The book that has influenced my faith more than any other (the Bible being the exception) is The Pursuit of God by AW Tozer, i have read it about 13 times over the years and it never fails to move me, focus me, and pull me back on track. Its time to read it again, but that will not be happening until we move as the books are packed away in boxes. But its got me to thinking about pursuit and in this instance pursuing Jesus, we often talk of being like Jesus, or following Jesus, thinking like Jesus and I'm not sure that we do. You see many of us are so self absorbed with our own opinions, our own attitudes that the pursuit of Jesus gets lost in the pursuit of being correct for a short time. We pursue popularity like it's the air we breath, we pursue wealth like its going to sort all our problems out, we pursue love and we hit and hope that we are loved back. But how do we pursue Jesus, well I'm going to outline a few things, some you may agree with and i can already tell you who will disagree with whats written, but hey ho here we go. To pursue Jesus in this context is to be more like him in the everyday activity of our lives, to be more like him in what we say and do. So with that in mind here are a few pointers to try and get us pursing the greatness of Jesus and his righteousness.
1. We need to submit our will to his will and leading, we need to stop thinking we are more important than him, we need to actually say yes " Jesus you are my Lord" and actually submit to his leading and will. It will mean we have to knuckle down, we will need to let him have his way and it will mean even if we don't get our own way still declare "Jesus is Lord".
2. We will need to apply our minds and bodies to prayer, we will need to become a people of prayer, a people who believe in the power of those words we utter making a difference to the situation and to the God who answers those prayers. We need in some respects to rediscover that great communication of the spoken word to God and what it can do, to offer comfort in times of trouble, to offer hope in times of hopelessness, to offer ourselves to him in a fresh and dynamic way.
3. Seeking his holiness, this one is the crippler, this is the one most of us will struggle with. Just how do we become holy like Jesus was holy, well it requires numbers 1 &2 above to be put into action, it also requires us to change in certain ways. We will need to tame our tongues, we will need to be humble, we will need to know when its the correct time to speak and the correct time to shut up, we will need to start thinking like Jesus would have thought, and that is actually fairly easy to do, stop take a breath before you speak and ask yourself would Jesus say this in that way, would he react like I'm about to react?
Pursuing Jesus or God is never going to be a breeze, its not going to fall into your lap from above and its all going to be sorted out. It requires work, it requires commitment, it requires an effort, and unfortunately with todays instant society many of us will not attempt to pursue him, we will be happy doing the same old same old and wondering why it is that when we refuse to do things differently, God just stays the same and nothing different happens. To pursue something requires effort, it requires work. I'm going to pursue Jesus this year, I'm going to make an effort, I'm going to try and become more like him, and see how that change in me affect the people i interact with. There is to much hurt and pain in our world and its time for the followers of Jesus to stand up, be counted and lead by the example of Grace, love, humility and righteousness, if we don't do it nobody else is likely to do it. Its a new year a new start lets pursue Jesus, he is the great pursuit of our lives, he is the great pursuit of my life and I'm glad he is. Set your sail into the wind of the Holy Spirit and pursue for all you are worth, because it will be worth it and the rewards are immense.