Last Wednesday, in Pursue Him – Part 1, I posted about my crazy pursuit of a maxi skirt from Loft and how it led me to two important questions.
Do I pursue my husband with such vigor?
Do I pursue God with such diligence?
Its crazy to think about, and most days, my answer would be no to both questions. Yet, “all day long He holds out his hand“. You have probably read that scripture on this blog a lot in the past. It is one of my favorite verses and constantly blows my mind. “All day long I have held out my hands to a disobedient and contrary people“(Romans 10:21). This verse is found multiple times in the bible concerning Israel’s disobedience. Israel constantly rebelled against God, yet He embraced them time and time again. In Isaiah 65:2, it says “I spread out my hands all the day to a rebellious people, who walk in a way that is not good, following their own devices“.
This is me. This is you. This is us.
We are constantly “following our own devices”. We trust in our own wisdom, our own strength, our own plan, our own judgment, and our own thinking. We rebel, yet He constantly has his arms open.
We have done absolutely nothing to deserve: His mercy, His grace, His love, His pursuit. Yet, he constantly reaches out His hand to us. Its amazing and my mind can’t fathom that kind of pursuit and love. If someone does me wrong, I easily move on. Yet, God does not.
So, how do we pursue Him? Pursuing God is a lot like pursing someone else. It takes time, it can be frustrating, it can be joyous, and it can even be awkward at times. I like to picture it as a “boyfriend-girlfriend” relationship (because really thats what my mind can easily comprehend). If you are interested in someone, you find out what they like, you study them, you talk to them, the hang out with them – you pursue them. & I will tell you this, there is no one else more worth knowing. He wants you to know Him. He listens. He pours out His heart to you through His word. He speaks. He guides you. He has a sense of humor. He is full of wisdom. He desperately wants to know you and wants you to know Him.
Here a few ways I can think of to actively pursue God.
1. Read His Word
Start anywhere. Go fast, or slow. Think about one verse all day or think about a whole book of the bible one day. Enjoy His word. Everything in the bible is pointing you to Jesus and teaching you something. Ask your self what it means for you in your life.
2. Study His Word
Start at the beginning in Genesis and read through His word. I know when you get to 1 Kings and Lamentations it can get hard. But see it through, study His word in context and don’t just skim through. If you don’t understand a chapter, seek answers from others. Study.
3. Learn who He is
This kind of goes hand in hand with studying His word, but really focus on God’s characteristics. Often times our past experiences or the way were raised effect how we view God. For me, I tend to see God as patient, loving and relentless. I believe its because my parents are super patient and loving. I was raised to practice those attributes and they tend to be how I perceive God. Whereas, a friend of mine grew up in a very strict and black/white house, so she tends to see God as strict and precise. We tend to “put God in a box” and see him through our own lens instead of studying who he actually is and his characteristics.
4. Talk to Him
Tell Him what you are thinking. Are you mad? sad? confused? angry? happy? Tell Him. Its okay to be real with Him. Don’t just talk to him when things are good or when things are bad, have an open dialogue with Him all day long. Think about it, you really wouldn’t know your spouse well if you only talked to them when you needed something or something good happen. He wants a relationship with you, and that involves your time and heart, not just requests and praises.
5. Seek Him
Seek His wisdom in your life. In big things and in small things, seek Him. I will cling to the popular “What would Jesus do?” phrase for this one. If you are seeking Him for answers in your life, He will not return void. You may not get the answers you want or receive them in your timing, but he will answer.
6. Listen to Him
This can be extremely hard because we tend to have our own agenda or plan. Sometimes it is hard to truly submit to God in different areas of our life. For example, if you hear Him telling you its time to let go of something, it is probably time to move on. However, we tend to be prideful at times and think we have the best answer. Listen to Him and obey. Trust me, save yourself some heartache.
7. Ask others about Him
God created us for community. In the beginning, we see how God created Eve, because it was “not good” for man to be alone. Surround yourself with friends who are actively seeking and pursuing Christ. Ask questions. Share your heart. Keep each other accountable.
8. Get involved
Jesus wasn’t inactive. He didn’t come to this world and just preach or study. He healed the sick. He got to know people. He equipped leaders. He served. Be active and show others Christ. You will be surprised that most of the time, as you serve and give, you will feel like you are the one learning the most. In Matthew 20:28, it tells us that “..the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
9. Be yourself
You don’t have to be perfect to come to God. That is the greatest thing. You don’t have to have everything figured out. You don’t have to be put together. You can be blissfully broken or perfectly normal. He just wants you. He loves you unconditionally.
10. Love and Enjoy Him