The Pursuit of God

I have been hearing a lot lately about how God is in pursuit of us. We can read through Scripture about the pursuit of God. In Psalm 139, David talks about how God is pursuing him:

O Lord, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether. You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high; I cannot attain it. (Psalm 139:1-6 ESV)

David shares how God has searched him and knows him. God has done that with all of us. He knows us to the hairs on our head (Matthew 10:30, Luke 12:7). It is a wonderful feeling, just as David said, to know that He takes time to know us and who we are.

Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, You are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, You are there! If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there Your hand shall lead me, and Your right hand shall hold me. If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night,even the darkness is not dark to You; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with You. (Psalm 139:7-12 ESV).

David talks about attempting to flee from the pursuit of God. I know; I have been there with things in my life. But no matter where we are, God is there for us to run to in every circumstance. I have gone through plenty of situations in my life where I did not feel worthy of pursuit. Yet, God was still there. When I look through my life and see how God has been there when I needed Him, it gives me the comfort and hope I need to press towards the purpose He has given me.

How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I would count them, they are more than the sand. I awake, and I am still with you. Oh that you would slay the wicked, O God! O men of blood, depart from me! They speak against you with malicious intent; your enemies take your name in vain. Do I not hate those who hate you, O Lord? And do I not loathe those who rise up against you? I hate them with complete hatred; I count them my enemies. Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting! (Psalm 139:17-24 ESV)

We need to remember, though, that as God pursues us, we need to be pursuing Him as well. God is there to meet us where we are (Psalm 34:4-8, Philippians 4:19). Through the ups and down of my life, I have always known God was there. I did my best to walk with Him and work on our relationship. As Abraham walked with God (Genesis 17:1), it encouraged me to do the same.

I believe if Abraham can have such relationship with God that he was considered a friend (James 2:23), then we can have the same relationship. I have my days of feeling alone, but God is there to talk with. I find myself going for a walk, a run, or a bike ride, spending that time to talk and listen to God. I will admit, I vent to God a lot since I know He will listen. However, I use that same relationship with God as a template for my friendships with family, friends, and acquaintances.

As God is there to take our burdens, we need to share the same love and compassion with those around us (Galatians 6:2). It does not matter if they believe or not; we are to build up one another (I Thessalonians 5:10-12) and encourage them to be the best they can be. I have found that when I encourage my kids and friends, they are more likely to press for their best. I have my days that I fail, but I do not stay down. Just like when those around us fall, we need to pick them up (Ecclesiastes 4:10). The Bible does not talk about tough love, it talks about unconditional love. If God loved us with conditions, where would that leave us in His pursuit of us? Would He even pursue us at all?

God is pursuing us daily; it should be our daily goal to pursue Him. Just as we work on our daily conversations with each other, we need to work on our daily conversations with God. We all have much to learn from God. I, for one, will strive to learn until the day He calls me home. Life is certainly not easy. In the world in which we live, I do not foresee it becoming easier. Yet, as we live in this world, we should strive to live in harmony with one another (Romans 12:16).

Are you doing your best to love one another? God wants an intimate connection with us. There have been many times where I have stumbled, yet He is there to meet me and pick me up. God is not there to tear me down, but to give me grace and love unconditionally. If God will not tear us down, then why do we tear down one another? This is but one example of how we are continually learning in our pursuit of God and His pursuit of us.

I have learned to take it one day at a time. There are many times I have needed to pause and think how God would have me deal with a situation (Ephesians 5:17). In the battle of logic versus emotion, we sometimes need to take the logical approach to a situation or relationship in contrast to an emotional one. Emotions can cloud our judgment, getting us into trouble and acting without thought. Yet, even in logic, the love of God should guide our every thought and deed. Stop today and let God pursue you. Remember, He wants you to pursue Him. He pursues us out of His love for us; we should pursue Him because of our love for Him.

-Jimmy Olsen, Guest Blogger

{TIME | More Than Missions – Short Term Missions!}