In class we went through a book called the “Pursuit of God.” Then we had to share in front of our classmates what we thought and learned from the book. This is what I shared, in teaching format. (Sorry if its a little long)
Who is God to You?
Is He like the president? Some one that you know is there and is high and important, maybe one day someone you think it would be cool to meet; someone that passes laws that you can or cannot choose to follow?
Or, is he like your favourite movie star or singer? A person you greatly admire and dream of meeting one day but, you know it will probably never happen. A person you love and respect and do some of the same things He does, but, all in all your lives are almost completely different. OR…
Is God your best friend? The person that you spend most of your time with; Someone, who you would go to the moon and back for if they asked; Someone that you talk to on a daily basis and he\she talk back.
My whole LIFE, Up until a couple of years ago God was the president! I didn’t pay much if any attention to Him, like I do the prime minister of Canada, but I followed the rules and behaved well. Then 2008 in my senior year of high school God totally revolutionized my Life. He became a personal, loving God, a God that gives good gifts to His children, a friend. That in essence is what the book “The Pursuit of God” is all about. God can be known as much as you and your friends know each other. He can be felt, and loved as if He were your spouse. And the best part about all this is He desires that kind of relationship with each and every one of His children. Praise God! Doesn’t that sound great?
However… This Kind of relationship does not come without a cost. If you truly desire a close relationship with Christ then everything else in your life must take second place. God is not pleased to give Himself fully to you, unless you give yourself fully to Him. Paul said it well in the third chapter of Philippians.
Paul, a man of the Law was blameless, a Pharisee of Pharisee’s. He was looked upon as a righteous man, respected by all. Everything he had a Pharisee though, he gave up. Look what he says in verse 7and 8.
“But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may Gain Christ. Christ is worth your whole life, and more.”
The book put what I have been feeling into words, and strengthened my resolve to seek God, to expect great things of Him and to make Him my all, my everything. I want to be able, with Paul to say. I have counted all things as rubbish that I may gain Christ. How is this done? Some practical steps though that are sure to help.
For one, if anything in our life is important to us, we must ask ourselves. If God asked me to give this up, would I be able to? If God asked me to sacrifice my very own son like he did to Abraham would I be able to? Even if you don’t have children that can apply to many things. Money is a big one, food, clothes, friends, family, yes even your very self. If God asked you to go to a foreign country to preach the gospel, in which you would probably die. Would you? I know I wouldn’t, and that’s why we need this second step.
We must be constantly asking the God of the universe to change us, mould us and give us the strength to give up everything for Him. You just can’t do it alone. Philippians 2:13 says, “For it is God who works in us to will and to do for his good pleasure.” Cry out to God, it is the only way.
To end, I would like to share this quote with you written by Brother Yun and a Chinese House church leader.
“I had experienced so much in those four years, but God had been faithful. I’d suffered some horrible tortures, but God had been faithful. I’s been dragged in front of judges and courts, but God had been faithful. I’d been hungry, thirsty, and had fainted from exhaustion, but God had been faithful.
Through it all, God was always faithful and loving to me. He had never left me nor forsaken me. His grace was always sufficient and he provided for my every need. I didn’t suffer for Jesus in prison. No! I was with Jesus and I experienced his very real presence, joy, and peace every day. It’s not those in prison for the sake of the gospel who suffer. The person who suffers is he who never experiences God’s intimate presence.”(The Heavenly man, pg 187)
Have you experienced that presence? Who is God to you?