“We cannot find God without God. We cannot reach God without God. We cannot satisfy God without God- which is another way of saying that all our seeking will fall short unless God starts and finishes the search. The decisive part of our seeking is not our human ascent to God, but His descent to us. Without God’s descent there is no human ascent. The secret of the quest lies not in our brilliance but in His grace” (Os Guinness, Long Journey Home).
It’s not that I found Jesus. As one pastor I know always puts it, it’s not Jesus who was lost. I was. Jesus found me.
It may sound like semantics to you, but I think it’s important to know the difference.
Salvation is all God. It’s not like I was smart enough to figure it out or brave enough to seek it out. If God hadn’t sought me out first, I never would have sought Him in the first place.
That’s humbling. I can take no credit whatsoever for my being saved. It is all of grace.
That’s also good news. It means that if it’s not up to human efforts or human goodness, then anyone can find it (or better yet, anyone can be found). There’s no such thing as too lost, too far gone, too out of reach for God.
That helps when you’re praying for a son or a daughter, a brother or sister, a mother or father who seems hopelessly unreachable. It helps when you have a friend who seems bent on self-destructing and won’t let you help.
There are countless stories of those whom the world had basically given up on that God saved. The best example is the Apostle Paul. Maybe the next one will be someone you love. Maybe the next one will be you.