What does ALL mean? The best definition of all in my life was played out after I first met Sally. Wow! There was nothing and I mean nothing that got in my way of a full pursuit of Sally. Not sports, not my buddies nor any other worldly attraction. It was wonderful! It was exciting! It was fulfilling! And it culminated in our marriage on March 25, 1972. I invested ALL and received ALL in return. Now that's a balanced equation!
But to have found Sally, to have courted Sally and to have committed myself to Sally for life and to STILL PURSUE her is the heart's paradox of love. To not grow content, to not coexist, to not plateau is scorned by the vast majority of marriages today. For the majority the pursuit ends shortly after the honeymoon and the romance becomes dry, the pursuit lifeless and dead. Consequently 50% of all first-time marriages end in divorce and 70% of the remaining 50% would not remarry the same person. How sad!
What ever happened to the burning heart desire to live happily ever after?
So how does this parallel with our walk with God? The impulse to PURSUE God always and only originates with God himself. That is why it is stated He is, "The author and finisher of our faith." Hebrews 12:2 He always initiates but it is left up to us to work it out. To pursue the outworking of that godly impulse is to individually pursue and know God Himself. David said, "My soul THIRSTS for God, for the living God." Psalms 42:2 Even Jesus said, "This is life eternal, that they might KNOW Thee." John 17:3
But I'm afraid that the transaction of religious conversion and subsequent life has been made spiritless and the new marriage to Christ is considered a finished or one time experience. People are supposedly "saved," but they are no longer hungering and thirsting after God? In fact, they seem to be specifically taught to be satisfied and encouraged to be content without a continuous pursuit of the living God???
We marvel at how the modern day astronomer has not found God amid the study and wonders of His galaxies; yet Christians are in greater danger of losing God amid the study and wonders of His Word, His church and His work. Too many of His sheep come to His table and are sent away hungry and thirsty. To find God amid all the religious externals we must be determined to find Him by stripping down to the absolute essentials.
God is a person. A relationship with Him can be cultivated as with any person. But how many people do you know that KNOW God. Even our Bible expository is carried on in a way of knowing the word and not the person Himself. In fact it seems that we are satisfied and encouraged to be content with religion only. Sooo many of us are treating God as we treat our spouses-as a convenience.
My marriage is wonderful today largely because I'm still pursuing it, still pursuing my first love, still thirsting after the depth of Sally's heart and so it must be with the God of our hearts as well. To have found God and to still pursue Him is the soul's paradox of love. Scoffed perhaps by the too easily-satisfied religionists, but happily experienced by the pursuers with burning hearts.
Complacency is a deadly foe not only in our marriages but also in our spiritual lives as well. The bride waits to be wanted. Too bad she waits so long, so very looong and in vain.
Every age has its own characteristics and it seems that the religious characteristics of today are tragic end time events and readiness for those terrifying events. However, when I read through the book of Revelation it appears to me to be a READINESS of heart and lover more than disastrous events. It talks about a loveless church with a character defect of having left its 1st love and a subsequent need of repentance to return to that love.
So will we be found as part of the loveless church, the suffering church, the compromising church, the corrupt church, the dead church, the lukewarm church or the faithful pursuing church?
Surely He is coming quickly and all those who have pursued holiness of heart and marriage to the Lamb will have fully separated themselves from a religiosity that usurps God and their love of the world and all its attractions, it's glitter and gold. In its place they will have totally opened the door of their heart and entered into covenant relationship with the King of Kings and Lord of lords! He will be their King and non other!
Still in pursuit,
Jim & Sally
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