Pursuing God’s Heart
- Wednesday, July 02, 2014
“The revelation David had about the emotions of God equipped his heart for a sustained, abandoned pursuit of God, through his many weaknesses and failures, as well as his stunning victories. David is the picture of the end time church, which will be a love-sick, worshipping warrior bride, and a people after God’s own heart.”
David was a man after God’s own heart. He was moved by what moved the heart of God. He wanted to know how God felt about life. He wanted to be intimately acquainted with God’s ways of doing things and why He did them. He wanted to be passionate toward God. David was after God’s heartbeat for the world. God’s desire is that we pursue Him with all of our heart as David did, abandoning ourselves to His purposes and plans.
Are we eager as intercessors to study the heart of God? May God help us to know the secret of such a prayer life that is moved by a passionate, sustained pursuit of the heart, mind, and will of God.
When you and I know the emotions and feelings in God’s heart, we can better obey Him. We can walk obediently in His Word and live radically for Him because His love sustains us. We are able to obey God in the long term when we are linked to His power rather than our own weakness. We can live joyfully because we are living in a whole new realm. Psalm 16:11 says, “You will fill me with joy in your presence.”
I entered the mission field at a young age. Missionary life is filled with seasons of hardship and endurance. My first big lesson came when I lived on a missionary ship with people from all over the world. The name of the ship was Doulos, which means“servant” in Greek. Everyone was encouraged to be like Jesus, coming not to be served but to serve.
My first job on the ship was to serve food to more than three hundred people from over forty different nations. That was not so difficult—until we set out to sea. Our first major voyage was sailing across the Atlantic ocean, a two-week journey that I secretly anticipated with considerable fear and dread. After all, I was not a sailor. I couldn’t even swim! How could I serve food during a rough voyage? And they predicted rough weather since it was hurricane season.
Sure enough, the trip got tempestuous.
I remember one of my fellow dining room workers coming out of the kitchen holding a tray loaded with soft blocks of butter on little plates. Suddenly the ship lurched forward, and she completely lost her balance. Butter flew everywhere! It was on everything, including my coworker, the floor, and the tables. On another day, I was serving soup to all the tables in my row. I thought I was doing pretty well until I served a tall lanky guy, who then leaned over and emptied his stomach right in the middle of his bowl. I turned in the other direction and got out of there fast! Fortunately both incidents later turned into humorous stories, just a few of our many experiences at sea.
What sustained me in those early experiences of missionary life and all throughout my missionary career was seeing God’s heartbeat for the world. It was a personal understanding of His heart and His love for me that got me through the day-in, day-out experiences of ship life. I was able to focus on God and His love during those times.
Without understanding the love of God, it is impossible to serve Him successfully for a long time overseas. Sooner or later the weaknesses in our lives and the heaviness of ministry demands catch up with us. When we pursue God’s heart, everything becomes easier because we are walking with and focusing on God. We begin to comprehend His overwhelming love for us personally and the deep pleasure He has in our fellowship with Him. This motivates us to change. Our actions and lifestyles become more Christlike because we see ourselves the way God sees us, and this impacts everything we say and do. We see the beauty of God, and then we see ourselves through His eyes. This enables us to say no to sin and grow in holiness.
Eventually the truth about God and how He loves the entire world moves into our hearts. We then respond to God from our hearts. We experience the love of God in a deeper measure. But we must realize that Satan will always attack our relationship with Christ. He knows that this is the key to all fruitfulness and spiritual victory. When we know the love of God on a deep level, we can conquer any difficulty—even sea voyages. We can face any trial because we can trust our Father to know what is best for us. He will carry us through. He knows us intimately. We are His beloved children.
"I believe strongly that one thing the devil seeks to do is to sneak in and subtly distract our attention from the purity and simplicity of loving God. He doesn’t mind if we exalt revival, healing, or anything else, as long as we lose our focus on the simplicity of heart-level lavish devotion to the Son of God." Quotes by Mike Bickle
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