Habit 2: Pursue God

The more you desire to be closer to God, the more you will invest in building your relationship with Him. God wants to be pursued. In fact, He will even create circumstances in our lives to motivate us to seek Him.

Pursuing God is an important habit in cultivating intimacy with Him. Consider the advice David gave to Solomon,

… acknowledge the God of your father, and serve him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the LORD searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts. If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will reject you for ever. (1 Chronicles 28:9, NIV)

David explains,

The LORD looks down from heaven on the entire human race; he looks to see if anyone is truly wise, if anyone seeks God. (Psalm 14:2, NLTSE)

Why does God want us to pursue Him?

Pursuing God requires wholehearted, focused attention. How well can you pursue a goal or person if your attention is divided? If you are pursuing God, you cannot also be pursuing idols.

Time and again the Israelites worshiped idols instead of God.

They angered God by building shrines to other gods; they made him jealous with their idols. (Psalm 78:58 NLTSE)

When we pursue God, we are demonstrating our desire for Him. The pursuit reveals the priority we place on the relationship. It can be measured by the time, energy and money we are willing to invest. And it is natural for us to have greater appreciation and place a higher value on whoever or whatever it is for which we make those sacrifices.

God has created us for a relationship with Him. He has taken the initiative and made a great sacrifice on our behalf. Now He wants us to also makes sacrifices for the sake of the relationship.

Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God–this is your spiritual act of worship. (Romans 12:1, NIV)

So what’s involved in pursuing God?

Our investment > Seek God > Draw near to God > Wait on God

God wants us to seek Him. We are to search God out—to strive after a deeper relationship with Him.

You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
(Jeremiah 29:13, NIV)

Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near. (Isaiah 55:6, NIV)

I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. Psalm 119:10, NIV

God wants us to draw near to Him. We are to sincerely approach Him in humility and with regret for our sinfulness. He desires repentance leading to singular devotion. All too often we say all the right words to God but we are not being wholehearted.

Jesus sees through our façade,

These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. (Matthew 15:8, NIV)

Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world. (James 4:8 NLTSE)

God wants us to wait for Him. He is God. He is worth waiting for. His response to our desires will be according to His timetable. Meanwhile, during the interim, we are to have an attitude of  patience, faith and submission.

Yes, LORD, walking in the way of your laws, we wait for you; your name and renown are the desire of our hearts. (Isaiah 26:8, NIV)

I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope. (Psalm 130:5, NIV)

What are you willing to invest in your pursuit of God? Seek Him, draw near to Him, wait on Him and He will reveal Himself to you. Ask the Holy Spirit to make your relationship with God the highest priority in your life.

I have sought your face with all my heart; be gracious to me according to your promise. (Psalm 119:58, NIV)