When I was in college, I met a guy named Craig. He was a lot of fun to be with and he soon became friends with our entire campus ministry. Everybody loved hanging out with him and I was no different. During those days, he started coming over to our house and playing nerf basketball with my sister. We hung out a lot during those days, but I had no idea he was interested in more. It was a cold evening in March that year when he finally shared his heart. We sat out on my back steps and I listened as he told me he wanted to make a commitment to me that would lead towards marriage. He then looked at me and asked what I thought and if I was ready to make a similar commitment.
Looking back, I marvel at that evening. We were friends that had been getting to know each other up to that point. We enjoyed spending time together and we secretly liked each other “a lot”. But, for him to go from “hanging out” to “commitment towards marriage” was a jump.
As it turns out, that was 28 years ago and I am so glad we went there. We spent a lot of time together after that night. We talked about everything under the sun. We shared our hearts, our passions, our desires and goals. I think it’s fair to say that we pursued each other with abandon. We both longed to know each other deeply. We wanted to know everything about each other because we loved each other. I don’t think I’ve ever put so much work into a relationship.
As a Christ follower, I’m told in the Bible that I should seek after God in a similar way. One of my favorite scriptures on this topic is:
Psalm 63:1 God you are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water.
Over and over again, God tells his children that He wants us to seek after him. As followers of Jesus, we are told that developing a personal relationship with Jesus is one of the most important things we can do. That being said, I quickly learned that it was also one of the hardest things. I thought it would be as easy as pursuing Craig had been. It wasn’t. I often failed in my attempts at pursuing Jesus with passion and abandonment. I wanted to, but my selfishness would often get in the way. I hated getting up early. I was pretty busy in college trying to make good grades while working and supporting myself. I often fooled myself by telling myself that there would be time later to work on my relationship with Jesus. But, the sad reality of my life during those days is that I wanted to call the shots and denying myself to do what God wanted was a battle of epic proportions.
Now, when I look back, I realize that I’m not committed to something until I understand the why behind the commitment. I heard a little bit during those days about why you should spend your time and energy pursuing Jesus, but I didn’t live it and it didn’t make a huge difference until later.
What about you? Why do you pursue Jesus? What’s your motivation? What difference does He make for you? If you are like me, you are a logical person who likes to play scenarios through to the end. I often will make a commitment to something if I can see what the outcome will be. I want the outcome to be worth my time and worth my blood, sweat and tears before giving my all to it.
I was having a texting conversation with our very own Avery Schrader this week. She said things better than I could so I’d like to share our conversation with you:
Why do you think it’s important to pursue Jesus?
I think of 1 John 5:12..”whoever has the Son has life..” It’s not an exaggeration to say I would have no life without Him. A relationship with Jesus is what gives me purpose.
What benefits have you experienced from pursuing Jesus?
Hope and peace..“Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ”(Romans 5:1). Not only do I have peace with God but I have that with others as well. Pursuing Jesus (and Him pursuing me) is the only time I have seen change in my life and freedom from sin. When I am seeking God, I also have joy and that is so unlike my old self that I know it’s from him. Major benefit. :)
What would you lose if you weren’t pursuing your walk with Jesus on a daily basis:
At Summit I wrote down the quote “our hearts are restless until they find their rest in the Lord.” (Augustine) That's very true in my life that without Jesus I was constantly trying to fill up the hole in my heart and never could. And even as a believer without Jesus I become more cold and selfish, I’m fearful and without hope, and I look for satisfaction in things that never truly make me happy.
Isn’t that amazing. God created us with a “God sized hole” that can only be filled by Him. He has proven to me through the years that the outcome is worth any cost. If you are reading this blog and have questions about pursuing Jesus and whether He is worth it or not, I’d love to hear from you. Drop me a line and let’s start a conversation about it. I believe that a conversation like this might be the most important of all time.
I love you all,