I’m not always a good friend. If left to my own devices I would most likely live a solitary life with few others involved. I have been told more than once that I am a hard person to get to know. I often struggle socially and am awkward when it comes to connecting with someone on a personal level. However, God has been gracious to me. He knows me so well that he has sent others to pursue me. Ladies who wanted a friendship with me and so did not give up on me. They called and invited me places, talked to me when I wasn’t a great conversationalist, and decided to like me even after getting to know the “real me”. I thank God for friends like that; this will include many of you reading this today.
To be truthful, all of us love to be pursued by someone. If this wasn’t the case many of us would not be married to the man we are married to. If your husband hadn’t shown interest and attempted to gain a relationship with you, you most likely would have lost interest and moved on. The pursuit of a relationship is a strong force. Never is this truer than in our relationship with our Heavenly Father.
God loves us and desires an authentic relationship with us. Don’t miss this fact. God Almighty, Creator of supernovas and DNA, the All-Powerful Great I Am wants to know you AND you to know him. Not in a textbook “you are interesting” kind of way, but in a personal “I love you like crazy and want to be close to you” kind of way.
God said through the Prophet Jeremiah - Thus says the Lord: “Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the Lord.” – Jeremiah 9:23-24
If there is anything at all in this world that we should feel pride about it is that we know God. Nothing else matters; not worldly wisdom, not might or riches. Only knowing God. When was the last time you bragged on God and the fact that you belong to him?
Once we have been adopted into God’s family (by accepting the work of his Son on the cross) we immediately begin a new relationship with God as our Heavenly Father. From that time forward we need to wholeheartedly pursue an ever increasing relationship with him. The effort of this should consume our lives (read Romans 12). The more you know God the more you love him.
One of the most awesome facts that I will never fully understand is that God desires this relationship with me. He wants me to get closer to him. Yes, socially awkward, stand-offish and far from perfect me. God wants to be close to you too. Think on that for a few minutes… God wants you closer to him. He wants you to know him on a personal level. This should bring tears to your eyes.
The Bible is full of verses demonstrating God’s desire for a relationship with his people. This is not for his benefit (we can add nothing to God) but for our own good and because he cares for us. In Matthew 11:28 Jesus says, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Jesus also lamented over Jerusalem wishing he could gather the people under his wings as a hen gathers her brood (Luke 13:34). There are cries throughout the Bible of God wanting people to turn to him and allow him to love them and heal them. The story of the prodigal son is another great example of the joy of the Father at gaining a relationship with a son that had been lost. (Luke 15).
One of my favorite verses is found in James 4:8, “Draw near to God and he will draw near to you.” So simple and yet incredible; an awesome PROMISE of God. Memorize it and live it. Draw closer to God (pursue him) by reading his Word, talking to him in prayer (another mighty gift) and by fellowshipping with others who will spur you on in this joint mission.
I have heard from a few friends that have committed to reading the entire Bible this year. I rejoice in those commitments! What a wonderful way to get to know your Father; by reading the book he has written just for you and for this very reason!
God loved us so much that he killed his son Jesus to allow a relationship with us to take place. I guess you can say he takes this pretty seriously … and so should we. Be intentional this year and pursue your God!