THE PURSUIT Issue 1

What Is The Pursuit?

The Pursuit Magazine focuses on the journey of pursuing the Holy One who is in pursuit of us. The call to pursue is given as an opportunity to encounter the deeper things of God and to have an experiential knowledge of who God is.

David was a man after God’s own heart. He pursued Him in the midst of adversity and joy. In Psalm 27:4, he declared, “One thing I have desired of the Lord, that will I seek, that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in His temple.” There was a passionate desire within that could only be fulfilled in the place of intimacy, in the place of His presence. He had a bond that could not be sustained in the things of the world. He was a bondservant of Jesus Christ.

David leaned on his beloved. He came out of the wilderness leaning on his beloved. In the wilderness of life, our pursuit of God should never end. It should press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling in Christ Jesus.

John the Baptist, a forerunner who prepared the way of the Lord, cried out in the wilderness declaring that the Kingdom of Heaven was at hand. He heralded the news of the Kingdom. He manifested the quest. Just like him, we are called to be forerunners in the earth making straight in the deserts of men’s hearts, a highway for our God. However, we can only proclaim what we know. We can only speak about God, if we know Him.

Through prayer, we draw closer to God by declaring what is on His heart for us. We will always be in a pursuit of a God whose ways are past finding out. But we can be assured in the fact that when we search for Him, we will find Him.

A.W Tozer once quoted, 'To have found God and still to pursue Him is the soul's paradox of love.' May The Pursuit Magazine encourage you to pursue God with a fervent and passionate desire and to encounter Him in all His ways! May the fire upon the altar of our hearts never go out!

Beloved, there is SO MUCH more to discover in Christ. Let's not become bored with the journey.
It is the higher and eternal calling of Christ which we are after that matters most.

The Quest: Where It Begins

I spent the majority of my life hearing about God and how "great" He is from people who I, as a result, couldn't describe as credible or realistic - simply because God either seemed like an imaginative concept or a mystical being who was so aloof from physical existence. I see how I could’ve been so wrong in my past assertions now and here's why: God did and does express Himself through nature (Romans 1:20) and by ways that are undeniably unnatural or simply uncharacteristic of mankind; first in the Old Testament account of past events and men, through Jesus, and now through His universal church.

Let me explain.

God wants us to know that He is tangible. The historical, biblical text makes reference to a God, who created man to behold and to reflect this Same, and to partner with Him in all "being". Dear I say this, God thought it nothing to wrap His glory in fragile flesh all for the sake of men? Let us come away from, without disregarding, what we must have heard already concerning the gospel of salvation in that we were created, we fell short of glory, and that God in His wisdom and great love did what only He could to reconcile us to Himself.

Let us discuss WHY!

God is fully aware of mankind's constant quest to do/discover different things in attempts to obtain gratification and pleasures. (Ezekiel 14:3-4, Ephesians 5:5, Colossians 3:5, Philippians 3:19). After all, He designed man with the capacity for such. Moreover, He didn't determine for men to find true satisfaction in created things but in the uncreated God that He is. Our capacity is for His glory; it is what truly satisfies a man.

Simply put, we have been working tirelessly to quell our desires in doing what we think we need when really we will only end up always ‘in need’ because our desires are utterly misdirected. We were designed to worship. If we aren't worshipping God then we're worshipping flesh, and we will never truly be satisfied.

What is now critical to our understanding, is that satisfaction in God is not absolute. As we are satisfied in God, our capacity/appetite enlarges and thus, we seek after MORE! God is an inexhaustible experience of glory! Why then would a Christian live a dull, boring life? God's song is sung for an eternity long, and His worship never ends (Nehemiah 9:6, Revelation 7:11-12). The angels and the elders are constantly bowing low and praising Him in His sanctuary. Heaven is a constant chorus and atmosphere of praise, adoration and worship - I wonder what that must mean for us.

We, through the blood of Jesus, have been brought into the Holy of Holies, wherein lies the reality of a never ending escapade of love between the Father and His Son. We have been introduced to the holy Fellowship and pleasures forevermore in eternity (Psalms 16:11). Believe it – experiencing such begins here on earth! Jesus did say the devil had come to steal, kill and destroy but that He had come to give us life and life more abundantly! How can we further decode this? When you’ve tasted and have seen that the Lord is indeed good, your appetite no longer is for the things this world used to readily offer you. The attitudes and addictions you once dealt with fade away in Jesus’ name. Your flesh is starved of its desires and your spirit quickened and thus, the main course you look forward to becomes that of Glory.

God's glory is like a quest or a treasure hunt; where one clue leads to another and each clue is a new experience and chance for discovery. Sometimes we become obsessed with the destination/ product and miss the point of the journey/process. Don’t miss the point! God loves this. He says "call unto Me and I will show you great and mighty things which you do not know." He says "Ask and keep on asking and it will be given to you; seek and keep on seeking and you will find; knock and keep on knocking and the door will be opened to you."

God's glory is available to all through Jesus, but a man has to be desirous to see it. As a matter of fact, Jesus' great desire, revealed in His prayer (John 17) was that as He beheld the glory of His Father, so should we also. What does this mean? It means then that we can't expect to live a Christianity of repetitive behaviours and expressions and expect to discover God fully. It means, "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, the things God has in store for them that love Him." and that "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make Our home with him.” (1 Corinthians 2:9, John 14:23). All of life appears as pointless if a man is not consumed by this reality and ‘breathes’ after it.

The truth of the Gospel is that, again, Jesus paid the price no man could. With this, we must understand that when we stand before God, there is total acceptance on account of Jesus’ righteousness and not our own. (2 Corinthians 5:21). There is no need to allow ourselves bondage in guilt or stir the pride to become as the wall standing between us and He who loves us. Through Jesus, you qualify; but you MUST abide! (John 15) “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us…”

God may I burn with passion to discover You! Fill me with fire! It is the same fire He should baptize us with causing us to want and go after Him, which shall cause us to yearn for change internally and in the spheres around us.

It takes a genuine exposure to the revelation of Jesus to bring the revelation of a man, to himself. Consider God’s method. God always throughout time had been seen to call men unto Himself, and divinely set them on a new course in ‘purpose’. One even might say His most preferred approach was to change a man’s name. Eg. Abram to Abraham; Jacob to Israel; Saul to Paul; and Simon to Peter. What has God changed your name to? God changes your name in encounter!

These men of old whom God would’ve called unto Himself might’ve been called to great things, yet you are called to do far greater! Moses had experiences with God where he, being God’s appointed, would have spoken to the Lord face to face even in the midst of the Tent of Meeting, as a friend would. (Exodus 33:11). Beyond Moses, John the Baptist was considered to be the greatest of men who was ever born of a woman (Matthew 11:11); still yet, Jesus determines that even “he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.” He goes on however to assert that the requisite for taking the kingdom of heaven, is that he who takes, must take it by force.

The journey we have embarked upon to discovering God is what we ought to become obsessed with. We will, once we’ve started the right way. In correct exaction of the statement; the journey God had set us upon, is one that we will learn to cherish and endure for His sake. So easy have we seen it become for Christians in church to claim Jesus as their Lord and Saviour, do a lot and keep much noise for Him only to end up plateauing in their walk with the Lord.

Why is this?

It is having the real, tangible encounters with Jesus that will keep us going and growing in Him. If you have truly encountered Jesus, then you’ve experienced an invigorating propulsion into destiny.

Your journey begins now!

We cannot slay like the Lion until we have been slain like the Lamb
God doesn't want us to be interested in handouts but He wants us to get our hands out and connect with Him so we can execute His purpose in the earth.

A Life Of Sacrifice

Living a life of sacrifice is a life of denying ourselves, taking up our cross and following Jesus Christ. During one of our sessions, we discussed the Expedition of Jesus Christ and one of the many things that resounded was that manifesting the quest requires self-denial, stickability and sacrifice. In Romans 12, we are admonished to present our bodies as a living sacrifice unto God, a sacrifice which is holy, acceptable and pleasing to God.

"I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God." Romans 12:1-2 (NKJV)

What is a sacrifice? A sacrifice is the act of giving up something seen as valued for the sake of something more important and worthy. It is the forsaking of desires, needs and aspirations for the will and desire of God. To sacrifice means to lay aside every desire, to live a life of obedience and surrender to God. This may not be an easy task when first considered but it is worth it. The Christian life is based not on self but on self-denial for the glory of God.

There are many examples in our very own lives where we made a sacrifice to achieve a goal. We sacrifice to study for exams. We sacrifice certain foods to get a healthy lifestyle. We even sacrifice so that we could watch that next episode of our favourite series. We sacrifice daily to fulfill needs and desires that we see as important and necessary for that time. But how do we sacrifice in the context of Christianity? How do we present our bodies as living sacrifices? How do we give a sacrifice that is holy, acceptable and pleasing?

Before we can sacrifice, there must be a realization that we are not our own but rather we have been bought with a price (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). We no longer live but Christ lives in us (Galatians 2:19-20). We are bondservants. With this realization, we are then able to fully manifest the quest. Our purpose is to do the will of the Father, to do His quest. As a result, we begin to make sacrifices because our desire is to please and obey God in everything that we do. We forsake that one burning desire to read our bible and to go to church. We forget the hunger and the thirst that we once had, to fast and pray before God. When we realize that our purpose is to do the will of the Father, our lives become about Him and doing His quest. We begin to manifest His will. We begin to manifest the quest.

David declares in Psalm 27, "one thing I have desired of the Lord, that will I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in His temple." He was consumed by God. His desire was toward the One who sits upon the throne and therefore everything that he did, was directed toward to Him. David began to manifest the quest in his life by sacrificing his time and energy to be in the presence of God. He became a man after God's own heart.

In this life, we will have to make sacrifices to achieve the One Thing that we desire. What are you sacrificing today in order to pursue God? What is taking your attention away from God? What is hindering you from manifesting the quest?

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