For those of who you that read last week’s post, you will know that we started a two-part discussion on the topic of Pursuit. Last week we focused on God’s pursuit of us which is relentless, and concluded with the understanding that He has been the one initiating a pursuit after us since the beginning of time. Today, I would like to conclude this topic by discussing, our pursuit of God. If you have not read Part 1 from last week, I urge you to do so before continuing to read the following post.
Today, we live in a world that demands much, if not all of our time. Think about it – we’re all tied up with various responsibilities and activities throughout our day to day life. School, work, volunteering, family, friends, projects, church, ministry, relationships, and many other commitments in our lives demand much of our time, energy, and attention. Certainly none of the above are bad things to be committed to, and by all means we should strive to lead a productive life. However, in the midst of placing so much attention on everything else, when exactly do we invest as much of our time pursuing God? By the time we get through all of that, God is not even the last thing on our minds.
I believe that part of this problem comes from this false belief or wrong understanding that people have which is, pursuing God or investing their time in Him would somehow constrict or inconvenience their life. However, the truth is actually the very opposite. A life given to seeking God first enlarges one’s life far beyond one’s imagination or understanding.
It’s a pretty straight forward principle. If you pursue the world and/or whatever is in it, then you will never find God – in fact you will never find whatever else you’re looking for in the world either. For example, if you pursue joy apart from God, as an end to itself you will never experience real joy. If you pursue peace apart from God, you will never find genuine peace apart from Him – and if you do find peace it will only be temporary as it will be tied to something equally tempoary. You may find temporary distractions that might lead you to believe you found real joy, or genuine peace, but truth is that your inner self will never be fully satisfied; you will always feel as though something else is lacking.
However, if you pursue God first, then you will find more than what you bargained for. What does this mean? It means that first you will find intimacy with the Father, and in the process of doing so, also the deep satisfaction that He knew you needed. With that being said, don’t misunderstand my point. I am not suggesting that you pursue God for the purpose of getting everything else you want. In other words, you shouldn’t view your pursuit of God as chasing after some magical genie that can grant all of your wishes. Instead, your pursuit of God should come from a place of an understanding that you have always been pursued by Him for the purpose of a relationship with Him. But first, let’s talk about what pursuit really is.
Since God is a person our pursuit of Him is best understood in the language of intimate relationship as opposed to some “magical genie hunt”. In other words, knowing God personally is not something that can be achieved from a one-time encounter, or something we can easily conclude by saying “I hunted Him, I found Him, I’m done”. There is no ending to our pursuit of Him, and it certainly isn’t a one-step journey, or one crazy encounter that blows our mind in amazement and eventually fades away. God being an eternal being, there is no end to Him. Everyday there is a greater depth of Him yet to be known. It’s a life long journey that carries on into eternity. Our pursuit of God begins with the startling discovery that He has been pursuing us continuously. When our active pursuit of Him is birthed from this understanding, that enables us to understand the heart of God, hence nurturing and strengthening our intimate relationship with Him while becoming more and more like Him.
Our pursuit of Him should never be a steady journey, instead a journey that is leading to a deeper intimacy, and greater growth. Think about married couples. The level of comfort between a newlywed couple and a couple married for 10 years is very different. Newlyweds are still on the honeymoon phase, they’re both trying to maintain a perfect image, and they’re both just starting that journey of being one. In fact, many little habits that would have been bypassed in the dating stage, now begin to surface due to the private space they are always sharing and countless hours they are spending around each other.
Whereas a couple married for 10 years has no walls, or barriers. Both individuals now know far more about their spouse than anyone else around them, or they themselves ever knew 10 years prior. The habits, moods and character of each spouse becomes well known to each other. The more time you spend with someone, and the more intimacy, communication, and understanding you develop the stronger your bond with that person grows.
In that same sense, our pursuit of Him should always be growing. The more we seek after Him, the more of Him becomes revealed, and as more of Him becomes revealed the more we are able to understand Him. We should never aim for a place of comfort, instead always run towards Him as He’s running towards us.
Remember Moses and his great encounter with God? Go to the book of Exodus and look at the great request he makes of God. “Now therefore, I pray if I have found favor in your sight, let me know your ways so that I may know you, that I may find favor in your sight” (Exodus 33:13). How beautiful and moving is this? He’s saying that since his relationship with God is going well, his greatest wish yet is not to remain where he is, but to go beyond that. To see even more than what he already had. Despite the fact that Moses had already witnessed God perform so many wonders, his pursuit after God didn’t stop. We see God responding to Moses by saying “I will do the very thing you have asked, because I am pleased with you and know you by name” (Exodus 33:13-14).
Think about God’s response for a second “.. because I am pleased with you and know you by name“. If God was pleased by Moses, then that means Moses knew God’s heart well enough to know what would please Him, and therefore did exactly that. That kind of knowledge can only come from time invested in getting to know someone, and that can only happen when you begin to pursue them. Why? Because pursuit requires time, effort, and attention.
To conclude I will use one last man as an example. King David was a man full of spiritual passion, although sometimes his passion was channeled towards the wrong things, his passion was still a quality that God admired. Despite his failures and weaknesses God did not label him based on his sins, but based on His heart. Hence, he was called “a man after God’s own heart.” The reason why David’s heart was patterned after God’s heart, was because David’s heart was in constant pursuit of God.
But if from there you seek the Lord your God, you will find him if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul. – Deuteronomy 4:29
See you next Monday!