WHAT DOES CHASING AFTER GOD MEAN?
Chasing after God requires fervent prayer, desiring Him most in life, and meditating on God’s glory and greatness. To help you pray like this, I am offering a free ebook with some nontraditional ways to spend time with Jesus. Check it out by clicking here. It is also offered again at the end of this blog post.
No one knew how to chase after God like David. When he wrote Psalm 63, he was in the wilderness, hiding from people who wanted to kill him. Even in dire circumstances, God was most important. David spent his life chasing after God.
Do I? How about you?
ARE WE CHASING AFTER GOD OR SOMETHING ELSE?
A Bible study group meets in my home, and this past week, we looked at different options for our next study.
One of the possibilities was Jennie Allen’s book “Chase.” Filmed in the desert, this study examines the life of David. I have not read the book, and we ended up choosing a different Jennie Allen study, but the idea of chasing after God intrigued me. After the meeting, I asked myself: Do I chase after God?
As I contemplated this question, I realized that we all do chase after things or people; however, our pursuits are different based on individual tastes and desires. We commonly chase after dreams, careers, power, fame, riches, and even future spouses! The last one resonates with me, and I think it provides an easy comparison regarding our chasing after God – or not.
Enamored when I first met my husband, I looked forward to his next call and couldn’t wait to see him again. I enjoyed spending time with him, even when we didn’t do anything exciting or fun. We talked every day, learned about each other, and enjoyed each other’s company. Can any of you relate? I wasn’t concerned about what Todd could do for me; instead, I sought a relationship.
For me, this is what “chasing after” a relationship looks like. So I asked myself if I anxiously wait for God’s call? When God extends His hand, do I lift my hand to receive His invitation? In other words, is chasing after God part of my life?
MARY MAGDALENE UNDERSTOOD CHASING AFTER GOD
As I often do, I looked to the women of the Bible for examples to teach me how to “chase” after God, and amazingly landed on Mary Magdalene. Portrayed by many as a prostitute in her pre-Jesus life; However, there is nothing in the Bible that indicates she was a harlot. Luke 8: 1-3 lists her with other women who supported Jesus financially. Possibly she was well-to-do!
Mary Magdalene understood brokeness. The Bible tells us Jesus cast out seven demons from Mary Magdalene, but unlike other people He healed, she stayed with Him. Not only did she travel with Jesus, but in Mark 15: 40-41 tells us she cared for His needs. Later, she was one of the few that stayed beside Him as He died on the cross.
Matthew 27: 61 records a heartbreaking moment in Mary Magdalene’s life. Joseph of Arimathea placed Jesus in the tomb and rolled a stone across the entrance and left, but Mary Magdalene stayed. The Bible tells us she sat and watched the tomb.
I imagine her sitting close by the Jesus’ burial site, stunned by the horrific events of the last couple of days. Heartbroken and missing His company she sat by His side. I wonder how long she kept vigil?
Eventually, she did leave, but Mary’s heart still longed for her friend and teacher. Unlike many of the others who followed Jesus, Mary Magdalene didn’t hide or try to forget her Savior; instead, when the Sabbath ended, she took spices to anoint Jesus’ body, only to find an empty tomb.
Even more shocking, she was the first person to see the risen Jesus!
CHASING AFTER GOD IS A LIFETIME PURSUIT
Although she played a significant role in Jesus’ earthly life, there is not a lot of information about her in the Bible. However, we know she loved Jesus with a servant’s heart. Yes, He delivered her from demons, but her relationship with Him after that was one of adoration and service.
I picture her soaking up all Jesus’ teachings and spending time with Him to know him better. Asking nothing in return, Jesus was enough. Despite pain and sadness, she stayed to the very end.
Can I say the same? Just like when I first met my husband, spending time with Jesus was exciting, I was enamored. But today, my relationship with God is too often about “what can you do for me?.” My prayers are self-centered, focusing on my needs and desires and asking Him to “fix things.” Unfortunately, marriages often devolve into this type of relationship too.
We must take a cue from Mary Magdalene. Stay with Jesus even when it is hard, continually grow closer to Him through learning and prayer, love Him without expecting something in return, and allow our servant’s heart to expand.
WAYS TO CHASE AFTER GOD
I have decided to make an effort to be more like Mary Magdalene. Listed below are ideas to help focus our lives and thoughts on God.
- When we can’t sleep, instead of complaining, watching TV, or eating (that’s my usual favorite), open our Bible to Psalms and contemplate on some of these great writings. Here are a few suggested Psalms: 4, 8, 16, 18, 19, 24, 27, 42, and 62. Nothing brings sweet sleep like drifting off with God’s Word on your mind.
- Select a verse each week and meditate on its meaning. Post the Scripture in strategic places around the house. Look up other verses that correspond to help with context and expand our understanding of the message.
- Choose an attribute of God to concentrate on for the month. Look up Scripture that affirms this attribute and pray about God’s greatness. When praying, focus on this one attribute of God and nothing else.
O God, you are my God; I earnestly search for you. My soul thirsts for you; my whole body longs for you in this parched and weary land where there is no water. I have seen you in your sanctuary and gazed upon your power and glory. Your unfailing love is better than life itself; how I praise you! I will praise you as long as I live, lifting up my hands to you in prayer. You satisfy me more than the richest feast. I will praise you with songs of joy. I lie awake thinking of you, meditating on you through the night (Psalm 63: 1-6).
Click here for additional verses about chasing after God.
Of course, prayer is always part of chasing after God. However, we focus too much on building a prayer life and not enough on seeking our Lord and Savior. The variety and passion of the Psalms attest that David prayed in many different ways and venues.
It’s time for us to stop prayer cliches and learn to hang out with Jesus. Check out my new e-book: Twenty Ways to Jumpstart Your Prayer Life. It’s free and full of unique ideas to enhance your relationship with God.
Share your thoughts in the comment section below. Blessings until next time.