Wednesday, January 9
At the Heart of It All
Pursuing God should never be defined exclusively by going through the motions of such Christian disciplines as reading the Bible, daily prayer, or regular church attendance. These disciplines are vital, but in and of themselves cannot guarantee that one is truly pursuing God. Also, pursuing God should not be limited to an emotional response. Pursuing God involves the mind and the soul as well as a heart of passion. So, what lies at the heart of a life that truly pursues God?
At the very heart of it all, the call to pursue God quickens the Christian to render unto God a pure heart of personal devotion. Psalm 116:12 offers the appropriate question: “what shall I render to the Lord for all His benefits toward me?” The Holman Christian Standard Bible offers this translation: “How can I repay the Lord for all the good He has done for me?” This verse reminds us that although we could never repay God for His goodness, “we ought to devote ourselves and all we have to His service.” (Matthew Henry) Thus, the fundamental truth of pursuing God lies with us coming to the end of ourselves in personal devotion to God. Anything short of this is not real pursuit, but merely a glance at God’s nature with the hopes of spiritual blessings in return. Therefore, as you consider a life that genuinely pursues God, consider the encouragement of Psalm 116, and see your life as a continual devotion of everything to God in a new and fresh way each day.
When I remember the overwhelming prospect of Jesus’ words in Luke 9:23, daily taking up one’s cross and denying self, the intent becomes as much a sacrifice to God as it becomes a denial of worldly pursuits and desires. What good is dying to self without a desire for giving all of one’s life in devotion to God? To have one without the other is to treat either as a farce. So, I welcome you to a journey of rediscovering the life of one who truly pursues God from the fundamental and relentless approach of offering yourself to God each day in a renewed sense of sacrifice, devotion, and most of all, love.