I’ve seen it on the faces of drug addicts and alcoholics. I’ve seen it in the eyes of the homeless and I've seen it in the eyes of those wrestling with sexual sin. I’ve seen it in those suffering from abuse and in those afflicted with physical pain.
And I’ve seen it on the faces of good, Church-going people, tired of boredom and spiritual monotony. I’ve even heard it in the voices of those on their knees in prayer.
They are searching for more.
When I was a teenager, I sat in countless youth group services where the energetic youth leader gave great motivational speeches. They were well stocked with catchy slogans to combat sin like “just say no!” and “be a winner!” It worked in getting our excitement up, but it never challenged us to be surrendered to Jesus, nor did it teach us to live life for His glory. We would enjoy the pep rally but then walk out of the Church youth room into a battlefield where the weapons we held in our hands had little to no strength. Simply saying “no” to the bad stuff wasn’t going to transform us into strong Christians who were rock solid in our faith and hungry for more of Christ. All the lectures about abstaining from sex being the right thing to do, while being given all the scary facts about pregnancy and diseases felt more like a list of legalistic rules than a vision of something beautiful and worth waiting for. Aspiring to be a winner gave no real fulfillment, only momentary satisfaction for being a somewhat morally good person.
It wasn't enough.
Friends, we are called to a deeper intimacy with Christ.
We are called to be unsatisfied with simply “being saved” and on our way to Heaven.
We are called to run hard after Jesus, to serve Him, and to place Him as the all-consuming centerpoint of our existence.
Slipping into Church - cell phone in tow - and having 45 minutes of “Jesus time“ accomplishes nothing but create a generation of powerless, defeated, and lazy people who hold a religious title but have no thriving, intimate relationship with the Redeemer of mankind. When non-Christians look on, they see more of a distorted, humanistic portrayal of Christianity. And we pay dearly for our failure which explains our lack of a powerful impact upon our world. There is something definitely wrong when we can come and sit in Church and never feel a stirring in our soul or a trembling in our spirit. The messages modern Church-goers hear are, more often than not, a Christian bandaid of sorts instead of the power-filled Gospel truth that has the strength to give life to the dead and set captives free from the slavery of sin.
Oh, what we miss when we merely cohabit with Jesus
instead of pursuing Him with all of our heart.
If there is an ache in your spirit and a hunger in your heart for more, more, more, let me encourage you to stow away to a solitary place, take a look at your life, and see the empty pursuits that cannot fully satisfy and bring peace and joy. Then open your Bible, and count how many times there's a Divine call for you to pursue Jehovah God. Oh friend, He calls to us over and over and over and over...
Why? Why does He call.
Because He loves us. Because He wants us to experience the intimate presence of our Creator. Because He enjoys fellowship with His people. Because He is glorified most when we are truly satisfied in Him. He has loved us with an everlasting love and that kind of love fills to overflowing the empty ones, and satisfies every hungry cry from the starving ones.
Pursue Him.....joy is waiting for you there.
Seek the LORD and his strength, seek his face continually.
1 Chronicles 16:11
O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee:
my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee
in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is;