Posted by: zephaniah317 | February 8, 2008

Pursuit

This is from the “Ransomed Heart” daily readings today:
God Pursuing Us
02/08/2008


What is God like? Is his heart good? We know he is the initiator from first to last. As Simon Tugwell reminds, God is the one pursuing us:So long as we imagine that it is we who have to lookfor God, we must often lose heart. But it is the other way about; He is looking for us. And so we can afford to recognize that very often we are not looking for God; far from it, we are in full flight from him, in high rebellion against him. And He knows that and has taken it into account. He has followed us into our own darkness; there where we thought finally to escape him, we run straight into his arms. So we do not have to erect a false piety for ourselves, to give us the hope of salvation. Our hope is in his determina tion to save us, and he will not give in. (Prayer)

When we feel that life is finally up to us, it becomes suffocating. When we are the main character, the world is so small there’s barely room to move. It frees our souls to have something going on before us that involves us, had us in mind, yet doesn’t depend on us or culminate in us, but invites us up into something larger. And what about the Romance and the Arrows? It wasn’t supposed to be like this. Once upon a time we lived in a garden; we lived in the place for which we were made. There were no Arrows, only beauty. Our relationships weren’t tainted with fear, guardedness, manipulation, quid pro quo. Our work was rewarding; we received more than we gave. There is beauty, and we so long for it to last; we were made for the Garden. But now there is affliction also, and that is because we live East of Eden. The Arrows seem like the truest part of life, but they are not. The heart of the universe is still perfect love.

I wish I could consistently bring this to mind in the right context, to be in that full, intimate relationship with Him.  I did not say nearly enough in my last post about how God does not punish us.  He pursues us, and never lets go.  There is no punishment for those in Christ, and, let’s be real for a moment, if we go by the definition of the word, punishment, when it comes to personal relationships and emotional wounding, is wrong, and doesn’t do any good anyway.

Now, before you pick your eyeballs back up off the computer desk or your laptop, hear me out.  Let’s remember (a) I’m not talking about robbery or murder or embezzlement of funds, and (b) let’s remember the definition (this is Webster’s by the way):

pun·ish·ment 
noun
Date: 15th century

1: the act of punishing  2 a: suffering, pain, or loss that serves as retribution b: a penalty inflicted on an offender through judicial procedure  3: severe, rough, or disastrous treatment


OK, let’s throw out #1.  That’s a “duh”.  Look at number 2a and remember my analogy from yesterday:  if you’re wounded physically, are you going to stand there and yell at the person who wounded you while you bleed to death?  No, of course not.  Retribution is God’s job, not ours.  And, thanks to Jesus death and resurrection, he doesn’t seek retribution against us.  He seeks healing and restoration.  Now, again, let’s be real here, does God get angry from time to time?  Check.  Is God sad that we hurt Him by hurting others or not obeying the rules that He put in place to keep us from harm?  Check.  Is He pestering us or pursuing us continually to make sure that we get what we deserve for what we’ve done.  Uh uh.  Nope.  Negatory.  That’s how awesome He is.  And I’m finally starting to get that.  (whew…)

2b:  Jesus has taken all our penalties on Him so that we can be free and have fellowship with God.  How cool is that?  Free gifts, everyone!  Can’t lose it, can’t gain it.  It’s just there.  And I’m finally starting to get that.  (whew again…)

3:  Doesn’t condemnation and unforgiveness from another person feel like severe disastrous treatment at times?  Lemme tell ya, when you have the perspective that it’s coming from God, it definitely feels disastrous.  Again, this definition doesn’t apply to relationship with God.  It just doesn’t.  And I’m finally starting to get that.  (whew x3…)  Unfortunately, some of the people in my life that were closest to me brought this perspective into my life, and it’s been a very hard and very long road changing that perspective.

If you have the means, check out the track “Running To You” on Geoff Moore and the Distance’s 1997 (and last) release (as a band, and a phenomenal one at that), Threads.  Here’s the chorus:

I am running to you
Like a prisoner cut loose
In the distance I
Can’t believe my eyes
But You’re running for me, too.

Nice picture, huh?  Have a great weekend!

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Responses

  1. just wanted you to know that I’m here listening…

  2. Having kids was an eyeopener for me. I realized that punishment looks to the past offense, as discip-line is put into place to desci-ple or shift our direction in love to move once again to blessing..to a path of blessing. God’s love is apparent to me when I view it in this light, as I struggle with experiencing His love. Understanding what discipline really means opens a gamet of possibilities for teaching my kids the right way, as the toughness of discipline has much to do with our own refusal for Gods blessings. Great post bro


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