Question: "What does it mean to find God?"
Answer: To “find God” is a rather nebulous expression that can mean different things to different people. For some, the phrase find God is synonymous with getting religion, whatever religion that may be. For others, to “find God” means to “clean up one’s life,” usually with the help of a higher power. It is sometimes used derogatorily to describe a spiritual transformation of questionable authenticity. In any case, to “find God” involves a change in someone’s attitude and/or behavior.
There are several people in Scripture who earnestly sought to find God. In his distress, Job cried out, “If only I knew where to find God, I would go to his court” in order to argue his case before the Judge of the universe (Job 23:3). The sons of Korah expressed their desire to find God: “As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?” (Psalm 42:1–2).
Biblically speaking, to find God means to accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. It is only through Jesus that anyone can come to God (John 14:6), and receiving Christ results in a spiritual transformation (2 Corinthians 5:17). Therefore, to find God is to recognize one’s need of salvation and exercise faith in Christ. The result of finding God is living the Christian life.
The Bible says that we do not naturally seek God (Psalm 14:2–3). God commands us to forsake our sin and seek Him (Isaiah 55:6–7). Those who seek and find God receive mercy and goodness (Psalm 9:10; 22:26). The Israelites had God’s promise that, if in the midst of their exile they sought to find God, they would surely find Him (Deuteronomy 4:29).
God wants to be found. He delights in mercy and forgiveness, and He is close to all who would call on Him. As Paul taught, “God [deals with us] so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us” (Acts 17:27).