Chase: 1. To pursue in order to catch up with. 2. To follow.
“Just like a deer gets thirsty and craves streams of water, so am I truly thirsty and my whole being (my soul) longs for and craves you, my God.” (Psalm 42:1)
This year is going to be busy for me. I will have a big job on my hands just juggling life. A busy family (hubby and 4 teenagers), a new job, part-time study, a continuing commitment to follow a healthy diet, exercise daily and get enough sleep. And, added to that, maintain relationships with family and friends! Quite frankly, as I think about how busy this year is going to be, I wonder how (and where) God is going to fit in.
Sure, I’ll go to church (every Sunday unless I’m working).
Sure, I’ll listen to Christian “praise and worship” music (whilst running).
Sure, I’ll remember to pray (when I need something).
Sure, I’ll read my Bible (when someone posts a pretty picture with a scripture verse on Facebook – that counts for Bible reading doesn’t it?).
Sure, I’ll fast (in between meals!).
Sure, I’ll give (when someone needs something).
Surely that will be enough! Surely God will understand. After all, He already knows how busy I’m going to be! Surely He won’t mind if I don’t give Him 100% this year!
As I continue my journey of trusting God day to day and growing closer to Jesus again, one thing has been continually pressing on my heart. What am I chasing? Am I completely “sold-out” in my commitment to God? As I have previously blogged, I haven’t always chased after God or pursued Him as I should have. And in the recent past, I tried to purposely walk away from God. I allowed myself to fall away from Him and I placed Him on the back burner of life for a long (miserable) season. But now, even as I have been drawn back into a relationship with Him, there are still some days when I just don’t feel as though I’m chasing after Him the way I should be. I blame it on being “too busy” to put God first. To be totally honest, some days He’s not even on my “to-do” list!
I have allowed myself to slip back into a position of mediocrity. The position of someone who has given up the chase. And that’s not like me! After finally ‘finding’ my relationship with God again, I am in danger of letting it fall away if my soul stops (daily) hungering, thirsting and craving after God.
If you met me you would say I’m a very up-front, bold, passionate person (!). In every area of my life I give 100%. I’m a “go-er”. I live my life to the fullest. So then, why should I accept that living my life as a lukewarm, half-hearted, indifferent, dis-passionate, apathetic part-time Christian is okay?
Because it’s not okay! And that’s not the kind of person I want to be.
I want to be a God-chaser.
I want to have a mindset that passionately chases (hungers and pursues) after God. Not when I’ve got time. Not when I can fit it into my schedule. Not when I’m motivated after a great sermon at church. Not when I feel like it. Not just because I’m hyped up and emotional because of an incredible time of worship on Sunday morning. I want to encounter God daily. Each and every moment of each and every day. Not just “thunderbolts and lightning” kinds of encounters, but encounters in the little things too. I want my whole soul to hunger and thirst and crave and pursue God. I want to put God first. I want God to be in the center. I want God to be before me and behind me.
The problem is, I want all of God, but He doesn’t (yet) always have all of me.
Jeremiah 29:13 says “You will see me and find me when you search for me with all of your heart.” It’s time for me to give up chasing after what I want and start to chase after God and what He wants. Chasing with all of my heart. All of the time. It’s time for me to be bold enough and audacious enough (like Jacob in the Bible who wrestled with God was) and pray “I will not let You go until You bless me.”
If I’m going to be a God-chaser, then as I pursue Him with all of my heart and soul and mind and strength, He has promised that He will pour out His blessings on me. His Word says that as I draw near to Him, He will draw near to me and that “blessed, fortunate, happy and spiritually prosperous (enjoying the favor of God’s salvation) are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness and right-standing with God – for they will be filled and completely satisfied.” (Matthew 5:6)