The Pursuit

Sometimes God has to catch my attention. I am running towards His kingdom – that “one thing”, that one hope, that one great desire found in the beauty of His face. Yet in my running, I get tired, distracted, busy and in some seasons, forgetful of the reason for my running. I am living “Martha”, while my heart cries out “Mary”; looking at the other runners while tripping over my own track;  listening for the voice of my God, yet spinning around so quickly I cannot quite grasp which direction He is calling from.   God, however, in such times, always manages to catch up with me. He calls a time out, speaks to me eye to eye, and sets me back on my way with renewed strength and intention. This is my God – the pursuer and the captivator of my heart. This is my God who calls until I acknowledge Him. This is my God, who never gives up on saving the ones that He loves.

 

img_3063He pursues me with His word.

Word, word and more word. God brings His word to my memory, reminds me of His promises, and speaks to me until I hear Him, and I hear Him right.

I often think of Israel and the way God pursues them. So many times, Israel rejects God, runs from Him and disobeys His command. Yet, time and time again, God forgives them and restores them. He loves them and calls to them even when they do not want to hear. In the books of the prophets, we get the sense of God’s ardent longing for Israel to return to Him.

“Return, O backsliding children,” says the Lord; “for I am married to you. I will take you, one from a city and two from a family, and I will bring you to Zion. And I will give you shepherds according to My heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding.” – [Jeremiah 3:14-16]

In this small passage alone, God saturates every word with His promises and faithfulness.

  • “Return, O backsliding children…” – God is a Father, O Israel His children. He know their sin, but yet calls them to return. The Father God wants His children and He loves them. He wants us, and He loves us.
  • “… for I am married to you.” – Israel cannot be separated from God and we cannot be separated from God. He has made us a commitment through sickness and health, weakness and strength and for all eternity. Not even death can part us from God since He has already overcome it and lives forever.
  • “I will take you… and will bring you to Zion.” – God is a leader and a bringer into promise. For Israel, Zion was a physical place where Israel would be established in their own right as a people. However, it was also a position of their heart. When God brought Israel to Zion, He brought their hearts to a place of surrender, where they could look to God and cry out, “Lord, you are my God.” No more slavery under the nations, but instead at Zion, Israel would serve God. God takes us out from our slavery and brings us into the freedom of His promises which never fail. He brings us to Zion, the place of His restoration, the place of His hope, and the place where we acknowledge Him as God.
  • “And I will give you shepherds according to My heart…” – God will never leave us to fend for ourselves. He leads us, and He brings others around us to help. God wants us to know His heart and He is never short of opportunities for us to grow in our understanding and knowledge of this. God provided caring and godly shepherds to guide Israel, and He does the same for us today.

When God sends out His word, it does not return void but accomplishes everything according to His will [Isaiah 55:11]. He sends His word after me to light my path and guide my feet [Psalm 119:105]. He finds me in affliction and restores me by His word [Psalm 119:107].

 

img_3065He pursues me with God-infused situations.

Sometimes, God has to bring me to a place where I can stop, turn and see Him. One of the things I am always thankful for, is how God meets me where I am. Even when I get distracted by the busyness of life, God cuts in and reminds me that it is Him who created life. It might be a sense of wonder as I look at the sky on my way to work. It might be a testimony shared by a friend. It might be the opportunity to share for someone. Or, it might even be that uneasy feeling when God disciplines and reveals to me something in my heart that needs restoration. Whatever the situation, in these moments, I know that God is present, that His tangible presence surrounds me, and that He is personally speaking to me.

Take the example of King David’s life. There were moments of wonder, moments of fellowship, and moments of discipline. As we see in the Psalms, all these moments were also times when David came to God and spoke with Him. The situations God cause David to experience drew him to worship God regardless of hardship, position, failure or success. David worshipped God because He knew God was in every situation.

I also will worship God because I know that all things are from Him, and that He works it all for the good of those who love Him [Romans 8:28].

img_3066He pursues me with the His beauty.

I worship a beautiful God. His beauty is seen the incomparable majesty of earth’s skies, oceans, forests and mountains. His eyes burn with a kind of beauty that makes me want to gaze upon Him more, to understand more of His desires, and to draw closer to Him. God is more captivating than anything else on earth. I see His beauty in the skies, in the beauty of another’s heart, in the way He heals my brokenness, and in the gentleness on His eyes. He never fails to awe me with revelation of His glory, and He always reminds me that His beauty is worth chasing after. If I find myself distracted by something else, He reminds me that His beauty surpasses all else, and radiates through all things.

“One thing I have desired of the Lord,
That will I seek:
That I may dwell in the house of the Lord
All the days of my life,
To behold the beauty of the Lord,
And to inquire in His temple.”
[Psalm 27:4]

 

img_3062He pursues me with the His love.

Inescapable, unquenchable, and eternal. In all the words God pursues me with, in all the situations He uses to catch my attention, in all the pursuit that He gives, God is love. Ultimately, the reason God pursues is love. It is not His primary intention to bless or to discipline. These things come because He loves us. God primary motivation in His pursuit of mankind is love. He loves us, He wants us, He desires that we would be one with Him for eternity. This is why He descended to earth, why He became man, why Jesus allowed Himself to be nailed to a cross in agony, and why God the Father laid every sin and burden on the shoulders of His son. It is why Jesus bore God’s wrath, why He rose from the grave, why He opened the way for us to have restored relationship with God the Father, and why He does not give up interceding for us even today.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” – [John 3:16]


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