There are many things we pursue. Some of us pursue advancement in education or career. Others pursue financial security. Some also spend time and energy pursuing relationships. These are all worthy pursuits but we get off track when our pursuit of those things comes before our pursuit of an intimate relationship with Jesus.
Our pursuit of a relationship with Jesus is a direct result of his pursuit of us. The Triune God does not need us to accomplish his purposes in the world, yet he wants us. God’s mission to restore and renew all things began many years ago. Just after Adam and Eve chose rebellion over relationship, God is described as searching for the first family. He asked the question, “Where are you?” (Gen.3:9) God’s mission is to bless all peoples through a covenant relationship with himself. Throughout the Bible, we read of God’s relentless pursuit of rebels like you and me. Consider for example God’s pursuit of the pagan people of Nineveh in Jonah. Even though God’s prophet wanted to hoard the covenant promises for himself and his people, God reached out to a people who had no desire to reach out to him. God reaches out to us even when we don’t reach out to him.
This is what Christians mean when we refer to the Gospel. The news about Jesus is considered Good News because rebels are not left to fend for themselves. No matter how hard we try we cannot save ourselves. We need a rescuer and that’s why the Messiah was sent. In most world religions people are searching for God through empty religiosity or observance of religious practices. The Christian faith is different though because it affirms a God who lovingly pursues broken humans and encourages humans to pursue Him. Consider how Paul discusses the Triune God in Acts 17:24-28. (CSB)
‘The God who made the world and everything in it — he is Lord of heaven and earth — does not live in shrines made by hands. Neither is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives everyone life and breath and all things. From one man he has made every nationality to live over the whole earth and has determined their appointed times and the boundaries of where they live. He did this so that they might seek God, and perhaps they might reach out and find him, though he is not far from each one of us. For in him we live and move and have our being, as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also his offspring.’ ‘ Acts 17:24-28
Paul used culture to teach the people about the true God. He is not fashioned by human hands as idols are. He is the only being that has always existed and is not created. He must be the only self-existent being otherwise he cannot be God. God created us to pursue him. He is pursuing us yet we are so concerned with other pursuits that we miss his pursuit of us. The Triune God is a pursuing God and that is the motivation for our pursuit of Him.
We all lose our way. We all sometimes need a reminder that our joy comes from Jesus and a pursuit of his kingdom and righteousness. When we lose our way we must confess and repent. When our pursuits are misdirected we live in fear and worry. On the other hand, when our pursuits line up with God’s plan we live in courage and faith. Christian, God wants your heart. Pursue Jesus’s kingdom and righteousness because only in him can we have real joy, purpose, vision, and direction.
It’s not enough to pursue Jesus only on Sundays or during the week when you gather for your small group. Pursue him daily. Confess and repent when you lose your way. Spend time with God daily. Walk with Christ through every commitment and responsibility.
Sometimes my daily pursuit becomes occasional. I know that the I need to abide deeply in Jesus or everything else falls apart. When my daily walk with Christ becomes sporadic, I am missing out on His best and so do you. Will you join me in obeying Jesus’s words today? Will you join me in walking by faith? Will you join me in humbly confessing you have neglected your first love? Jesus is pursuing a relationship with you. Are you pursuing a relationship with him? He’s not as far as you might think.
‘But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you. ‘ Matthew 6:33