I'd like to say I've been on the pursuit of God my entire life, however, that's not the truth.
Reflecting upon my childhood I could easily draw this assumption. I have grown up in the Christian influence being taught about the God of ages and the son He sent to die for me. I prayed the "sinners prayer" as a little girl and had a raw child-like faith. During times of turmoil I didn't know what else to do but pray to Jesus, my best friend and my only comforter. I found letters I would write to my daddy in heaven longing to see Him change this world. Mission trips, camps, retreats, and bible studies were always the highlights of each year. There are scrolls of paper of my heart wrenching for Jesus to be real in my family and in my heart-- I longed to love my savior with all my heart soul and mind.
I used to look back upon these things saying, "well, of course, what else would've I done?" I could look at the way I lived my life and assume that I was pursuing God; however, this past summer my Savior has broken my down in deeper ways than I've experienced in my few short years on earth. Could I really think that it was my strength and my desire for God? I can honestly say to myself, how naiive? A great elder and mentor at my church has spoken this word to me over the years and it's now starting to resonate and wreck me of unknown selfish pride:
Ephesians 2:8-9 (NIV)
8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith —and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.
God has given me the grace to recieve grace. Now that's something to really wrap your mind around. It's through CHRIST that I have been saved, through the blood of the cross. I don't have any strength in me to pursue the God of the universe... I am an enemy of Him. It's only through Him that my spiritual eyes may continue to be opened. Lately the battle that Paul highlights in Romans 7 has become so prevelant to me and how I have longed to go back to the faith of my childhood. This flesh is constantly waging against His spirit inside of me. Yes, I have been given grace to recieve grace, my "ticket to heaven." But there is still yet a daily taking up of the cross that must to be done. I have to surrender this flesh to Him daily and seek his cross because I don't have the strength or the power to do it on my own- that's only through Christ.
Romans 8:28 (NIV)
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
The purpose is His purpose. The good is His good. The calling is for His glory. It's all pointing to Yah-Weh. This right here deserves an AMEN.
There is so much going on in the world that we can see at the click of a button. Different religions, beliefs, and opinions can be accessed anywhere at any time. There is an upsurging evil that is wripping it's way through this world and through the hearts of God's people, myself included. We have found ourselves in the middle of a battle between the fight of good and evil. It doesn't take a professer to explain that there is immense pain and suffering throughout this world. There are so many things that I don't understand. It's easy for me to look at things and want to ask, "why God?" Why are christians known for their intolerance instead of love? Why have we not been victorious in this financial struggle? Why are terrorist continuing to take lives of innocent people in the Middle East? Why is our blessed country falling deeper into irreversible debt? Why do drugs and alcohol rage within all levels of society? Why can't I do something greater to help stop these things? Why, Jesus, must you tarry any longer?
I ask all these questions then hear Him gently say, "it's My purpose, My good, for My glory." Who am I to ask? Who am I to know? I am a wretched sinner in need of a savior. An incapable human being unable to understand the mystory of the King. But He gives me grace to recieve grace, and for that I am forever thankful.
Today my perspective is yet again changing.
My story thus far is not about me pursuing God, but about the way He has pursued me- the way He works all things for HIS good inpursuit of redeeming man-kind. I am in awe. My prayer today has come out of Romans. A prayer for the revelation within my own spirit and within all of God's people. May we seek His face as He pursues us with an incomprehensible love. May our souls be awakened to take part in the story that has been unfolding since the beginning of time.... The mystery is His, and the marvel is mine to take part in...
Romans 16:25-27 (NIV)
25 Now to him who is able to establish you in accordance with my gospel, the message I proclaim about Jesus Christ, in keeping with the revelation of the mystery hidden for long ages past, 26 but now revealed and made known through the prophetic writings by the command of the eternal God, so that all the Gentiles might come to the obedience that comes from faith — 27 to the only wise God be glory forever through Jesus Christ! Amen.
I like to talk.