Christian Life, The Church, The Eternal Purpose

Still Haven’t Found What We’re Looking for

Some time ago, a Facebook friend wrote about still not finding what he was looking for. It clanged around in my spirit and stuck with me. Recently, I heard another saint express the same sentiment, though not using those exact words. This person was looking for one thing, was presented another, and simply didn’t find what she was looking for.

Normally, this isn’t a big deal. I’ve heard plenty of people express similar thoughts, and I have expressed them, too. But the clanging and the sticking from these two particular statements stemmed from the fact that these saints were referring to the Lord and His Church. Jesus Christ and His Bride is not only the biggest deal on planet earth, they’re the only deal that matters.

Now, in everyone’s defense, that thing which calls itself the church shouldn’t be what anyone is looking for. That man-made system is not the nature and character of God on the earth today, no matter how good-intentioned or God-fearing those who made and implemented said system were.

So let’s get back to the real deal; let’s look at God’s heart. His whole intention in creating in the first place was to increase the divine community life shared among the Godhead to a fourth. That fourth was to then express God’s rule and authority over the earth. And that fourth was even given access to God’s life from which to draw in order to accomplish said ruling and expressing. All the fourth had to do was choose God’s life. That fourth was to be a bride and body for the Son, a house and family for the Father, and a temple for the Holy Spirit. Ultimately, God fulfills this endeavor by placing Christ in the fourth and the fourth in Christ. Now as the fourth joins herself to Christ, she becomes one spirit with Him.

The sad truth is that this reality is so lost on saints today. Too often we think of “church” as a place to attend or a game to be played. So, I get it when we say things like “I still haven’t found what I’m looking for.” I was there once, too. But then, somewhere along the way, my search changed. I discovered that as I looked for what I wanted, everyone else was looking for what they wanted, too. Would the Lord ever give us all what we individually wanted? So I sat with the Lord and asked Him what He wanted. I no longer cared for what I wanted, but I desired to find what the Lord was looking for. What is He after? What does He want? What is He looking for?

You know what? I found it. I found what He is looking for. She is His ekklesia. She is broken, but being made whole. She is lost, but finding the Way. She isn’t what I thought I was looking for, and I almost missed Her, but I stopped and asked the Lord, and He said, “Here She is.” So, I stopped looking. I found Her. Is she what I was looking for? Nothing like it at all. But She is infinitely better. She is glorious. She is our Lord fleshed out on the earth today.

I believe the song by U2 has become the heart cry of so many saints out there, like it was once mine, and they are just missing it. It’s subtle. The Lord isn’t about meeting our expectations, so He makes it easy to choose somebody else. He demands it all, including everything we think we know about Him and His Church. Let’s go through the lyrics:

I have climbed the highest mountains
I have run through the fields
Only to be with you
Only to be with you.

I have run, I have crawled
I have scaled these city walls
These city walls
Only to be with you.

But I still haven’t found
What I’m looking for.
But I still haven’t found
What I’m looking for.

Let’s pause here and look at it. Please note: I am not endeavoring to dissect the heart behind those who wrote this song. I’m not trying to read any meanings into this song hidden nor intentional. I’m commenting on the thoughts and attitudes of countless saints (again I was once there, too) who spend their whole life looking for something and completely missing the Lord. Now, with that disclaimer out of the way, I’ll proceed.

Here we have the saint who has done all the external things, has met all the external criteria (think rich young ruler) only to be with Christ, but she still hasn’t found what she’s looking for. When Christ presents an alternative to what the saint was already thinking, she just can’t comprehend it and goes away saddened. She still hasn’t found what she’s looking for. Press play:

I have kissed honey lips
Felt the healing in her finger tips
It burned like fire
A burning desire.

I have spoke with the tongue of angels
I have held the hand of a devil
It was warm in the night
I was cold as a stone.

But I still haven’t found
What I’m looking for.
But I still haven’t found
What I’m looking for.

Pause. Let’s reflect on this passage. Sounds like a combo of those who were healed by Jesus only to run off and not follow Him and those who do all the right things but have no love. Know any of those saints? Could be you? Could be me, too. This saint has seen “the gifts” in action and has maybe even manifested some of those gifts. But the Lord requires something else, something too simple – love. This saint goes away still to proclaim the powers and mysteries of God, but he still hasn’t found what he’s looking for. Play:

I believe in the Kingdom Come
Then all the colours will bleed into one
Bleed into one.
But yes, I’m still running.

Pause. These are the saints who talk a great game on social media about ekklesia and sharing Christ, but never do anything about it. They sit back and hide behind the safety of virtual community and spout their diatribes, but never venture out into the real world of face to face community. For whatever reason; it doesn’t matter. We say we believe it, but we keep running. I can hear the Lord’s heart: Why are you still running? Play:

You broke the bonds
And you loosed the chains
Carried the cross of my shame
Oh my shame, you know I believe it.

But I still haven’t found
What I’m looking for.
But I still haven’t found
What I’m looking for.

But I still haven’t found
What I’m looking for.
But I still haven’t found
What I’m looking for.

We believe what the Lord has done for us. He saved us from our sins and gave us new life. We’re in! But we still haven’t found what we’re looking for. Do you see it saints? We haven’t found what we’re looking for. But what about the Lord? What is He looking for? A bunch of scattered living stones? Or living stones being built up into a spiritual house?

Saints, as long as we keep looking for what we want, we’ll never find it. Truly. This song will become our banner, and we still won’t find what we’re looking for. If we keep looking for things – the right way to do church, open-participatory meetings, manifestations of the gifts of the spirit, evangelism, great worship, community, fellowship with the saints, etc. – we’ll miss God completely. He’ll be right in front of us, and we simply won’t see Him.

So what can we do about it? We can lay it all down. Lay what down? Everything. Our own expectations, wishdreams, past experiences, ministries, gifts, teachings, desires, you name it. Lay it all down. Ask the Lord what He’s looking for. Be poor in spirit and humble ourself to learn once again. Be willing to be wrong about what we thought “church was supposed to look like”. Lay it all down. Allow the Lord to fill us with more of Him. He can’t fill us with Him if we’re too full of ourself. He can’t bring us into His fullness if we’re still clinging to the parts. He can’t give us His name if we’re still clinging to our own.

Ultimately, God gets what He’s after. You know that, right? Christ is the heir of all things. He’s the summing up of all things. He’s the beginning and the end. He’s the all and in all.

May we stop looking for what we want, and start looking for what the Lord wants. And may He find that in us.

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4 Comment

  1. Reply
    Donna
    August 8, 2017 at 8:40 am

    Right on! and Amen! I never seem to get to the end of all the list of things that must be laid down! Ha! But it’s all about what He wants, amen RC! And praise God that He is so full of grace toward us, so patient and loving. I have seen that what He wants is a far grander and greater prize than anything I might look for. I am learning simply to look for Him nowadays. 🙂
    Donna recently posted…What is the heart of the Gospel?My Profile

  2. Reply
    Milt Rodriguez
    August 8, 2017 at 8:54 am

    Great word brother!

  3. Reply
    David Sword
    August 9, 2017 at 3:40 pm

    Can I just say “WOW!” and “Amen Brother”. It is not about me, never was, never will be. I am continually shocked by how much I find myself still searching for what I am looking for instead of what He has done and is doing.. Thank you for challenging my deeper motivations and the reality of what is behind them.

  4. Reply
    Andrew Kanonik
    October 6, 2017 at 4:27 pm

    Totally inspiring brother!

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