do not seek, you almost certainly will not find.
For the first thirty-odd years of my life, I was not seeking. I was a disinterested agnostic leaning towards atheism. When, finally, I did begin to seek, thoroughly and sincerely, I found God. Mine was an unusually “intellectual” way, which involved a huge amount of reading. Along the way, I even wrote a book to hone my ideas!
But there are many ways to God. One of the most extraordinary things about Christianity is that, for 2000 years, it has shown itself capable of devoted acceptance by men, women and children of all conceivable kinds. Around the world, there are Christians of every age, race, nationality, social class, IQ, temperament, and educational or other attainments (or lack of them). As Jesus also taught, “My father’s house has many mansions”.