The Bible is a book about people who have a problem with God. They have a hard time seeing eye to eye with a God who says, “‘My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,’ says the LORD. ‘For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts'” (Isaiah 55:8-9)
The Bible is also about a God who has a problem with people. The whole Bible is about a God who will not always protect those who refuse to trust Him. When God barred Adam and Eve from their garden home, when He sent a flood to destroy all but Noah and his family, when He allowed the Assyrians to defeat the Northern Tribes and the Babylonians to defeat Judah, God made it clear that there is a limit to His patience.
God’s promises are not given to all, but to everyone who is willing to seek and trust Him. Isaiah reminds us that God is willing to be found by those who are willing to seek Him on His terms. Just before saying, “My thoughts are not your thoughts;” Isaiah quoted God as saying, “Seek the LORD while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the LORD, and He will have mercy on him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon” (Isaiah 55:6-7).
The whole Bible makes it clear that God promises to be found only by those who are willing to surrender to Him. This important condition of surrender is what Jesus taught when He said, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” (Matthew 5:8). He said this immediately after saying, “Blessed are the poor in spirit… Blessed are those who mourn… Blessed are the meek… Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness… Blessed are the merciful” (verses 3-7).
Each of these conditions reflects the need for a surrendered heart as a condition to receive the blessing of God.
God cannot be found by just anyone. Because He is Spirit, He is seen only by those to whom He chooses to reveal Himself. This is also true of the Bible. While the Scriptures have been given to lead us to God, they remain a closed book to those who are trying to find God on their own terms. God will be found in the pages of His book by those who desire to obey Him or, He will not be found at all.
Jesus said of God and of Himself, “If anyone wills to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine, whether it is from God or whether I speak on My own authority” (John 7:17).
Salvation itself is a gift. Forgiveness and eternal life come to us only by grace and through faith in Christ (Ephesians 2:8-9). But seeing God in the Bible requires a willingness to do the will of God. Only in submission can we see the Father and His Son on every page of Scripture.
from: Seeing God in the Bible/Our Daily Bread