You may think of God as this distant, uncaring entity, who maybe exists. Who is maybe in charge of the world but He is not really interested in my life. However, that is not the picture we get of God from the Bible. In the Bible we see this God who is a relentless pursuer of you. God knows that what He has to offer you is good. It is so good but many refuse to experience it.
We have this attitude that we don’t want God, or church, or Christians around us. We have this attitude that we can create satisfaction on our own, all by ourselves.
Or maybe you knew someone who claimed to be a Christian but did not act like a Christian. We all know people like this. A complete hypocrite. Says one thing but secretively does another. Maybe that makes you stay away from Christianity all together. Of course, who could blame you?
Maybe you went to a church, and the church seemed more concerned with upholding traditions, than expressing the love of God. Or the church seemed to care more about money than serving, or appearances than action, etc… You see that, and you think… “Wow, this is church…I want to stay away from that.” Of course, who could blame you?
There could be many other reasons you get you to a point where you think, “I don’t need God…I got this on my own.”
The reality is, if you are thinking these things, you have never experienced it. You say you don’t like it, but really you don’t know.
This is what is beautiful about the Bible. Not just the gospels but both the Old and New Testaments. God pursues us. He knows we need Him. He doesn’t need us, but we need Him. All throughout the Bible we see this loving picture of God pursuing us.
From the very first few pages of the Bible we see God pursuing us. God created Adam and Eve and gives them a paradise to live in. God gives them one rule. Just one. However, almost immediately, these two break that rule. They turned their back to God with the first sin.
What does God do here? Abandon them? Strike them down with lightning? No. God basically plays hide and seek with Adam and Eve. They are terrified and hide…God seeks them out. His first words are “Where are you?” He wants to reestablish relationship. This still applies to us today. We sin and yet God pursues us.
Later on in Exodus we meet a guy called Moses. Without going into a million details, and using a lot of paraphrasing here’s a little of what happens. One day Moses sees two people fighting and he jumps in and beats one of the guys to death. Now, everyone knows he did this, and Moses is a murderer. So he flees into the desert.
Then God pursues Moses. God, in fact, one day spoke to Moses through a burning bush. That would get your attention. They had this awesome conversation in which God basically tells him He is going to do amazing things through his life. God pursued Moses.
This doesn’t just happen in these two instances. This happens again, and again, and again all throughout the Old Testament.
Take one of my favorite stories ever. This one involved a prophet of God named Hosea. One day God spoke to him. God told him He was going to give him a wife. Now Hosea had to be thrilled and excited about the fact that he was going to get a wife.
Here’s what God wanted him to do…again…a paraphrase here 🙂 . God basically said go to the local whorehouse and that is where you will find your wife, she works there.
Anyone reading this, would you want a prostitute as your wife? To make matters worse, her name was Gomer. Yeah…
Hosea, of course, obeys God. He buys Gomer and marries her. They start to have kids and it seems to be looking up. Until we read that the second and third kids aren’t Hosea’s and she leaves him.
God speaks to Hosea again, in what is one of the most beautiful chapters of the Old Testament (chapter 3). God tells Hosea to go buy her back. Buy back this woman who has been unfaithful to you.
God used Hosea as an example of Himself. This is how God loves us. People walk away from God, have despicable sins, but He still loves us. This shows us what God is like. You might be thinking, “After all the things I’ve done, could God still love me? Would God want me?” Here is the answer for you. Yes.
He loves us and He pursues us.
Over and over again we see this in the Old Testament. Then we get to the New Testament. God comes down from heaven, and pursues us Himself, through His son Jesus. Going back to that question above some of you may have asked, “After all the things I’ve done, could God still love me? Would God want me?” Look at who Jesus pursues- the messy people, the people who have turned away from God. In fact Jesus was often called a friend of sinners. That’s who Jesus hung out with, the sinful crowd.
Then people killed Him. Religious leaders hated Jesus saying he was God and hanging out with sinners. Jesus came to bring messed up, broken, sinful people back to God. He pursued us.
Three days later, Jesus walks out of a tomb alive. The pursuit is back. From cover to cover you see God is a relentless pursuer for people.
I think of this often. This isn’t something that happened far and removed from me. This is directly tied to me. God pursued me. Wow. In fact, in Ephesians, we see God pursued me before I was even born! If you scroll back a few posts you can read my testimony. I don’t believe those are random thoughts or experiences that just coincidentally happened to me. No. God pursued me.
God knew I would love what He has to offer. If I just experienced it.
Perhaps something happened in your life already and you believe in Jesus. You say you grew up in church, or your parents raised you Christian, etc… So you would now say “I am a Christian”. You might have been reading this post and thinking, “ Yeah, yeah, I know all this. I’ve already experienced God.” To that I would respond- Have you really?
I do not want to accuse you of having a false relationship with Jesus. I do want to point out some observations and thoughts though. So many people get to a point where they put their faith in Jesus but they never actually lived the life that God has for them. These people might say, “I’ve experienced Him, but it’s not that great.” If that’s you, the truth is you’ve never experienced it.
The reality is you just believe in Jesus. That’s not the life God has for you. Belief in Jesus is important and the key that opens the door to walking the life that God wants you to. But belief alone is not the life that God has for you. The life that God has for you is about staying fully connected to Him, being in a complete relationship with Him, having growing intimacy with Him. It’s about serving people. It’s about living in community with other believers, it’s about living a life of generosity, it’s about engaging in adventure with God and sharing His love with the world. It’s about finding freedom in life by receiving truth and living it out and through giving forgiveness. This is a good life. This life is so much better.
If you just believe, that doesn’t necessarily change your life. As is says is Psalm 34:8 ” taste and see that the Lord is good; Blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him.” If you taste something, you experience it. You know it.
Always remember- we serve and love a God that pursued us. As flawed and sinful as we are, God pursues us. That’s incredible.