God pursued me. He chased me down, romanced me, and never let up until the day I said, “I do.” The amazing part about it is that no one else wanted me; He really had no other competition at the time. I wasn’t some special “catch” and I certainly wasn’t perfect bride material. Yet, there He was, consistently, constantly, telling me how much He loved me. He wooed me. That is an old word that we don’t use too much anymore, but here is the definition: to seek the affection or love of a woman in order to marry her. Since I was only six years old at the time, I didn’t understand anything other than the fact that God was my Father, He loved me, and He wanted me. Through a great teacher, I realized I wasn’t good enough on my own so God’s Son, Jesus, took away all my “bad stuff” and gave me a new heart. I was so desperate for love how could I say no to that?
Over the years I backslid and fell into the lifestyle of sin, again, God revealed His love for me and the wooing began anew. By this time I had experienced, all negatively, the so called “love” of the world and all it did was leave me broken and bitter. God healed me of all of the hurts by His great LOVE.
Now, I am so grateful for the changes in my life, the blessings, and so many un-imagined ways that He is real in my life that my heart’s desire is to get closer to Him.
The pursued has become the pursuer.
It shouldn’t be hard really. After all, I had a good teacher. He wasn’t nonchalant about it. In no way was His pursuit of me a low priority. He aggressively pursued me. If you are unsure of what I am talking about, read the Song of Solomon. It is all about His love, His pursuit of His Bride, and if no one has ever told you, you are His bride too, male or female, young or old, you are His Bride if you have said yes to His proposal. Here are just a few scriptures that talk about His love for you.
Songs 1:15 (NIV), “Behold, you are fair, my love; behold, you are fair; you have doves’ eyes.”
Song of Solomon 4:10 (NIV), “How delightful is your love, my sister, my bride! How much more pleasing is your love than wine, and the fragrance of your perfume more than any spice!”
Song of Solomon 5:1 (NIV), “I have come into my garden, my sister, my bride; I have gathered my myrrh with my spice. I have eaten my honeycomb and my honey; I have drunk my wine and my milk. Friends Eat, friends, and drink; drink your fill of love.”
Deuteronomy 7:8 (God’s Word Translation), “You were chosen because the LORD loved you and kept the oath he swore to your ancestors. So he used his mighty hand to bring you out. He freed you from slavery under Pharaoh (the king of Egypt).”
I Thessalonians 1:4 (NLT), “We know, dear brothers and sisters, that God loves you and has chosen you to be his own people.”
There are hundreds of these. I could go on for ages, but you need to do a word study yourself. Just know, God loves you!
Now, how does one go about wooing, pursuing the Creator of the Universe. It’s not like I can buy Him candy and flowers. What would please Him, how can I bless Him? I can start by getting to know Him better. I can read the scriptures with the purposeful intention of finding out more about His heart, who He is. I need to remember where I was, and where I am now. This one is very important; I need to do what He says.
John 14:15 (KJB), “If ye love me, keep my commandments.”
Jesus clarifies this later by saying that the greatest commandment is to love God with all our heart, mind, and strength, and the second was to love one another. So, not only should we do what He says, but we need to share His love with those around us. Yes, even the ones that you think are hard to love. It wasn’t hard for God to love you, so it isn’t hard for Him to love anyone. How then can we withhold our love. Now let me clarify, loving someone doesn’t mean we have to agree with all of their actions, or love what they do, we just love them, who God sees them to be. He may not want flowers and candy, but He does want His family to grow. What greater gift can we give Him than souls saved?
Next, we need to pursue righteousness. He gave it to us when we surrendered our hearts to Him, but we need to be in constant pursuit. The running isn’t just to God, and His ways, but we need to run away from some things as well.
II Timothy 2:22 (NLT), “Run from anything that stimulates youthful lusts. Instead, pursue righteous living, faithfulness, love, and peace. Enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts.”
When we do this, really do it, our lives are transformed. When we pursue Him who first pursued us, our hearts are overwhelmed by Love.
Here is what David said, “O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water. So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary, beholding your power and glory. Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you. So I will bless you as long as I live; in your name I will lift up my hands. My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food, and my mouth will praise you with joyful lips, when I remember you upon my bed, and meditate on you in the watches of the night; for you have been my help, and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy. My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me. (Psalm 63:1-8 ESV)
I realize that some people serve God out of fear. They are afraid of death, or hell, or life in general, they are afraid of what others might think or say, and there are some who are afraid of God, and not in a healthy reverential way. They don’t love Him, they are just trying to appease Him. They see Him as hard, or distant, or uncaring, so they go through the motions of vain traditions and religious duty and their lives are never transformed. In fact, most of the time they only get worse.
Fear is the wrong motivation! The only true motivation is LOVE. Fear has bondage. Perfect love casts out all fear. Let’s take a quick look at Adam and Eve in the garden. They are a good example of the motivation of fear.
God tells Adam that he can eat of any tree in the garden, except one. God reserved that one for Himself (think of it as the tithe). He then warns Adam that if he did eat from that tree, he would die. Take notice that Eve has not been created yet. It is just Adam and God. However, when the serpent (Satan) comes to tempt Eve to eat, what are her words to the lying devil? “We can’t eat of it or even touch it.” Who gave Eve her instructions concerning the tree? That’s right, her husband. Why had he added to the simple command of God? He wanted Eve to fear, possibly he even feared himself. I once thought that he just loved her so much, but had his motivation been love, he never would have allowed Satan into the garden, and he certainly wouldn’t have stood by and watched her take the fruit.
I believe it played out something like this: the serpent casts doubt in Eve’s mind about God’s intentions (doesn’t he always!) then Eve touched the fruit. Remember Adam had said they couldn’t touch it or they would die. She touches it, she is safe, it looks good, smells good, and there is Adam watching to see what will happen. Finally she takes a bite. It tastes good, and then we see Adam too, partaking of this forbidden fruit.
Could this all have been prevented if Adam hadn’t lied, hadn’t added to God’s command…maybe.
Love motivates us for good, it takes away, drives out any fear in us. God loves us perfectly, better than any other ever would or could.
Sometimes when I really contemplate His love, I just get so full that I either cry, or can’t stop smiling. I want this love to be two sided. I have had enough of one-sided love to last me a lifetime. I would never, ever leave my husband, (we’ve been through too much!), but that doesn’t mean that he doesn’t want me to show him how much I love him, to still pursue him. In the same way, Jesus said he would never leave us nor forsake us, but are we going to just take that for granted and act like it isn’t a big deal? I am not. I want Him to know how much I love Him. Don’t be like the husband who won’t tell his wife he loves her because “she already knows I love her.” Don’t just give lip service to God and tell Him you love Him without any actions to back it up.
Don’t ever stop chasing Him, He will never stop chasing you.