Don't Give Up!
Mar 05, 2019
“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.”
There have been times in my life when I was not seeking God with all of my heart, but only partially, or out of duty. Those were not the most exciting times of fellowship with God. The relationship was distant as I hardly engaged in a dialogue with Him. Many of these times involved keeping me occupied with thoughts or actions that did not please God. When times were difficult, it was easier to turn to God out of necessity. And those times have formed me and my walk with Him so much more than the easy times.
Jonah was a prophet who ran away from his duty of proclaiming the bad news to Nineveh. He tried to flee from God’s presence and escape his responsibilities, but God found him of course. How can we flee from Him? He will always find us out and pursue us, whether we want it or not. And He does it out of love for us. Why do we still not get that picture? Why do we have times when we give up on pursuing God? I have had times of discouragement, when I felt God was far away and it seemed that even reading Scripture didn’t speak to me much. When we perceive we’re not growing, we sometimes also tend to study the Word less. How do we feel then?
For some of us, it may be this way because we have never seen an example from someone else on how to pursue God. We have no role models or no mentors to help us grow in the knowledge of God. There are even times when we give up because we compare ourselves to others ‘more spiritual’, more ‘holy.’ When we evaluate our own closeness to God, we feel like we can never measure up to those ‘giants of faith.’ And when sin stands in our way, we also tend to withdraw from intimacy with God. A.W. Tozer said it in this way: “We have learned to live with unholiness and have come to look upon it as the natural and expected thing.”
But it is a great thing when you can walk and talk with Him daily, in times of trouble as well as times of peace. A time when you are focusing on holiness and have victories in this area. Then fellowship with God becomes a habit of security and of feeling shielded by His Hand. This means that we have become actively engaged with God, partially of our own will, but also with the help of the Holy Spirit. As one teacher put it to me at seminary: the Spirit is not going to do your homework; that is something He has left you to do!
When I actively pursue or seek God, He will turn to me. Lamentations 3:25 puts it like this: The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him. Sometimes that means that we have to wait for Him; wait till He will provide an answer.
Isaiah 55: Seek the Lord while he may be found; call upon him while he is near...
James 1:12 Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.
I am looking forward to that crown of life. But in the meantime, I need to be steady in my walk with Him and not give up! Will you do the same?!