No one seeks after God, and by this we mean that the unregenerate do not seek after the true and living God because He is Holy (Joshua 24:19). Some of you are probably thinking, “I know a lot of people who are seeking.” Look around you. Is it a holy God they’re searching? A God that takes sins seriously?
On the surface it appears that people are seeking but Scriptures tell a different story. James 4:2-3 says, “…Yet you do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.” In the case of believers, there is a right and wrong kind of asking. How much more then when it comes to unbelievers seeking God. The unregenerate do not seek God for God, but for things that God can provide. When we analyze Proverbs  carefully we see this clearly. Jesus stands and calls out: “If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.” We see it in the parable of the wedding feast: “The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son, and sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding” The problem with the outward call? “They would not come.” They were more concerned with “self,” “businesses” and the care of this world.
“Because I have called and you refused,
I have stretched out my hand and no one regarded,
Because you disdained all my counsel,
And would have none of my rebuke,
I also will laugh at your calamity;
I will mock when your terror comes,
When your terror comes like a storm,
And your destruction comes like a whirlwind,
When distress and anguish come upon you.
‘Then they will call on me, but I will not answer;
They will seek me diligently, but they will not find me.’”
When distress and destruction comes, people tend to look for security and safety. They will call on God, but not for God Himself, but only for what He can provide. Their seeking is not genuine. It’s not out of godly sorrow and repentance, but self-preservation. It is not God that they are seeking, but what He can provide for them. In Mark 1:35-39, we read: “Everyone is looking for You.” But He said to them, “Let us go into the next towns, that I may PREACH there also…”
If people do not come to Jesus through the Gospel then they come to Him for the wrong reasons. These people weren’t seeking Jesus for Jesus, but because they saw the miracles (Mark 1:29-34). We see it again in John [6:26]\: “Jesus answered them and said, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled.’”
With that said, we must also keep in mind that God does use trials and sufferings to draw us to Himself. It is true that the ungodly will only seek for God (security and safety) when disaster strikes them. It is also true that God often use trials and suffering to get the attention of the ungodly and to save them. When we have plenty and are living our best life, it’s in our nature not to seek for God because it’s only the sick that needs a physician. So to get our attention, He allows sickness and suffering to enter our lives to get our attention.
Just like in a debate/discussion. A person could be asking questions not because he is genuinely seeking for understanding but so he can argue and sound smart. Then there are those who are genuinely asking questions because they truly want to know and understand. This is where discernment comes in.