Friday, January 21, 2011

Passionately pursuing.

You turn.

It's all about turning. If you've turned. And what you're turned to.

What are you turned to? What are you pursuing?

I was reading in Matthew today. I can honestly say that I am enthralled by just about anything right now that my Savior has said. I wish I could swallow His whole Word in one sitting. I long to hear more! I am a glutton for the feast of His manna. I cannot wait (even though I've read it before) to hear and to see what next He has to say!

Anyway. Back to Matthew. I was reading in chapter 3 where it talks to us about when John the Baptist came in on the scene. It starts as saying, "In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the Desert of Judea saying, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.""


For the kingdom of heaven is near.

In the commentary notes from the version I was reading I read this: "To repent is to have a change of mind issuing in regret, to have a turn in purpose."

We know that. Most of us have been taught that repenting is a change of mind. It's a turning. But for some reason the way it was worded just hit me deeper today. To have a change of mind, regretting the way you had been thinking and living before. And because of that change of mind and that regretting you not only turn completely from the path you were going, or turn from the things you've been doing, but you also have a turn in purpose. Your purpose has changed. Your purpose is different. You no longer have the same purpose anymore. Your purpose now is on God and the kingdom's business.

I like that. A turn in purpose. If you will allow me to ask: What is your purpose turned toward?

The notes went on to say, "In John the Baptist's preaching, repentance.. involved making a turn for the kingdom of the heavens. This indicates that God's New Testament ecomony is focused on His kingdom. For this we should repent, change our mind, make a turn in our life-pursuit. The goal of our pursuing has been other things; now our pursuing must turn toward God and His kingdom."

It's those last two sentences that I liked the most. Those last two above that said (and because I liked it so, I shall repeat it again!), For this (His Kingdom) we should repent,... change our mind,... make a turn in our life-pursuit. The goal of our pursuing has been other things;... but now... our pursuing must turn toward God and His kingdom.

Wow! What is (or has been) your life-pursuit? What do you spend your life, your everyday, pursuing? And are you seriously, intentionally, purposefully, focusedly pursuing God or, like most of the world, truthfully pursuing something else entirely and completely different?

I guess one reason that it struck me so powerfully is this.... In our last year (2010) I watched my God radically pursuing my oldest daughter. His pursuit of her was so over the top, so powerful, so major, so radical, so bold, so obvious; everyday left us blown away and awed by it's wildness. And then, because of His pursuit, I watched my daughter turn and radically began pursuing Him! I know what those words are speaking of. I've done it myself. And  I've had front row seats this past year watching our God and my daughter and the passionate pursuit between them!

What about you?

Where did you spend your last year? What was your everyday life's purpose? What pursued you? And what did you pursue in return? What will you spend your this year pursuing?

If you'd answer and say it was God, I still wonder: do you only spend time with God in your "spare" time? Or, was/is He your primary purpose in life? Your life's passion? Your desire? Your longing? What you think of most?

We are all pursuers. We're all being pursued and all are purposefully (whether we realize it or not) pursuing something. What is your pursuit? Some are pursuing their education. A job. A man. A woman. A status. Popularity. Beauty. Family. Friends. A drug. A drink. An addiction. Freedom from one. Accolades. Significance. Food. Clothes. Shelter. A thinner body. A toner body. A tanner one. A more youthful one. Money. Possessions. Talent. A career. Health. Happiness.... 

Pursuit is a serious thing. I want mine to be Jesus alone!

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