Saturday, April 17, 2010

Pursuit of God

“As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God.” Psalm 42:1-2

“O God, thou art my God: early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is.” Psalm 63:1

“My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the LORD: my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God.” Psalm 84:2

At the beginning of my return from Spain, one thing was very clear. I was not to "push" my way forward or manipulate circumstances so that I could go back as soon as possible. Indeed, I felt quite forbidden to even go on mission trips. God closed the door to one fun-sounding mission opportunity after another, from accompanying my sister to Mexico to visiting the Philippines with our church to going to Nepal with a Nepalese friend of mine who invited me to go with her for a month. It was SO hard to turn down all these things and say, "I'm not going," not only because I really wanted to go, but also because no one would understand it. They would think I was losing my heart for missions or something. How could they see that I was flying in the face of my own desire?

All I knew was that the door to go back was closed for now. I realized God had other things in mind that were more important to work on. It was not pursuit of a life-calling to missions, it was something else. God had the answer, and in pursuing Him, all would eventually become clear. Clinging to all the light I had, I started a Word document called "Pursuit of God."

I wrote the first entry in the car on the 6-hour drive home from the airport. It said,

I have several goals for this new period of my life. First, I hope to become supremely obedient to God. I want obedience to be a priority, where I don’t delay, I don’t question, and I don’t try to get out of doing what I know God wants me to do. I have been failing in this area too much lately, and I see my heart as very hard and unpliable and unyielded to God’s will.

Second, in looking at my life right now, I see that there really isn’t anything worthwhile that I’m really good at. Sure I have skills…sure I’m good at things, but in terms of an overarching skill that defines me, that I can say, “I do this, and I’ve studied it, and I know how to do it, and I’m really good at it,” I can’t point to anything. Look at my degree—I majored in communications, yet I don’t know that I could get a job at a newspaper and be a reporter (or get into any field in communications, for that matter). If there was one thing I wish I could say I was really good at, it would be leading people to Christ. I want to excel in it. I want to become experienced, an expert, a fisher of men. I want to study it, pursue it, and become very, very good at it, so that after I die, people will look back at my life and say, “You know, there was one main thing about Rebekah: she was always leading people to Christ, and she was good at it, too.”

To do that, it brings me to the third goal: I want to pray. I want to pray, not just wimpy prayers, but mighty, faith-filled prayers that connect with God. I want to pray, not just short prayers, but be able to spend hours on my knees with God. I want to pray, not once in a while when I think about it, but every day, as a matter of habit and discipline. I want to pray, not just to see my needs met and my requests answered, but to draw closer to God and communicate with him and learn His heart. I want to pray, not starting off well for a month and then slacking off, but continuing faithful in prayer as something that will characterize the rest of my life.

God is saying, “Get more of me! Want more of me! Fight for more of me! There is SO much more to me! Pursue me! Desire me! Push through obstacles to get to me!”

I didn't know it at the time, but two key breakthroughs were to appear in the coming months.

Keep Reading: To Love Our God...

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