The answer is: YES and NO. Scripture is quite clear that no one has the desire to seek after God in their natural, sinful state. But Scripture also teaches us that God works in the souls of men and woman and creates a desire to seek after Him.

Romans 3:11 says, “There is none who understands; there is NONE WHO SEEKS AFTER GOD” (NKJV). In this portion of Scripture, the Apostle Paul is describing man’s lost and guilty condition before God. He started this line of thought in verse 9, “What then? Are we better than they? Not at all. For we have previously charged both Jews and Greeks that THEY ARE ALL UNDER SIN.” What is meant by the words, “they are all UNDER SIN?” It means that because all men (and women) are born in sin (see Psalm 51:5; John 3:6) they are all “under the power of sin.” The sinful nature they were born with prevents them from having any desire to seek after God, for their sin keeps them captive to sinful desires.

John 5:40 reads, “But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.” These words were spoken by the Lord Jesus to the religious leaders of His day, but they apply to all men. Again, because men are “under the power of sin,” they have no desire to come to Christ to receive the gift of eternal life. They do NOT seek after God!

John 6:44 states, “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him.” The Lord Jesus repeats the truth that NO ONE will come to Him for eternal life, but He adds those precious words, “unless the Father who sent Me DRAWS HIM.” We have seen that if men are left to themselves, NO ONE SEEKS AFTER GOD, but now we learn the Father can work in one’s heart and draw them, like a magnet, to His Son for salvation. He does this by the Holy Spirit and the Word, as we see in John 3:5, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water (a symbol of the Word of God…Ephesians 5:26 & 1st Peter 1:23) and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.”

Before we close our meditation, let’s consider the familiar story of Zacchaeus in Luke chapter 19. Jesus was passing through Jericho (verse 1) and in verses 2-3 we read, “Zacchaeus…was a tax collector…and he SOUGHT TO SEE who Jesus was.” Here was a man SEEKING JESUS and we read he was so earnest that he “climbed up into a sycamore tree to see Him.” How do we reconcile this with what we have just seen? I thought the scriptures said, “there is none who seeks after God?” We know Scripture does NOT contradict itself so there must be a reasonable explanation. Ah, the answer is found in verses 9-10: “And Jesus said to him, ‘Today salvation has come to this house…for the Son of Man has come TO SEEK and to save what which was lost.” The reason Zacchaeus was “seeking Jesus” is because Jesus was “seeking Zacchaeus!” As we saw earlier the Father must draw the sinner to the Lord Jesus and that’s what was taking place here. God “seeks the sinner” and then the sinner “seeks after God.” I would encourage the reader to read Genesis 3:1-15 to see that as soon as sin entered the world God had to SEEK Adam and DRAW him out of his hiding place so that He could reveal His salvation to him. (272.9) (DO)