I Still Haven't Found

by Johan du Preez
(Roodepoort, South Africa)

I have climbed the highest mountain, 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

I have spoken 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

I believe in the kingdom come, then all the colours will bleed into one, Bleed into one…Well yes I'm still running

You broke the bonds and you Loosed the chains
Carried the cross of my shame
Of 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...

Shall we pray?
Lord God our Father, Creator and Provider, Jesus Christ, our anointed Saviour and Redeemer, Holy Spirit, our helper, …..
Tonight we come humbly into Your presence. ……..We are sinners and yet You loved us first.

We don’t always understand Your great love and grace for us, but we thank You for it.
Please move among us as we worship You, as we thank you, as we ask You once again to show us Your will, Your way, Your truth and light.

For without You we are lost and hopeless, with no future, but with You and In You we have Hope for the future, we have direction in our lives and we know Joy, Your pure Holy Joy in all circumstances, because we have the blessed assurance that this all is only temporary until we join You for all eternity.

Thank you Lord God for this assurance, thank You that we can know that You would never leave nor forsake us.
Amen

I’m sure some of you recognised the words I was reading as an extract of the U2 song “Still haven’t found” from the album “The Joshua Tree”.
And tonight’s question deals with this question:
What are you Looking for?

Reading: John 1:38
"What are you looking for?"
The first question Jesus asks does not address our sins, failures or infidelity. It is not accusatory or hostile. Rather, it is a question rooted in compassion and love, calling upon our deepest desires, the best within us. It is a question full of hope.

"What are you looking for?"
John's Gospel begins when John the Baptist tells two of his disciples that Jesus is the Messiah. "Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world," he says, pointing to Jesus. The two disciples immediately begin following Jesus.

When Jesus notices these two followers, He turns around, looks them in the eye and asks, "What are you looking for?"
He does not reject them. From the start, he is interested in them. He draws them out. He gets them to articulate their hopes and dreams.
He is willing to listen to them. He shows them loving kindness.

Those first disciples are caught off guard by Jesus' disarming question. So they ask him a question. "Where are you staying?" Always inviting, Jesus welcomes them into his life. "Come and see," he says to them.

We are constantly looking for something, seeking something, wanting something…
Something more, beyond ourselves, something we don’t have at the moment, something that will make us happier, give our lives more meaning deepen our sense of significance…

It would seem that we are always searching for something that will enable us to live fuller, happier and freer lives.
Have a look at the queue for the Lotto on a Saturday afternoon – a lot of people believe that true happiness can be bought….

If only I can afford that new car, that latest gadget, that plasma TV, that overseas holiday, that house on the hill…. Oh, boy, I will be so happy, so fulfilled and live in perfect harmony for the rest of my life….
Yeah right….for how long ???

Unfortunately, we cheat and lie to ourselves; we rob ourselves of living a life that is filled with depth, wonder and passion.
We miss out on experiencing beautiful, intimate relationships with each other and with God. Outwardly we are successful and we live affluent lives, but when we do slow down, we sometimes hear ourselves saying: “I still haven’t found what I’m looking for”

What is it we are looking for in our lives?
Childless couples longing for a baby, lonely people longing for friends, a sick person desiring wellness, rejected people longing for acceptance, approval of others or parents…..

– My son, you’ve got what it takes…..
– my daughter, you are as pretty as a princess,
– my wife, I still love you after all these years
– My friends, my good friends…. I love you like Jesus loves you.

St. Ignatius Loyola, the founder of the Jesuits, knew, even in the sixteenth century, the importance of holy desires. He taught that every time we pray we should ask God to give us "what it is we are looking for."

So, where do we start?
A good place to start is to imagine Jesus looking at us with loving kindness and asking, "What are you looking for?"
What would we say to Jesus?

As we look at him, as we feel his sincerity and love, and as we notice his lack of judgment or anger, we can let those deep desires surface and be spoken.

Seeing the love in his eyes, we know that he will not laugh at or reject us. We know that the best within us comes from God, that God has given us everything that is holy within us, and that he will affirm whatever holy desires we seek.

What is it we want? What do we truly desire? Life is short and precious. What are we most looking for in the remaining years we have left? If we can sit with his question for days and weeks, we will discover, perhaps to our astonishment that we are not looking for money, power, fame, or control.

We are really looking for love, goodness, truth, peace, happiness, justice, mercy, and joy.
We are looking for meaning.
We are looking for God.
We are looking for Jesus.

Our deepest desires hold great power. If we can name them, unleash their goodness, and channel those desires toward God, then our lives will be transformed. We will begin a journey toward God, into the mystery and peace of God, and become servants and friends of God.

If we listen to Jesus' question, naming the pure, selfless, loving desires that lie buried in our hearts, and telling Jesus what we are looking for, he will listen and beckon us into a whole new life where those holy desires will be realized.

If we dare to say that we are looking for Him, that we want to be with Him, that we want to follow Him, we can trust that He will invite us to join Him on His journey and lead us to where He lives.

Whatever our longings may be, God really is interested – and as a Father, He asks:
What are you looking for?
Amen

Shall we pray:
Lord, tonight we come with all that we are looking for, our heartaches, our longings, our families, our salvation and most important of all our hope for the future. We look up to you, into your wonderful eyes and we lay them all at Your feet, for we know that You already know what they are.

All You ask of us is to be honest with ourselves and with You.
You already know our deepest desires and our shortcomings.
Thank you for being our Father and friend.
Please keep us safe until we meet again.
In Jesus’ name
Amen.

Comments for I Still Haven't Found

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Jul 22, 2015
Thank you!
by: Leonard

I've been struggling a lot with Christianity and people in at least one denomination that have harshly and unscripturally criticized me, stole thousands of dollars from me, threatened me with physical violence, etc. I finally told one of them I questioned their Christianity altogether! Anyway, I was saved when I was 17, I am now 59. I'm a Bible College Graduate, and was non-judgmental up to now of being ripped off in the Name of God. Their actions have turned my wife against me as it's her family. It was refreshing to read your comments today.

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