3 Ways to Seek God With Your Whole Heart

In Jeremiah 29:13, God says that if you seek him with your whole heart, you will find him. But, what does it really mean to pursue God so completely? In this post, we’ll talk about how to seek God with your whole heart.

how to seek God with your whole heart

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I’ll never forget my freshman year of college. It was culture shock, in a good way! You see, I grew up attending Sunday school and believing in God’s existence, but I only saw Christianity as religion, not as a relationship with God.

But there I was, starting my college experience at a Christian university, surrounded by new friends and classmates who talked about Jesus as if he was their best friend! What kind of strange love potion were these people drinking?!

Over time, I came to understand what they already knew: That being a Christian is not about following a religion, but about knowing a person—Jesus Christ. It’s about what Jesus did on the cross—giving his very life in atonement for our sins—so that we could be forgiven, made righteous by his blood, and thus able to have a close relationship with God.

new life in Jesus Christ

What does it mean to seek God wholeheartedly?

I admit, even after accepting Christ as my Lord and Savior in college, there’ve been far too many times when I’ve chased after the rituals of faith, rather than seeking God Himself.

Maybe you’ve been there too?

And if so, I’m sure you would agree, that in this fallen and messy world it’s all too easy to focus on the created things and not on our Creator. I know that for me, it’s a constant growth process (a.k.a. struggle!) to learn to seek God first.

Oftentimes, I find myself fixated on the blessings God gives me, rather than seeking God’s presence. Or, I get so immersed in DOING things, that I don’t stop to ask for God’s guidance.

Ultimately, I believe that seeking God wholeheartedly means that we’re learning to give him our full attention. That even as we go about our day, we can pray continually, stop and seek his guidance when necessary, rest in his presence, and walk hand in hand with him as our Lord and Savior. Instead of finding solace in other things first (like the advice of a coworker, the emotional “comfort” of food, surfing the internet, etc.), we go FIRST to God to have our needs met.

“To arrive at union with God, all one needs is a heart resolutely determined to apply itself to nothing but Him, do nothing but for His sake, and to love Him only.”
~Brother Lawrence, The Practice of the Presence of God

seek God with your whole heart

How to Seek God With Your Whole Heart

Like I mentioned above, all of this is a work in progress. I definitely don’t have it all “figured out”! So, if you feel like you’re lost in a sea of worldly distractions, and you haven’t a clue how to seek God wholeheartedly, rest assured you are not alone. And also, God sees you and he understands! If your aim is to genuinely seek him, you WILL find him. Have patience with your spiritual growth, and trust that “he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6).

That being said, there are a few essential steps to seeking God that I’ve learned (and continue to learn) along my spiritual journey. If you want to know how to seek God with your whole heart, start here…

1) Approach God with an attitude of fear/reverence/awe/worship

Do you ever stop and think about how amazing it is that God created you? That he knew you even before you were born? He is the all-powerful, all-knowing, all-good Creator of the universe, who is absolutely worthy of our praise. God created us for relationship with Him, and he desires our full devotion and adoration.

praise and worship

When I consider your heavens,
the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
which you have set in place,
what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
human beings that you care for them?

Psalm 8:3-4 (NIV)

For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mothers’ womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful
I know that full well.

Psalm 139:13-14 (NIV)

Therefore, let us offer through Jesus a continual sacrifice of praise to God, proclaiming our allegiance to his name.
Hebrews 13:15 (NLT)

So therefore, if you want to seek God with your whole heart, it helps to remind yourself of just how worthy of praise and glory God truly is. Don’t we owe him our very lives? Then, maybe it would be a great idea to cut back on the amount of “worship” we give to the things of this world (the latest culture craze, celebrities, TV shows, etc.), and give more worship to God.

give God your whole heart

2) Cultivate a humble and repentant heart

By the same token, since we know God is worthy of all praise and glory, we should seek him with humble hearts. Clearly, we have all sinned and fallen short of his glory (Romans 3:23), and yet he gave his only Son Jesus Christ to pay the price for our sins. So, if we’re to seek God honestly and openly, we need to confess our sins regularly, and make sincere effort to turn away from them (repent).

We think we know so much (about life, what we want out of it, what we deem is “good” for us), and yet, we really know diddly squat (a.k.a. nothing)! But up in the heavens, God sees EVERYTHING. He knows what he knows, because he is GOD! And, we are not. It seems like every day, I have another realization about just how little I know, and how much credit and trust I need to give to God. We can’t seek him with our whole hearts, if we’re still trying to approach him as if we know what he should do or how he should act.

Imagine a pauper who begs at the King’s gate…the King, in his great love and generosity, brought the pauper into his castle, and made the pauper a member of his own family. The King feeds and clothes the pauper in splendor, and provides for his every need. So, wouldn’t it be foolish and ungrateful of the pauper to question that provision? Like, “Wait, you’re only going to give me three sets of clothes? I need ten! And what about that chocolate cake I requested? I mean, the soup was delicious and nourishing, but I really wanted that cake!”. What nerve!

But yet, don’t we often talk that way to God, like he owes us something? What do we really know anyway? (Again, diddly squat!) To seek God in the best way possible, we need to remember that HE is God, we are not, and he is so generous to give us everything that he does. Not that we can’t ask him for more, but we’re not entitled to it, and only God knows what’s truly best for us.

“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”
Matthew 6:33 (NIV)

At the end of the day, one of the benefits of seeking God is to admit that there’s a lot we don’t know, and just to let go and let God. He is more than capable of handling our problems!

humble man praying

3) Lean on God’s grace

Which brings me to our last point, which is to lean on God’s grace. As we’re seeking God, it can be tempting to try and muscle our way through some things (like trying to love difficult people, or being more generous with our resources). But at the end of the day, we find ourselves still falling short.

I can’t even tell you how many days I’ve tried to pray continually, or love my neighbors, or stay focused on Jesus, but felt like I was failing miserably (like, if I were grading myself on an exam, I would give myself a big red ZERO!). What I’ve realized, is that I was TRYING to do all those things, without seeking God in the midst of it. It’s only when I make a point to communicate with God throughout the day, that I make good progress, and that I can also rest in His Grace and not berate myself for the areas that I fell short in that day.

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.
John 15:5 (NIV)

Therefore let us [with privilege] approach the throne of grace [that is, the throne of God’s gracious favor] with confidence and without fear, so that we may receive mercy [for our failures] and find [His amazing] grace to help in time of need [an appropriate blessing, coming just at the right moment].
Hebrews 4:16 (AMP)

focus on Jesus mini-course

How do I find God in my life?

Lastly, in all this talk about reverence + humility + grace, you might be thinking “That’s great, but how do I actually discern God’s presence in my life?”.

In the Bible, we see that God makes himself known in numerous different ways (the burning bush (Exodus 3:1-4), a still small voice (1 Kings 19:11-18), a vision (Acts 10:9-16), just to name a few). For a God who is ALL-powerful, ALL-knowing, and for whom ALL things are possible, there’s no limit to the ways God may speak to you or show his presence.

rainbow - a sign of hope and God's promises

This may be different for each of us, but in my life, there are two main signs of God’s presence that I experience. The first, is simply in His Word…there’ve been so many times when I’ve asked him something in prayer, and then opened up my Bible and there’s the answer right in front of me. BOOM!

And the second, is just those unexplainable life events that feel like God is ‘talking’ to me. One day, I was Bible journaling on Psalm 8:1 ~ “…how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory in the heavens.” And not an hour later, I looked out my bedroom window and there was a beautiful rainbow! And just recently, I did a Bible journal on Daniel 3:16-18, and the very next morning I got in my car to go to work, and the very first song playing on the radio was MercyMe “Even If” which is based on that same Scripture. What are the odds???

Of course, there are so many more ways to experience God’s presence. Spending time in nature, singing praise and worship songs, and seeking God in prayer are a few such ways. Experiencing miracles, like a healing, or receiving an anonymous check at exactly the right time that you were asking God for help paying a bill, or that person you’ve been praying for who finally turned their life around, are all reminders of God’s presence, power, and provision. If we just look for God’s fingerprints on our lives, we’ll find that we’re covered in them!

So, in closing, what does it mean to seek God first? The most important thing we can remember when learning how to seek God with our whole hearts, is to seek HIM and HIM alone. Set aside the material blessings, the rain or sunshine, and all the other fluff in the created world…if we seek to truly KNOW God, and to walk with him, talk with him, and to do what is pleasing in his sight, we will find him.

{ 23 comments… add one }
  • Joanna63 January 16, 2021, 12:52 pm

    I came across your blog when I was searching for “Seeking God”. I like the way you broke it down and used scriptures to support your reasons. If we all seek the Lord, this world will be a better place. Thanks for your blog, looking forward to reading more of your posts. God bless you.

    • Barbara Austin January 18, 2021, 12:52 am

      You’re welcome, Joanna! Indeed, when we seek God and have more of His presence in our lives, we can be so much better as people and as His church.

  • Shannon January 16, 2021, 5:08 pm

    Thank you for this article. I truly needed to read it. May God bless and keep you.❤

    • Barbara Austin January 18, 2021, 12:52 am

      You’re welcome Shannon!

    • Dolores buenbrazo September 20, 2021, 8:57 pm

      Thanks for this blog..find it very doable and understandable practical ways on how to seek God earnestly. God bless you

      • Barbara Austin September 22, 2021, 10:11 pm

        You’re welcome!

  • Farrah February 10, 2021, 3:28 am

    Beautiful story! God bless you.

  • Wesiona D. Walker March 2, 2021, 4:58 pm

    Thank you your post…..it was an easy read with appropriate scriptures as I seek more of God.

    • Barbara Austin March 2, 2021, 5:35 pm

      You’re welcome! ❤️

  • Sue May 24, 2021, 4:44 am

    Just pray for me that I can retain what I have read and put it into practice. It is just what I need.

    • Barbara Austin May 25, 2021, 10:18 pm

      I will absolutely pray for you, Sue. ❤️

  • Amuriat James July 3, 2021, 6:14 am

    I personally found this article on 3 ways of seeking God with whole heart very inspiring and broadening understanding of getting closer to God.

    • Barbara Austin July 7, 2021, 7:08 pm

      Glad you found it helpful!

  • Shamane Miller July 7, 2021, 6:46 am

    I sooo needed this, because my curiosity about growing a closer relationship with GOD is most definitely imperative for me on my spiritual journey to salvation! I desire to know as much as possible especially in these trying times. Yet, I procrastinate and I totally despise that about myself. #workinprogress Thanks 🙏🏽 so much for this blog🙏🏽♥️🙏🏽♥️

    • Barbara Austin July 7, 2021, 7:06 pm

      You’re welcome! ♥️ You are definitely not alone in that; we are all works in progress. I love what Philippians 1:6 (NLT) says: And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.

  • Ileana Ramirez August 1, 2021, 2:13 am

    Thank you so much for this I truly needed guidance and this page helped me a lot Ms.Austin I will be praying for you ❤️

    • Barbara Austin August 1, 2021, 7:10 pm

      You’re welcome, glad I could help.

  • Rob M August 8, 2021, 1:15 am

    Hey there, I recently got out of a GREAT relationship with a Christian girl (being a Christian myself) who I was ready to marry. She told me “no, now is not the time”, and not long after that she broke up with me after 2 years to let me know she believes it’s Gods will that she follow Him, wholeheartedly. As you can imagine, I was quite broken at first! And, there is ofcourse still a tinge of desire to be with her after a few months now. Thankfully however, I decided not to hate God/move away from him, but to try and do the same, and that is why I am here. Thank you for sharing these expereinces and knowledge, it really helps!
    If you are in the same boat, or a similar one, don’t fret, GOD LOVES YOU, and He IS with you…it is all for his glory. Seek Him!
    I pray that all of you keep on with your journey with God, He is truly all we need. Seek Him, and he will provide everything you need anyways 🙂

    • Barbara Austin August 8, 2021, 2:27 pm

      Hi Rob, thank you for sharing your story. I absolutely agree, God is all we need! It’s not always easy to see that, but it’s so true.

  • Nequila August 24, 2021, 1:54 pm

    This was awesome and helped me so much thank you!

    • Barbara Austin August 24, 2021, 10:50 pm

      You’re welcome!

  • Mathias Benedict Atanga September 1, 2021, 5:53 pm

    God bless you dear sister ,
    Keep up the good works you are doing for the kingdom expansion.

    • Barbara Austin September 1, 2021, 7:08 pm

      Thank you so much for the encouragement! I pray God’s blessings for you also. ❤️

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