In Pursuit

1 Peter 3:11 (AMPC) Let him turn away from wickedness and shun it, and let him do right. Let him search for peace (harmony; undisturbedness from fears, agitating passions, and moral conflicts) and seek it eagerly. [Do not merely desire peaceful relations with God, with your fellowmen, and with yourself, but pursue, go after them!]

Back when I received Jesus as my Lord and Savior, in 1998, there was a couple of popular books going around. There was, Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren and, The God Chasers by Tommy Tenney. This verse made me think of the later. I still have my copy of the book with all my highlights and notes from when I first read it. Rereading the introduction this paragraph stood out to me, “The difference between the truth of God and revelation is very simple. Truth is where God’s been. Revelation is where God is. Truth is God’s tracks. It’s His trial. His path, but it leads to what? It leads to Him. Perhaps the masses of people are happy to know where God’s been, but true God chasers are not content to just to study God’s trail, His truths; they want to know Him. They want to know where He is and what He’s doing right now.”

This has been my hearts desire and why I started Desiring for More. Yes, we are saved by the drawing of the Holy Spirit. You cannot pursue after something that you have no knowledge of.

Mark 10:46-52 (AMP) Then they came to Jericho. And as He was leaving Jericho with His disciples and a large crowd, a blind beggar, Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, was sitting beside the road [as was his custom]. When Bartimaeus heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout and say, “Jesus, Son of David (Messiah), have mercy on me!” Many sternly rebuked him, telling him to keep still and be quiet; but he kept on shouting out all the more, “Son of David (Messiah), have mercy on me!” Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.” So they called the blind man, telling him, “Take courage, get up! He is calling for you.” Throwing his cloak aside, he jumped up and came to Jesus. And Jesus said, “What do you want Me to do for you?” The blind man said to Him, “Rabboni (my Master), let me regain my sight.” Jesus said to him, “Go; your faith [and confident trust in My power] has made you well.” Immediately he regained his sight and began following Jesus on the road.

The sovereignty of God has come to the point that people accept their place in life, their illnesses, their living situations everything they are as God’s will for our lives. “If He wanted something different for me, He will bring me out of it” mentality. Or, “I am just waiting on God to come through for me.” I know I am stepping on Sovereign toes (golden calves), but there are many times that we see pursuit of God before freedom, the break through, the healing. I know of people who burn sage in their homes to ward off evil spirits. That is weird to me, when I know the One that makes the demons tremble.

Pursuit is not a bad thing. Pursuit does come with expectations though. It may be the disappointments that have caused believers to stop pursing after God. Maybe it is just not knowing that they could. It is up to the ones that are chasing to disciple others in that pursuit. There is something true about fire that we can relate to. If you get close to a fire you will either use it to get warm; you can get closer and you can start to burn; or we could make the choice to jump in and we can catch on fire ourselves. Just like the levels of intensity, we choose the level we want to be at.

I pray this encourages you to pursue! Pursue whatever it is that you have a need of in your life. I pray that you discover that in your pursuit that it is Jesus that you see that meets that need (see John 4:46-47; Mark 1:23-28; Mark 1:40-45; Matthew 8:5-13; Matthew 9:1-8; Matthew 9:18-26; Matthew 9:27-31; Matthew 15:22-28). In also encourage you that you do not seek after a relationship to get, but you do like Bartimaeus and follow.

Matthew 6:33 (AMPC) But seek (aim at and strive after) first of all His kingdom and His righteousness (His way of doing and being right), and then all these things taken together will be given you besides.

Walls of Protection?

Matthew 6:33 (AMP) But first and most importantly seek (aim at, strive after) His kingdom and His righteousness [His way of doing and being right—the attitude and character of God], and all these things will be given to you also.

Have you ever had a week, a month or even a few months that you became off focused because of words someone said to you? More than likely the transaction you had made you feel rejected, as to why you became off focus. This happens to me. My first reaction is to withdraw. I want to put up wall of protection. I want to put policies in place so that I do not hurt like that again. It is a distraction, because all my thoughts are on how that hurt. It distracted me from being able to write on Monday. The sad part is that I gave it the power to do it. What I learned yesterday is that I cannot beat myself up about that. During that week of distraction I was still aware of my need for my Father. I cried out to Him knowing that I needed His help to take control of my mind. Does that mean He is disappointed? Should I scold myself to get over it? Definitely not!!!Although I had a week of distraction, He still is not mad at me. That brought me comfort and peace. My mind was still focused on Him.

2 Chronicles 16:9a (AMP) For the eyes of the Lord move to and fro throughout the earth so that He may support those whose heart is completely His.

Isaiah 26:1-4 (AMP) In that day this song will be sung in the land of Judah: “We have a strong city; He sets up salvation as walls and ramparts. “Open the gates, that the righteous nation may enter, The one that remains faithful and trustworthy. “You will keep in perfect and constant peace the one whose mind is steadfast [that is, committed and focused on You—in both inclination and character], Because he trusts and takes refuge in You [with hope and confident expectation]. “Trust [confidently] in the Lord forever [He is your fortress, your shield, your banner], For the Lord God is an everlasting Rock [the Rock of Ages].

He is my fortress and my shield. I do not need to erect walls of protection because He is my protection. Our purpose is too great to shut ourselves in. It takes great faith to allow God to tear down your walls…it was by faith that the walls of Jericho fell. It takes great faith to keep your gates open to relationships. His is the best relationship. When we put up walls because of hurts and rejection, we inadvertently put up a wall to not allow access for the Father in that area of our life. We are saying that we have to protect it because we do not trust Him to protect it. It takes great faith to trust Him with your heart. It took about a week this time. The time periods are getting shorter and shorter. I celebrate in that progress!

Do you struggle with rejection? I would love to hear from you and share some tools that I have used to help me in this area. You can message me at amanda@desiringformore.org.