Even as I child I desired Him.
It took a long time of wilderness wandering, before I stopped pursuing my own way-of-doing-life, gave up, and allowed Him to find me.
There were a lot of twists, turns, and looking the wrong direction, before my vision cleared and I SAW HIM BECKONING me to come.
The Good News of the Gospel is that GOD never stops pursuing...
Through the years, He continues to pursue me...it's evidence of His AMAZING LOVE and the AWE OF GRACE.
2020 slid into our world one quick night, and with the new year, came a renewed, BURNING passion within my soul:
I want to pursue the Lord just as fervently as He has pursued me.
Like King David, I have heard myself whispering,
Oh God, You are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water (Ps 63:1).
When I read Isaiah's similar prayer, something in me rose up and said, "Yes!"
My soul yearns for you...my spirit within me earnestly seeks you...
The Sons of Korah put their prayer to music,
My soul longs, yes, faints for the courts of the Lord; my heart and flesh sing for joy to the living God (Ps 84:2)...
Paul joined in:
How I want to know Him, and the power of resurrection, and fellowship with Him in suffering, becoming like Him (Phil 3:10)...
It's my only goal for 2020 - to pursue the Lord.
And, before I ever began waking up each morning of this new year and praying those Scriptures, making them my daily reminder, I knew that prayer was answered.
Jesus told me so in one of His first public teachings, on a beautiful wildflower infested hillside, overlooking the Sea of Galilee:
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst...
for they shall be satisfied...
I love it when I set a goal and know at the end of the year, I won't be one of the 80% who never follow through with their's (see this article for more). When I wrote down my goal, I knew it was a done deal.
This isn't pride...this is simply what I've been promised: If I seek Him, I will find Him, if I seek Him with all my heart (Jeremiah 29:13)...
"the impulse (within us) to pursue God originates with God, but the outworking of that impulse is our following hard after Him; and all the time we are pursuing Him we are already in His hand (Ps. 63:1)..."
And so, I begin by following hard after Him.
I want to be more attune to His Presence in the ordinary of everyday.
As I mentioned last week, I want to be more aware of those moments when God collides with my world, because sometimes He comes in quiet wonder...in little moments...in the ordinary and the mundane.
When He shakes the branches of the snow-capped pines outside my window, and I see Him in the glistening diamonds that slowly fall to the ground in whisps.
When I hear His voice in the gurgling of river streams.
When I feel His heartbeat through the love of family and friends.
I want to live daily SURPRISED by Him in my world.
To prepare myself for this adventure, I'm exploring some new and some old spiritual practices.
Disciplines that are designed to help me step back from the busy and make space for my God.
Disciplines that slow me down, help me to listen, to see, to sense, and to feel (maybe even to taste) His Presence in my daily life.
Why do I share this today?
It's simply my declaration of purpose for 2020.
Along the way, perhaps I'll be sharing some of that journey, and this will lay the foundational background for it.
It is, however, not an end, but an inception, for now begins the glorious pursuit, the heart's happy exploration of the infinite riches of the Godhead!
Now, please excuse while I go fix some toast and eggs....