But if from there you seek the Lord your God, you will find him if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul. –Deuteronomy 4:29
When I first started dating my wife, Cathy, she asked me if I liked to dance. Without thinking, I immediately shot back, “Yes!” Of course, I had no clue how to dance. The closest thing I had to a dance move was fielding a ground ball at a baseball game and falling. But that didn’t matter. The amazing Cathy Guiso was asking me about dancing, and I responded out of desire. She could have asked me if I liked putting jalapeno juice in my eyes, and I would have said, “Absolutely! It’s one of my favorite eye drops.” Because I desired to know this beautiful woman, I began to pursue things that didn’t come naturally to me and I began to pursue her…all the way to marriage. It’s amazing what desire will do!
I love the word pursue because it communicates action. Without desire, pursuing God is reduced to obligation rather than willful obedience. And a life of religious obligation yields spiritual apathy, performance-based religion, and a compartmentalized faith. But when we have genuine desire, we want to be close to God. We’ll do anything to reach Him. Jesus responded to this type of desire–people interrupted Him, yelled out to Him, touched Him as He passed by, barged in on Him, and crashed through the ceiling to get to Him. In short, they pursued Him. Our own desire for Him can cause us to act in the very same ways. People wanted Jesus and He did not disappoint them. He won’t disappoint you either when He sees that your heart is filled with desire for Him. God cares much more about our desire to connect with Him than any sort of competence in connecting. God can see right through any incompetence to a heart that’s tangled and untidy, but longing for Him. He loves a heart–any heart–that is filled with desire.
Talking to God, listening to Him, reading the Bible, and reflecting on His greatness may not come naturally, but pursue these things, because in so doing, you will be pursuing God. You are valuable to Him, and He wants to be intimate with you. Pursue Him!
1. If you truly desire to pursue God, why is it so often difficult?
2. What is the difference between obligation and obedience when it comes to spending time with God?
Leviticus 20:7-8; Psalm 119:2; Hebrews 11:6