Day 20

God’s Pursuit

from the Lent 2016 reading plan

Jonah 1:4-10, Mark 4:41, Proverbs 16:33

This is part of a 7-day series on Jonah in the Lent 2016 reading plan. 

I have felt God pursuing me and showing me bits of His character. He has used the wise words of a friend. He has revealed Himself to me in the Bible. I have stood in awe of Him in corporate worship. And I have seen Him in answered prayers.

I feel my heart turn toward Him in the laughter and tears and honest questions of my kids. I’ve been shown His loving-kindness through the grace and forgiveness of my wife. I can point back to these times in my life and know that God was drawing near to me, showing me more of Himself, and pursuing me. But God’s pursuit doesn’t always look the way we think it should. It doesn’t always feel the way we want it to feel.

What went through Jonah’s head when, asleep in his shame, he woke up to a violent storm and a panicking captain? What was he thinking when the lot fell on him and everyone learned he was the cause of the storm and that their lives were on the line because of his rebellion? And what must he have felt as they tossed him overboard and the waters closed in over him?

Circle one: Pursued or Punished.

Surely he didn’t feel pursued by a loving God.

Jonah couldn’t see that the God who created the very waters that threatened to drown him was fighting for his heart. He didn’t know that it was God’s graciousness that tossed him overboard. What felt like the biggest rejection from God was actually the biggest embrace; what felt like punishment was actually pursuit.

As followers of Jesus, we must remember that God is always graciously pursuing us—always doing everything for our good and His glory. Even when it doesn’t feel that way. Even when we can’t see the big picture. Jonah had no idea that the God who created the waves and then ordained them to swallow him had created a fish that was also ordained to swallow him—saving him and drawing him nearer to dry land.

As followers of Jesus, we don’t need to confuse pursuit for punishment because we know that Christ has already taken our punishment on the cross, satisfying the wrath of God. Anything that feels like punishment is always pursuit because the Bible tells us that God disciplines those that He loves. But He does not punish us. Because the wrath of God has been satisfied by the death of Christ, the punishment that brought us peace was laid upon Christ (Isa 53:5).

So whether you find yourself in a sanctifying conversation with a friend or in some terrifying situation, remember that it is God who is drawing you in, singing over you, and always graciously pursuing you.

Written By Billy Jack Brawner 

Post Comments (18)

18 thoughts on "God’s Pursuit"

  1. Jon C. says:

    God is God and He knows everything. He is the big story and I only see the little story.

  2. Jon C. says:

    I am always focused on the little story – my story. I am focused on my life and my day. Am I going to have a good day or a bad day or somewhere in the middle?

  3. Jon C. says:

    Teaching rebuking and correction. The gospel is chalk full of stories of people that are ‘ordinary people’ that want to follow Christ but fall short. The gospel reminds me that I’m not the only one who doesn’t always get it and I’m not alone in my pursuit of God and God’s pursuit of me.

  4. Jon C. says:

    For grace and mercy and teaching that God will show me how to trust in Him in all things. Show me your glory in my story and help me to see your story everyday.

  5. Jon C. says:

    Focus on God and His big picture.

  6. Bryce says:

    God does pursue us in inordinate and different ways. And what sometimes looks like punishment is actually pursuit.

  7. Bryce says:

    We don’t confess easily that’s for sure. We wait until the lot falls on us before we come clean. We hide to a fault and don’t want to be exposed.

  8. Bryce says:

    It teaches me that I can’t earn God’s love for me, but instead he pursues me when I deserve it the least. We are all Jonah, and don’t deserve to be pursued.

  9. Isaac Jones says:

    The wind and the seas obey God and He even controls the casting of lots. We see chance, but there is only God.

  10. Isaac Jones says:

    God is all powerful and yet concerned with us. We should tremble before Him, because our lack of fear is only due to a presence of ignorance in us. The demons believe in God and they tremble, because they understand.

  11. Isaac Jones says:

    I will tremble before the God and trust He is in control of even the most random aspects of my life.

  12. Isaac Jones says:

    Man wants to use “chance” for riches and advantage. It is like trying to trick God and steal from Him. If God controls even chance, then why do we not ask Him for our needs? Rather we try to win the lottery and pillage from Him. To harness the power of chance in our favor.

  13. Isaac Jones says:

    Heavenly Father,
    I trust you with the future and I trust you with my needs. You provide all. Thank you for caring for me. Thank you for the cross. Nature and chance obey you, bring about obedience in me too! May I not try to pillage your power by gambling, or run from you over land or seas. God help me tremble for your awesome power, and be comforted in your awesome mercy; amen.

  14. Patrick Shen says:

    God is a just pursuer. I may not like the way it looks sometime, but it is consistent to his “faithful love” towards us. Course correction isn’t always gentle. God is my Father, and unlike an earthly parent, perfect in his intention and instruction.

  15. Patrick Shen says:

    Punishment is what Jesus took for me. Gods pursuant nature may seem like punishment, but because Jesus, I am already made right with God.

  16. Patrick Shen says:

    I will ask God to give me wisdom to recognize moment of his pursuant nature. I want to honor this moments and not resent them.

  17. Patrick Shen says:

    I run from God. My natural inclination is to flee the hedger things of life rather than dive straight into them and being mindful of Gods presence thought out it all.

  18. Patrick Shen says:

    Our father whom art in heaven…

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