ARE WE CHASING AFTER GOD OR SOMETHING ELSE?
A Bible study group meets in my home and at the end of each session we look at different options for our following time together.
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 answers and amazingly landed on Mary Magdalene.
Mary Magdalene understood brokenness. The Bible tells us Jesus cast out seven demons from Mary Magdalene, but unlike other people He healed, she stayed with Him. In fact, she was one of the few that was with Him at 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. However, Mary Magdalene stayed and watched the tomb.
I imagine her sitting close by 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 returned to the tomb with spices to anoint Jesus’ body,
However, when she arrived at the tomb it was empty! I love what happens next!
Unbeknownst to Mary, Jesus is watching her cry. Do you think He shook his head at how obtuse she and the others were on day three? He had told them He would rise!
Despite her being slow on the uptake, Jesus is patient with sorrowful Mary, but He also messes with her a bit. Instead of identifying himself, Jesus asks her, “Dear woman why are you crying? Who are you looking for?” (John 20:15).
Mary still doesn’t get it. She thinks Jesus is the gardener! Worse, she suspects him of being partly responsible for the disappearance of the body. Well, if you think about it, He was responsible for the empty tomb.
Anyway, I can almost see Jesus shaking his head and smiling. And then He-says-her-name, “MARY,” and she immediately knows.
We learn some things from Jesus’ interaction with Mary. Jesus is patient with us even when we should understand. And like our earthly fathers He know us by name and uses it to get our attention.
Most importantly, we learn that Jesus loved and respected the female gender. After all, Mary was the first to to see Him in His resurrected body. Women weren’t allowed to testify in court during NT times! However, Jesus chose her as His first witness to the world. In this act, He acknowledged Mary’s bravery, loyalty, and strength.
CHASING AFTER GOD IS A LIFETIME PURSUIT
Spending time with Jesus early on was exciting, Just like when I first met my husband, 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.
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
So, I made a decision to be more like Mary Magdalene. Listed below are some ways I made chasing after God a reality in my life. Hopefully they will help you too.
Use Scripture Verses
Select a verse each week and meditate on its meaning. Post it in strategic places throughout the house, e.g., fridge, bathroom mirror, on your computer, etc. During the week look up other verses that correspond to this one to help you with context and expand your understanding of the message.
Find corresponding verses in footnotes of your Bible or perhaps at the side of the page. You can also use a concordance to help with finding additional verses.
Click here for additional verses about chasing after God.
Focus on an Attribute of God.
Choose an attribute of God to concentrate on for the month. Look up Scripture that affirms this characteristic and pray about God’ greatness. When praying, focus on this one facet of God’s greatness and nothing else.
Need some help with this? Click here for a great article that describes 15 attributes of God and provides corresponding Scripture verses.
WOMEN OF THE BIBLE CHASING AFTER GOD!
Miriam exalted God for all He was and all He had done (Exodus 15: 20-21)
Hannah prayed so fervently that a priest thought she was drunk, (1 Samuel 1: 9-18)
Esther’s risked her life in a foreign land to save God’s people. (Esther 5: 12-17)
Anna praised God in the Temple when she saw Jesus! (Luke 2: 36-38)
As Jesus walked the streets of Galilee, a woman touched Jesus’ robe to receive healing. What faith! (Luke 8: 43-48)
Mary longed to know more so she sat at Jesus’ feet intensely listening to His teaching. (Luke 10: 38-42)
I love to hear from you. You can share ways you chase after God or make a prayer request. Let me and our readers know what you are thinking in the comment section below. It is great when a conversation gets started.