Today's Devotional Thought
June 08, 2012 by Rachel Piferi
Intentional Pursuit of God
At the conference this past weekend, there was something said that has really stuck with me all week. Something, quite frankly, that I think needs to be a part of my mindset daily and the way I approach life.
Here it is:
Godliness is the intentional pursuit of God.
Don't you just love that? Oh how I love that and the reminder that we need to intentionally pursue God. It made me start thinking about what I intentionally pursue in my life.
As I thought about it, I realized that anything that I value, prioritize, or am passionate about, I intentionally pursue.
I value my relationship with my husband. So, I pursue conversation and time away with him.
I value my children and their development. So, I pursue moments where I can love them and play with them and teach them about a variety of things.
I value my friendships, so I pursue lunch dates and coffee shop talks and shopping trips so I can spend time cherishing those relationships.
I value my house and cleanliness, so I set aside time to clean and do laundry.
Essentially, as I look at how I spend my time, it is on things that I am interested in developing, fostering, and continuing. I intentionally pursue the things that I value and want active and present in my life.
And in recent years, I have sought after the Lord in ways that I never did in my younger adulthood. I can honestly tell you that I intentionally pursue the Lord. I crave his presence in my life every single day. I crave to know him more and his expectations for me. I crave his teaching and peace and direction and comfort.
I wasn't always like that.
If you look at my life a few years ago, I was intentionally pursuing my career and possessions and setting up a successful life for my family. It all had fairly noble intentions: I wanted our family to be happy and secure and to be able to enjoy life together. I wanted my kids to have opportunities and life experiences of travel and learning.
But as Solomon has told us in Ecclesiastes, it was all meaningless without the Lord.
Today, more than money and stuff and prestige and travel, I crave time to study God's Word and learn more about how I can become a godly woman who is just radically sold out to doing whatever it is that he asks me to do. I crave time with fellow believers to talk about Scripture and how to apply it to daily living. I crave hearing stories from others of how God is working in their lives and how they have overcome different obstacles. And, I crave opportunities to share how God has worked magnificently in my life and how I know Jesus is real.
I crave all of those things. But craving them is not enough. If I want to know the Lord more and understand his purpose for my life, I have to intentionally pursue time alone with him. If I crave relationships with other believers where we can share encouragement and sorrows and growth, then I have to intentionally pursue time at church and Bible Study and other places where we can fellowship and share. If I crave opportunities to hear how God is working in others' lives, then I have to intentionally pursue opportunities to meet with and hear from others.
I may crave a deepened relationship with God and other believers, but if I don't intentionally pursue it, it will not happen. So many other things in this world will snare us and capture our attention. They may even be good things like family and jobs and volunteer work and service. But, if they rob us of time with the Lord, then they are interfering with our main priority.
The intentional pursuit of God.
What do you intentionally pursue? Are you intentionally pursuing God? Have you set aside time each day to learn more about him and to ask him for guidance and strength as you pursue his ways?
Friends, we must be intentional about our pursuit of God. If we are not deliberate and intentional in planning how we can spend time with him, so many other things will cloud our day and interfere with us becoming the women that he desires us to be.
It reminds me of a quote that my mom sent me a couple of months ago. Like me, she loves football, and she was watching the NFL draft when the commentators began talking about all the young talent moving up from college to the NFL with all their hopes and dreams. And Herm Edwards said that he likes to remind these new recruits that, "A goal without a plan is just a wish."
We all desire godliness. We desire to know God more, to discern his plan for our lives, and to live more like Jesus.
But that goal, without a plan, is just a wish. Without a plan of intentional pursuit of God, we will never achieve godliness. We will never get to know him more and his plan for our lives if we do not plan to intentionally pursue him through quiet time, Bible Study, attending conferences, and a host of other deliberate activities that will draw us closer to the heart of God.
Closer to godliness.
Dear friends, spend time today reflecting on what you intentionally pursue. And if a deeper relationship with the Lord is your goal, then spend time developing a plan for how you can intentionally pursue him.
Don't just wish it. Intentionally pursue it!