Who or What are you PURSUING?

Are you PURSUING anything…anyone…?

Throughout the Bible there were plenty of times God’s people were pursued by their enemies. (See Exodus 14 for one example – Here comes Pharaoh!) Then, there’s much lamenting in the Psalms about the enemies who are pursuing God’s servant. Usually calling out to God for rescue [David] from those who pursue him. (See Psalm 7:1; 31:15; 56:2; 142:6 for a few examples.)

However, being pursued isn’t always a bad thing. In fact, God WANTS us to pursue Him and to pursue His holiness in our lives. In fact, God loves those who pursue righteousness. Proverbs 15:9 says, “The LORD detests the way of the wicked but he loves those who pursue righteousness.” In the New Testament, the apostle Paul warns young Timothy not to get sucked into foolish arguments (arguments with fools) or old sinful habits. He tells Timothy what he should be pursuing instead. “Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.” (2 Timothy 2:22 – emphasis added)

Doug Fields wrote about the concept of pursuing God in his book, ReFuel. Regarding the action of pursuing God, he says, “I love this word [pursue] because it communicates desire. Without desire, our actions are reduced to obligation rather than willful obedience. And a life of religious obligation yields spiritual apathy, performance-based religion, and a compartmentalized faith. But when we have genuine desire, we want to be close to God. We’ll do anything to reach Him. Jesus responded to this type of desire – people interrupted Him, yelled out to Him, touched Him as He passed by, barged in on Him, and crashed through the ceiling to get to Him. In short, they pursued Him. Our own desire for Him can cause us to act in the very same ways. People wanted Jesus, and He did not disappoint them. He won’t disappoint you either when He sees that your heart is filled with desire for Him. God cares much more about our desire to connect with Him than any sort of competence in connecting. The Pharisees were competent, but Jesus accused them of being actors (Matthew 23:5, 28). On the other hand, God can see right through incompetence to a heart that’s tangled and untidy but longing for Him. He loves a heart – any heart – that is filled with desire.”

Over the course of my adult life, I have become an expert in “Bananas in Pajamas,” the Wiggles, Lego Bionicles, and the Pretty Pretty Princess Game. I’ve had dogs I wouldn’t have chosen to have if it were up to me alone. I sit at Jr. High and High School sporting events cheering – even ringing a cowbell – for a team I might not otherwise care about. However, these are all things my kids have had an interest in or done thus far in their life. Since I love my kids with all my heart, I’ve learned to love the things they love and the events in which they are involved. Pursuing the ones I love means diving headfirst into the things that capture their heart and mind. It’s why Paul can tell Timothy that pursuing the things at the center of God’s heart (righteousness, faith, love and peace) is tantamount to pursuing God.

I hope you’re learning to grow closer to God each day by pursuing those things and characteristics that can be found at the center of God’s heart!

The Unexamined Life and All…

Pastor Jeff

Posted: August 23, 2011 
Filed under: Deep Thoughts with Pastor Jeff, Pastor Jeff, Spiritual
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