Some people define religion as man’s search for God. However, the Bible speaks of God’s search for man. The mystery of it all is that God pursues man. When Adam and Eve hid from His presence (Genesis 3:9), the Lord called: “Where are you?”
It’s a call that goes out again and again. You’ve heard it. It’s the echo of a still, small voice that is uniquely mysterious. It transcends words, yet continually draws the human spirit.
Recently, a number of books have been written about people chasing after God, and there certainly is an important place in the Christian experience for pursuing the Lord. But as you look at Scripture, you discover that God is always the first to initiate love. It’s your role to respond.
Any passion you have in your heart for Him right now, He put there. It takes God to love God. It takes God to pursue God. You didn’t just wake up one morning thinking, “Oh, this is a great day to get saved. I think I’ll accept Jesus as my Lord and Savior and then head to McDonald’s for an Egg McMuffin.”
The Lover of your heart was pursuing you even when you didn’t realize it. He was working behind the scenes, proactive in the circumstances of your life, bringing you to a place where through His grace you could experience Him.
This is a humbling revelation. It grates against the human ego. But how can somebody who is dead in sin be awakened to intimacy apart from the divine Romancer drawing him out of death into life? While some people say they’ve known God since they were children and have never really rebelled, most people remember when they walked in sin and compromised with the world.
Even those who became believers at an early age must confess that at times their lifestyle wasn’t what God intended for them. Think about that. If that scenario applies to you, then at those times you weren’t seeking God as you should have been. Yet He came seeking you. He pursued you. He loved you.
Hebrews 7:25 contains one of the most powerful revelations of the Lord’s love. It says, “Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.” Christ is continually making intercession for you. Why? He wants you to make it! You are not on your own. He is rooting for you!
Even Simon Peter’s denial of Christ didn’t come without warning or without Christ’s intercession. In Luke 22:31-32 Jesus said, “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”
Peter thought he would never deny the Lord. In verse 33, he promised to follow Christ to prison and death. But you know what happened. When the rooster crowed, Peter had denied the Lord not once or twice, but three times. But Peter didn’t completely lose heart. Ultimately, his faith didn’t fail. Why? Because Jesus was praying for Him.
If these truths are stirring something within your heart, then you’re not alone. I recently began teaching on this concept at a Bible school. It was my second semester, and most of the students at the institute had never heard me speak. I was asked to teach an elective that the school called “Cultivating Intimacy With God.” More than four hundred students, or approximately one-third of the student body, signed up for the class. That clearly wasn’t because of me. It was the title of the class that drew them! There is something in the human heart that longs for intimacy with God. The heart longs to have a relationship with the Father—to pursue Him and to be pursued by Him.
The message of the Gospel is what sets it apart from other belief systems. It’s what makes Christianity different. Religion is man’s attempt to attain a place where God will accept him; Christianity is God coming down to man. It is God Himself taking human form and offering His own life so you might be brought to Him.
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