God’s Campaign For You Part 1 – God’s Pursuit Of You & His Motives Behind It
This week I’m continuing my series entitled “God’s Campaign For You”. I’ll be focusing on God’s pursuit of you and His motives behind it on this one. Let’s get started.
Keeping with the campaign theme, candidates running for political offices go after votes relentlessly. They do whatever it takes to try to reach people and convince them that they are the one they should vote for. Similarly, God is relentless in His pursuit of you. I think most people have heard that God loves them, but I don’t think most are fully persuaded of how relentless God actually is and why exactly it is that He loves them in the first place.
Now, you might be thinking who cares? Does it really matter why God loves us or the motives behind His pursuit of us? Shouldn’t it be enough that we just know that God loves us? No. Here’s why: if you have a wrong perception about God’s motives then it will be very difficult for you to ever feel or experience God’s love for you. If you think it doesn’t matter that you feel or experience God’s love, think about how it would go over if one spouse said to another, “Hey babe, just so you know, it doesn’t really matter if you ever feel or experience my love, just know that I love you.” Women would definitely think this type of thinking is born from the mind of a man. It’s like guys think to themselves, well hey I told her I loved her when I married her and that should be enough, yet woman want to keep hearing and experiencing their man’s love for them. It’s not enough to just say they should be satisfied to have a mere intellectual knowing that their spouse love’s them. That’s not going to cut it for them. They need to experience it. See when you bring it into the relationship context, it starts to make more sense. When you understand why God loves you, it frees you up to actually be able to feel and experience His love, which is what we all really want whether we admit it or not. And here’s a verse for anybody that still needs convincing regarding the feeling and experiencing aspect:
And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Eph. 3:17 NIV
Regarding God’s pursuit of you, many of us tend to think God may be pleased with us sometimes, but when we mess up that He’s in heaven with His arms folded shaking His head. No matter how good of a person you are, you are going to miss it sometimes. It’s in these times that you need to be reminded of how God is always coming after you, just desiring to be around you and fellowship together. This will keep you in a good, healthy relationship with God, despite any circumstance you may be facing or failure you may have encountered.
I hope the following information helps convince you that God is always pursuing you no matter what and allows your heart to go to rest at the integrity of God’s motives for it.
From The Beginning
It always amazes me how quick we are to forget about God’s heart for us from the beginning. It’s like we think He created a garden and then needed somebody to work the garden so he created man. God was looking for somebody to share His quality of life with and he found it in man. Those that listen to Bertie Brits and Greg Henry know this verse well but it bears repeating regardless, Genesis 1:28 says God blessed man after he created them. The word blessed there in the Hebrew is barak which means to kneel down in adoration of and speak well of. Something similar to this would be when a man gets down on one knee to propose to a woman. If you want to know where God declared his judgment of man, it’s right here. This is when he deemed what we were worthy of. Before our sin had anything to do with it.God was looking for somebody to share His quality of life with & he found it in man. Click To Tweet
Those that think God just sees us as sinners but puts up with us because He is love and He just loves everything are missing God’s heart from the beginning. We excited Him so much that He got down on one knee and proposed to us because He couldn’t see life without us. He wanted to spend eternity with us. And if you think God’s heart changed after we sinned, think again. I’ve mentioned these verses before but in Genesis 3 we see God still pursuing Adam and Eve and clothing them even after they sinned. He didn’t turn His back and say I can’t stand to be around sinners like the manner in which some people present the Gospel. God is the same yesterday, today and forever (Heb. 13:8) and His heart has always been to simply fellowship with us and enjoy life together. Oh and there’s also that verse that flat out says God will never leave us nor forsake us (Heb. 13:5). And this one to:
For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. Eph. 1:4-6 NIV.
His Motives: To Have Us Serve Him Or To Serve Us?
This is really hard for most people to accept, especially the religious types but God actually wants to serve you. We have been so ingrained with the doctrines of man about how we must serve God and do all these things to either earn eternal life and/or rewards in heaven and what not. That is a man centered Gospel that will never allow you to rest in the finish work of Jesus.
Remember what happened in John 13 when Jesus was washing Peter’s feet. At first Peter said no but then Jesus said unless I wash you, you have no part in me. We get it so twisted when we think it’s all about us serving. Now, I’m not saying we shouldn’t do good things but there is a big difference between trying to do things in our own power and simply letting God live His life through us. This is what Paul was talking about in Galatians 2:20 when he said:
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. KJV
I think we tend to get this idea that God is a self-centered God. Like He can’t wait to bring others into His kingdom simply so He can relish in how powerful He is. I also think we tend to get this notion that God looks at us like some seed that He is just trying to reap fruit from. Listen guys, if you don’t get anything else out of this blog I hope that you take away an understanding that God does not come to befriend you to get something out of you. He doesn’t look at me and say “Oh baby, I think I can get this guy to be a pastor for me, so let me go and befriend him.” The thing He is trying to reap from you is a RELATIONSHIP!!! His motives are pure. He pursues you because He likes you and wants to be around you. He simply wants you, not what you can do for Him.The Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve & to give his life as a ransom for many. Matt. 20:28 Click To Tweet
John 21 is probably my favorite chapter in all the Bible. The thing about it is that it’s so easy to read over some of the simple things that happen in this chapter but I believe they give us great insight into the heart of God for us. Let’s take a look at verses 1-12:
Afterward Jesus appeared again to his disciples, by the Sea of Galilee. It happened this way: 2 Simon Peter, Thomas (also known as Didymus, Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples were together. 3 “I’m going out to fish,” Simon Peter told them, and they said, “We’ll go with you.” So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.
4 Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus.
5 He called out to them, “Friends, haven’t you any fish?”
“No,” they answered.
6 He said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish.
7 Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, “It is the Lord,” he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water. 8 The other disciples followed in the boat, towing the net full of fish, for they were not far from shore, about a hundred yards.[c] 9 When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread.
10 Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you have just caught.”11 So Simon Peter climbed back into the boat and dragged the net ashore. It was full of large fish, 153, but even with so many the net was not torn. 12 Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.”
It’s awesome to see how God knows exactly what they need and how to get it to them but the thing that sticks out the most to me in these passages is the last verse here in which we see Jesus saying “come and have breakfast”. Imagine this from Jesus’ perspective. He sees His disciples struggling to get food and provision for their lives, so it’s like He comes and says “oh you guys need some fish, here ya go.” Then they have a problem reeling them all in and it’s like he says “here ya go, I’ll you a supernatural ability to bring them in.” But what did Jesus want? He wanted them to come hang out with Him and have breakfast.
Jesus goes on in the chapter to reinstate and restore Peter. If you recall he had denied Jesus three times at His trial and Peter’s place in all of this was probably a little shaky. Jesus came and restored Him asking him 3 times if he loved Him. We also see Jesus’ heart for His people when He tells Peter to feed and take care of His sheep. The whole chapter paints a beautiful picture of Jesus’ motives and His commitment to us even when we mess up.
The Prodigal Son
One last example for good measure here is the story of the prodigal son in Luke 15. Most of you know it well. The son asks for his inheritance, then proceeds to squander it on wild living. But after he comes to his senses and decides to go back home, we are told this is verse 20:
“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. NIV
The son asking the father for his inheritance was practically like him saying he wished he was dead. It would have been very easy for the father to turn his back on him. But instead we see the father spotting the son while he was a long way off. That means he must’ve been looking for him. And look what happened when he saw the son had turned back to him. He ran after him. Another example of God’s commitment, faithfulness and pursuit of us.
I hope this blog helps to persuade you of God’s commitment to you, His pursuit of you and His motives behind it. My friend Mark Barlow recorded a song a few years ago entitled “Pursued”. Check it out below if you have a chance. He’s an awesome singer and it’s a great song that will usher you right into the presence of God. Enjoy. Thanks for stopping by.