Over the summer there have been a number of changes in the life of my family. I have started to realise that I never do anything simply. So we have moved across to North Wales, joined a new church, my son has started a new school and obviously we are building a new network of local friends.
When I say I never do things simply, these changes were all motivated by one thing: our boy needed to start a new school.
However, I have also revisited my own faith over the summer. I decided to ask myself some very important questions:
- How is my relationship with Jesus working?
- What and how am I investing in this relationship?
- What changes do I need to make in my life in order to grow closer to Jesus in the future?
Now, as you will know if you have been following CVM for any length of time, we do love a Top 10 list. These lists are often fun, playful and not a little bit controversial. We also love living differently, living by a different code and you can see what this looks like in our fantastic resource called ‘The Code’. Well, over the summer I came up with a ‘Top Ten Values to Live By…’ These ten values are personal to me, yet universally important to all of us. I would like to share each of these values with you over the course of time and future blogs. Hopefully, you find them inspiring and maybe you might choose to think through some of the values by which you live too.
The first value in this list is: ‘I will relentlessly pursue God, and when I lose sight of Him I will hunt Him down!’
I don’t know about you, but I have never lived a life where I have constantly felt the presence of God in me. There have been times when I have felt His presence massively, and I suppose at those moments I have felt like I am on top of the mountain. Then there have also been times when I have felt like God is so elusive, I am desperate for His guidance but He seems nowhere to be found and that is a little like being in a very dark valley. I guess this is why so often my go to book in the Bible is the Psalms. The writers in this book, particularly David, seem to have so much in common with me. As Robbie Williams once sang ‘life is a rollercoaster…’ and this is something that I am really well acquainted with.
But here is the thing, in the past I have had the tendency to just accept that this is part of life. But now I think differently. Most of the time when I have lost the ‘felt’ sense of God’s presence, I have also noticed that I became much more committed to that old way of doing life that I have previously called ‘self-determination.’ For any number of reasons I began to work out my life on my own again, without waiting for God to help me make the better choices.
I am not saying that this is the only reason for losing the sense of God’s presence, but there has been a bit of a correlation between the two in my own life.
It was once said of David that he ‘strengthened himself in the Lord’ (1 Samuel 30). The context of this statement was that all of David’s trusted wingmen and band of brothers had suffered a great loss, for which they wanted to blame David. So they turned on him and wanted to kill him. If ever there was a time that David felt utterly alone, this was it. But instead of just accepting the feeling of total abandonment, he hunted God down and found his strength in Him. And then, he went on to achieve a massive victory with the help of the men who wanted to kill him.
So let me encourage you today, espescially if you are not feeling God’s presence right now, to keep on pursuing Him. Be relentless, hunt Him down – He wants to be found and He will strengthen you in this moment of despair.
But, even if you are feeling God’s presence in your life, if you feel really close to Him – stay alert, keep your focus on Him. We all live with ebbs and flows, we all feel encouraged and discouraged but the Lord is steadfast and His love for us never changes.
“I will relentlessly pursue God, and when I lose sight of Him I will hunt Him down”.
Image Credit: Conner Bowe