Last week we discussed how God wants a relationship with us and how he pursues us. If you missed it you can find it HERE.
You have heard this story so many times it has become cliché. I grew up in a Christian home and my entire family were consistent figures in our local congregation. We served God faithfully and constantly strived to look like the perfect family. When I look back on those days of innocent youth with my adult eyes, I realize there was a relationship with God, but it was based upon service for God and not intimacy with God. I had a religious outlook on everything.
The next chapter in the story finds a shift from life in my parents’ home to college experience and everything that offers. With this new freedom calling my name, there was little to no time left for God in my life so He went into my back pocket. I would only call upon Him when I needed something. Unfortunately, it worked so well through my entire college experience I embraced this habit after I graduated college and began my working career.
Life has a way of providing countless opportunities to live without God. When you are young there is a false directive that our future is forever before us and there are more important priorities than God. It somehow works for us for a season. However, when the rubber hits the road we start to see the rope we are hanging on has an end. We then look for God and notice He is an ever present help in time of trouble. And upon further reflection we realize He was there all along. This realization only comes when we contemplate our past and analyze where God’s had had been working.
After a series of events (work difficulties, friendships that didn’t pan out like I thought, and a few serious relationships that ended), I realized that I was missing something in my life but wasn’t sure what it was. A few weeks later, I ran into some friends and they invited me to church. I reluctantly agreed.
I walked into church the next day and let me tell you…this was not like any church I had ever attended. The music ushered me into God’s presence and the sermon seemingly was directed to my situation. My heart was finally ready to give up my failed attempts to make life work for me and tears filled my eyes.
This is not to say that God is found only, or primarily, in good sermons and great music. God used these situations to show me that my view of Him (and my church experience) was bigger than my previous experiences.
I died that day. Is that hyperbole?
Jesus said that if we want to follow Him we must take up our cross and follow Him. What exactly did He mean? He meant we must surrender our own agenda and quit trying to tackle life on our schedule.
So yes, I died that day.
What I was missing was a true, intimate relationship with my Heavenly Father. And even though I had been putting Him on the back burner, He never gave up on me. He pursued me the entire time.
God created us for relationship and knows that our heart’s truest desire is for that. So even when we are not actively seeking Him, it doesn’t mean He isn’t trying to reach our hearts. Or, setting up little reminders that show that He is with us.
Do you feel you have a relationship with God? Can you see how He has been pursuing you even when you haven’t been chasing after Him?
We love to hear from you. Feel free to comment below. And know we are praying for you.