GOD IS PURSUING YOU
Divine moments come to us all in various forms. It is one of God’s means of making himself known. Maybe it came to you with a blanketing sense of his peace; or an “aha” spiritual moment when the words to a song hit home; or maybe there was a time when you felt God’s Holy Spirit - “The Hound of Heaven” – chasing you down – seeking to keep you from going astray. “Can you fathom the mysteries of God? Can you probe the limits of the Almighty?” (Job 11:7-9)
For me, one of those moments came one morning just before I awoke. While specific details are sketchy, in my dream I was engaged in a conversation with a buddy who was expressing concern for a friend or loved one who had drifted spiritually. I asked him, “What would happen if you or I decided to wander off from following Jesus? What would Jesus do…?” It was at that exact moment I heard what I perceived to be an audible voice inject swiftly into our conversation – “…He’d follow you!” It came so forcefully and clear it woke me up startled!
Sitting on the side of my bed I began to reflect on that statement, “…He’d follow you!” Two scriptures popped into my head. One was God’s promise, “never to leave us nor forsake us.” (Heb. 13:5; Joshua 1:5) Never means never! The other was of Jesus the Shepherd (John 10) leaving the ninety-nine sheep safely in the fold to go and actively search for the one lost sheep. In Matthew 18 Jesus said, “If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? And if he finds it, I tell you the truth, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off. In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should be lost.” (v:12-14 NIV)
God spoke through the prophet Isaiah and said, “Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! I have engraved you in the palms of my hands.” (Isaiah 49:15-16)
Many express concerns about wandering loved ones. I want to assure you – the Shepherd (Holy Spirit) is pursuing them! (Psalm 139:7-12) You may not be aware of his actions, but he is actively hunting them down. Some may have wandered off disillusioned with organized Christianity. Some may be upset with the hypocrisy of those who claim to be his. Possibly they’re disappointed with God about why he has not been more active in their lives and they have judged him unfair. Regardless, the Shepherd is pursuing them. And he is relentless in his search “…not willing that any of these little ones should be lost.” Too often we are guilty of writing people off who Jesus is pursuing with relentless compassion. (James 5:19-20)
Possibly you are that sheep and you have wandered over something that has happened in your life. Maybe you thought the grass looked greener on far away hills only to find there are stones and thorn bushes there too. Maybe you just got spiritually lazy. Your Shepherd is pursuing you. Lovingly, relentlessly, he is seeking you out to bring you back into the fold. (Psalm 119:176)
It’s time to stop running. It’s time to realize how precious and loved you are by the Shepherd of your soul. It’s time to recognize his voice calling, “Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! …Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? (Isa. 55:1-2) It’s time to come home.
Be blessed my friend.
The Barnabas Group (Loads of Love)
Ezek. 34:11-16; James 5:7-11; I Peter 2:9-12; Psalm 27:10; 139:1-12; John 14:15-18; Matthew 10:29-31; Rom. 4:7-8