Proverbs 21:21 (NLT)
Whoever pursues righteousness and unfailing love will find life, righteousness, and honor.
What are you after in this life? As a human being, is it just to live a good life full of love and love and laughter? As an American, is it life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? As a Christian, is it righteousness? As a Believer, is it to have more faith? The problem is not what we are after in life but in the diligence and discipline of our pursuit of these things. The mountains, valleys and storms of life demand our attention distraction us from those goals and aspirations. Problems present obstacles and hindrances hold us back. Unmet expectation keep us in the present looking for something we missed rather than reaching for the future to find what is hidden in the arrival of tomorrow. The Word of God says, “Whoever pursues righteousness (or right standing with God) and unfailing love (born of His Perfection provided in His Son) will find life, righteousness and honor. You have heard the old saying, “Be careful what you wish for…” The same can be said of our prayer life. Be careful what you pray for. To find something we must be determined to look for it. To have it one must pursue it.
I read a post on Facebook that grabbed my attention, “God seekers are God finders every single time.” Do you seek God every single day? Do you go after the promises of God for your life every moment that you are awake with every breath taken? Why not? I am asking myself this minute. With brief hesitation, I want God’s Hand in everything I do, but I have a different perspective now. I am not jaded but cautious. For years, I cried out for more of God. What I got was the biggest test of faith that I could ever imagine. To walk out into depths where my feet failed and my faith stretched to its limit, I found myself drowning in His Love. The journey of our life for the last few years has been surreal as though I was not walking but being carried. I would not have asked for it or chosen it but through it I decided that rather than just seek the Lord that I would pursue Him. I sought the Lord in complete and total desperation. I could not breathe some days in the midst of the uncertainty of this world clinging to the promise of life given to our son by no one but the Lord. Think about that. What if you were thrust into a situation where the ONLY hope you had was Jesus, what would be your response? Would you trust Him? When we begin to seek the Lord and cry out to reach the depths of His Love, please understand what indeed is being asked. To pursue such things like righteousness and unfailing love, the kind that leads to life, righteousness and honor, comes at the end of self.
I Timothy 6:11-12 (NLT)
But you, Timothy, are a man of God; so run from all these evil things. Pursue righteousness and a godly life, along with faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness. Fight the good fight for the true faith. Hold tightly to the eternal life to which God has called you, which you have declared so well before many witnesses.
As I stand on this plateau, dusting off the mountain that is behind us peering into the sun on the horizon on the other side of the valley, I am looking ahead and feeling the need to run again. To run after, seek and pursue God even more than before. Some days I am a bit concerned that I am crazy. Not that I do not want the life God promises for those who seek Him with the promise of always finding Him, but the testing and trials that temper our faith, burn away our flesh and grows our character into one of right standing. To run from all evil things continually promotes separation from this world which can feel like isolation if not immersed in the Presence of God. To pursue righteousness is not regular church attendance and occasional faithful service but to actively follow Jesus in order to overtake Him. To walk in close alliance and adherence to His Word. To strive to gain every single thing that the Lord has promised. This is not a casual seeking. Not a single random act, but a radical lifestyle of obsessive persistence determined to find the Lord and maintain a total existence in His Presence. To live a godly life means giving up our life to live like God. We are created in His Image but must surrender our sin and selfishness to be like Him. Those who try must learn to walk in faith when fear is logical. They must love when encountering the unlovable. Perseverance is their purpose in each day. Never giving up on finding the faith that moves mountains, stills waters, saving souls and healing nations. To fight the good fight of faith is knowing there is more of God to love and making it your passion to find your way there. Eternal life is the ticket we hold on for preparing and waiting for that day.
A few years back or so, I bought our daughter a ticket to a concert. It was a gift given long before the big day arrived. From the time she got the ticket, she began planning and preparing for the big night. She picked out an outfit and great shoes changing her mind multiple times before it was time to get ready. She carefully selected a friend to go with her. She imagined how it would be and what they would do over and over in her head. Due to an illness in the singer’s family, she postponed the concert rescheduling it for a later date. Of course, our daughter was disappointed. What did she do? Did she tear up her ticket and throw it away? Did she take back all the special outfit because she didn’t want to wear it anymore? Did she allow her frustration to rob her of that night? Of course not, yes she hemmed and hawed a little but the night finally came and she rocked the night out with her famous person. Last year, we had to make a hard decision as our son was going through his transplant with a wedding being planned in the middle of it and had to postpone the same daughter’s wedding for a month. Her brother would not be able to travel when the original date was set due to some complications that delayed the transplant process. She didn’t say dump her groom or decide it wasn’t worth the wait. The bridal gown did not go back to the shop and the caterer was not cancelled. She just waited. Just like her brother who when faced with a delay, did not decide to give up on cancer treatment! What is the point? We give up on God and seeking Him so easily when faced with a setback and miss the blessing that He is taking us to time and time again. What have you given up on? Where is your fight? You called out to Him on the water like Peter and the Lord responded just the same, but now that you are out there you want back in the boat rather than seeking Him more.
Matthew 6:33 (NLT)
Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.
Seek first the Kingdom of God above every other thing you do in life. Live righteously is not a call to be super spiritual spooky and weird but rather to live life in Light of His Love meaning that every decision you make is centered around knowing Him more. I want nothing in my life to come between me and God. Nothing. I am desperate for His Love. What does it say about those who simply seek Him? Those who go in search of, try to find Him, try to discover His Love, to try to obtain His Favor or just try…He will give you EVERYTHING you need. But wait there is more…
To seek the Lord is good. But to pursue Him is better! Pursue means follow to overtake, follow closely, strive to gain and it means to seek the Lord with purpose. These are the people that experience more than they can even think to ask for! (Ephesians 3:20) God blesses those who understand that they need Him and without Him they have nothing – these are the very same ones who the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to. (Matthew 5:3) Those who come boldly into His Presence like they have a right to. (Ephesians 3:12) We must decide that He is worth more than any other endeavor and decide to pursue the Lord like the woman after the lost coin. She had nine other coins and was only missing one but would not stop until she had them all. (Luke 15:8-9) What have you stopping looking for today? Is there a promise you have forgotten? When did you stop asking for more? I know when I stopped. I also know the day I began pursuing God again. Will today be that day for you?
Matthew 7:7-11 (NLT)
“Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. “You parents—if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead? Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not! So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him.”
Are you living in full pursuit of God today? This is a candid and pointed question. It is none of my business whether you do or not, it is a personal question. It doesn’t matter how it looks to others because everyone knows how to fake it until you make it. We enter this relationship with Jesus Christ as strangers but like best friends it grows in an instant. When Jesus becomes real, and our friendship with Him turns to true love, we go from seeking Him to living in full pursuit of Him. We are jealous for Him and passionate about Him which promotes a deep level of commitment that no matter what happens – we stay in love. Have you stopped asking afraid of what you will get? Have you stopped knocking afraid of what you will find? Whoa, even I had to stop and mull over that for a minute. To whom much is given, much is required. (Luke 12:48) This was my spiritual rut until recently. I just didn’t know if I could survive another trial like the last. I was not up to the test or so I thought. Until the Lord revealed to me, you never were. It was Me all along. It is with that I began a full pursuit of Him once again realizing I am nothing without Him and cannot survive outside the Love of God anymore. I am changed. My needs are met by seeking Him. My life is blessing by pursuing Him. I want it all. I want Jesus.
Matthew 13:44-46 (NLT)
“The Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure that a man discovered hidden in a field. In his excitement, he hid it again and sold everything he owned to get enough money to buy the field. Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a merchant on the lookout for choice pearls. When he discovered a pearl of great value, he sold everything he owned and bought it!”