Ruthless Pursuit


  "By perseverance, the snail reached the ark."  Charles Spurgeon   God's goal for the snail, and for every creature on the ark, including Noah and his family, was that they reach it.  Without doubt, each journeyed to the ark at the pace the Father created them for, and it was not the speed of the journey, but that they would get to where it was He called them to.  For sure, there were numerous distractions to be found along the way, but within them all, even the snail, was an overwhelming desire to find the rest and life that could only be theirs in the ark.  They would not be denied.  There's a lesson for us in that.
     It may be that the greatest enemy of the heart of a believer is self-satisfaction.  We tend to want to look back on how far we have come, and in doing that, can fall prey to a smug satisfaction about it all.  Of this tendency Chris Tiegreen says, "We think we've stocked up on our Godward obligations and that He must be satisfied with us as long as we're satisfied with ourselves."  His call, like His grace, mercy, and love, is new every morning, and it  always calls us onward....and upward.  Along this same line Watchman Nee wrote, "The question is not how far we have gone since we started, but whether our hearts are still set on God's goal."  Are our hearts set on that goal?  Is yours?
    To live in such a way will require far more than a general, good intentioned desire for Him.  It will mean a ruthless pursuit of Him.  Yes, ruthless.  
In Matthew 11:12 Jesus said, "And from the time John the Baptist began preaching and baptizing until now, the Kingdom of Heaven has been forcefully advancing and violent people attack it."  T. Austin-Sparks says this means that "we do violence to anything that seeks to keep us from Him."  This means that we ruthlessly remove from our lives anything that has come between He and us.  We do not go about our pursuit of Him in anything but an all out, full-hearted, way.  Are we in the midst of such a pursuit right now?  Or have life's distractions, disturbances,  and competing interests sapped us of our energy for Him?  If they have, why are we okay with that?
    Not long ago, I was looking at a local church's website.  I went to their "statement of belief".  The first thing it said was, "We value the word of God."  Valued.  There are many things we can value.  Is Christ and His Word now just one more to add to the list?  I doubt we will die, especially to self, for something we merely value.  We will for someone who has a place above all things, most especially ourselves.  Nothing will keep us from such a One.  Such a Christ.
    Sparks said this; "The Lord is able to look into the depths of our hearts and see if we mean business with Him.  He will know how far He can go with us."  How far can He go with you and me?  To the place where we feel satisfied, or He does?  Is our heart still set on His goal for us, the fullest measure of His life and power?  Does this day find us, you and me, on our way to "the ark," undeterred, undisturbed, journeying there with all of our hearts?  Ruthlessly pursuing Him?

Pastor O  
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   May 2019   
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