On Seeking God (Manton)

The Works of Thomas Manton: 22 Volume Set
How blessed are those who...seek Him with all their heart (Ps. 119:2 NET). 

This biblical truth is one that has helped me continue to follow the Lord as long as I can remember. I know that I am not seeking the Lord in vain. I know that those who seek the Lord shall find him. And this verse from Psalm 119 reminds me that those who seek the Lord will also be blessed. Speaking of seeking, I like how Thomas Manton gave direction on seeking the Lord in his sermon on Psalm 119:2.

If you would seek God—

1. Seek him early: Prov. 8:32, ‘Blessed are they that seek me early.’ We cannot go about this work soon enough. Seek him when He is near. Is. 60:6 ‘Call upon the Lord while he is near.’ There are certain seasons which you cannot easily get again; such times when God deals more pressingly with you, when the word bears in upon the heart, and when God is near to us. David like a quick echo returns upon God: Ps. 27:8, ‘Seek my face; my heart said to you, Your face, Lord, will I seek.’ It would be a great loss not to obey present impulses and invitations, and not make use of the advantages which God puts into our hands.

2. Seek him daily; Ps. 105:4, ‘Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his face evermore.’ That is, from day to day you must be seeking the face of God, in the strength of God. Every hour we need his direction, protection, strength….

3. Seek him without wearying, and do not give over your seeking until you find God. Wrestle through discouragements; though former endeavors have been in vain, yet still we should continue seeking after God. We have that command to enforce us to it: Lk. 5:5 ‘We have toiled all night at your command.’ Though we do not presently find, yet we must not cast off all endeavors. In spiritual things many times a man hears and goes away with nothing but when he comes to meditate upon it, and work it upon the heart, then he finds the face of God, and the strength of God. Therefore, you must not give up your seeking.

4. Seek him in Christ. God will only be found in a mediator: Heb. 7:25, Those are accepted ‘that come to God by him.’ Guilty creatures cannot enjoy God immediately; and in Christ, God is more familiar with us: Hos. 3:5, ‘They shall seek the Lord their God, and David their king.’ None can seek him rightly but those that seek him in Christ… Let us take the Son of God in the arms of our faith, and present him to God the Father, and seek his face, his strength.

5. God can only be sought by the help of his own Spirit. As our access to God, we have it by Christ, so we have it by the Spirit: Eph. 2:18, ‘For through him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father.’ As Christ gives us the means, so the Spirit gives us the help. Bernard speaks well about this: “None can be beforehand with God, we cannot seek him till we find him in some sense: he will be sought that he may be found; and he is found that he may be sought. It is his preventing grace which makes us restless in the use of means; and when we are brought home to God, when we seek after God, it is by his own grace….”

Thomas Manton, Works, vol. 6, page 25-26.

Shane Lems
Covenant Presbyterian Church (OPC)
Hammond, WI, 54015