I’m a church kid, a pastor’s daughter in fact and so I’m acquainted with the ins and outs of church life. I am always grateful that my parents made it a top priority in their parenting to lead us to a personal relationship with God. Through no fault of my parents, in my teenage years I got caught being busy with church work.
Inherently, not a bad thing and today I am still very invested in serving the local church. I however go through cycles of mistaking my involvement in church with what sustains my personal relationship with God. Thankfully, I have been more aware of these cycles in the last few years and God has graciously helped me to reprioritize and take a proper look in the mirror. I must constantly remind myself that pursuit of Him must in fact be of Him, His heart and His nature.
What is missing?
I think a current Christian dilemma, though I’m certain it is in no way unique to this generation, is the problem of pursuing the things of God and not God Himself. Added to this human tendency of idolizing God’s gifts are weapons such as distraction at our fingertips, self-actualizing obsessiveness, and the pursuit of more and more comfort in this age.
If we listen to our prayers honestly and we assess the motivations behind our worship songs, we may often find either a god fashioned by our own hands or even our own golden statues.
I believe a big gap in many of our pursuits of God, is God Himself. The means by which we have any chance at knowing and loving God is ultimately a working of His own divine power. A great place to start I believe is an acknowledgement in gratitude that we get to know God. The One who exists in unapproachable light wants to be known and experienced - let that reality wash over any pride that insists on taking credit for the first move.
Pursued like treasure
We have all heard the example or at least a variation of it that involves a scenario of something valuable being hidden and the lesson is that you shouldn’t stop until you find it. The scenario only makes sense or has any impact if you agree that what is hidden is valuable.
Many of us have glimpsed God, and many of us have richly experienced Him, unfortunately more of us have fed appetites that provide fading satisfaction and resulted in a quenching of our desire for God Himself. We must continue to gaze, we must continue to hunger, our minds must be filled with an awareness of His worth. That is what will inform and refine our pursuit.
He is our exceeding great reward and knowledge of Him is what eternal life is. (Genesis chapter 15 verse 1 and John chapter 17 verse 3). His command to search for Him with our whole heart will become delightful and less arduous, as He sprinkles and grants glimpses of His beauty along the way. He is indeed the prize.
Jesus the revelation
I am growing increasingly mesmerized by the fact that God graciously demonstrated His love to us through Jesus. We have an eternity to search and unpack all of what that means, but what has been bringing my heart great joy is the gift of seeing all of whom God is through the man Christ Jesus. “Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature” (Colossians chapter 1 verse 15).
Through the face of Jesus, we are granted an opportunity to see God, as Jesus is “the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person,” (Hebrews chapter 1 verse 3) Our pursuit of God is given vibrance and depth through Jesus the Son. We must stare into the gospel represented in the Gospels and let our hearts be transformed and filled with excitement by Jesus’ personhood.
We must gaze at the storyline of the Bible and see the imprints of God and Jesus the Son all over the text. This is I believe is a large part of tasting and seeing, this informs our meditation, and thus informs our pursuit.
Jhonelle is a Jesus enthusiast and Christian youth leader. She’s a lover of all things related to discipleship and a freelance writer.