How to Stop Looking for God in the Wrong Places

The solution to the futility you feel is easier than you think.

The world makes promises it can’t keep. It says the reason we’re unhappy is that we just haven’t found the right whatever yet. But if we keep looking, we’ll find it.

Looking for God in the Wrong Places

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The right spouse, the right hairdo, the right salary, the right entertainment system, the right church, the right pastor, the right Bible, the right seminar, etc.

Those without God struggle with this, for sure. But even those of us who do believe in Jesus can chase these shadows.

We may not know we’re looking for God. But we are.

God Invades a Futile Quest

When Jesus spoke to the woman at the well about her deepest need, her mind stayed wedged in the realm of the natural. She sought purpose and security in relationships. Jesus exposed her sin in order to show its solution.

  • Cornered and uncomfortable, the Samaritan woman dodged the subject.
  • Jesus graciously brought her back.
  • Again, she sidestepped the issue by saying that when the Messiah comes, then we’ll know the truth. She figured that pulling the Messiah card was her ace in the hole.

Jesus’ final statement shook her to the core.

I who speak to you am He. —John 4:26

When God Finds Us Instead

Okay . . . so . . . now what? No more excuses.

Jesus had revealed her need and He revealed the solution. She was really looking for God but in the wrong places. Would she believe Jesus’ words?

As the woman leaves the scene, not only does she leave her water pot, but she also leaves the life she came with. She went to the people of the city she had previously avoided and told them about Jesus, the Messiah. The woman had come to the well for water, and she left with living water.

Oh, that we all would drop our water pots!

Looking for God

(Photo courtesy of Unsplash.com)

Looking for God in the Wrong Places

Even those of us who do believe in Jesus can lower our water buckets down the wrong wells. We may not know we’re looking for God.

But we are. Only He satisfies.

He’ll give us proddings to lead us to the truth we fear facing. 

Jesus’ words to the woman—“Everyone who drinks of this water shall thirst again”—apply to more than water (John 4:13). They relate to everything—everything—we draw from in life for meaning and purpose apart from the One who spoke the words.

Saint Augustine astutely observed, “Our heart does not rest until it rests in God.”

How to Stop Looking for God in the Wrong Places

The solution to the futility you feel is easier than you think; it simply takes a daily commitment.

  1. Choose to make your personal time with God—in prayer and in the Scriptures—the most important priority of your day.
  2. Choose to serve God for the motive of His glory and to help others rather than for personal fulfillment.

If we’re going to find God in our daily lives, we have to look in the right places.

Tell me what you think: Why do you think people are looking for God in relationships and things and not Him? To leave a comment, just click here.

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