Tag Archives: pursuing God

The Rawness We Face in Pursuit of Prayer & Intimacy with God

When we pursue a deeply close relationship with Jesus, we often come face to face with the deepest longings within our souls. Yearnings seem to ache and cry out from the depths of us in the midst of life’s noise, needing to be fulfilled.

Even more, we stumble upon the slippery river rocks of our struggles in which we must fight against filling the voids we feel with things other than Jesus. We need to just let go, take a deep breath, and journey out of our comfort zone, diving deep into the, at first, shockingly frigid river and start swimming upstream toward God’s throne.

This can feel like an unbearably raw place to be. In the midst of worship and prayer (whether in a group, prayer room, church, or alone), the tug to pull away from feeling and facing our neediness yanks at us, trying to rope us back into more practical activities and even into mere distractions.

We may first face the deafening ache of our hearts, ever needy for God, as we attempt to draw nearer to Him. Within our souls the pain of this longing can seem like an intolerable silence, yet all at once filling us with its wearying noise. It is the deep calling to deep at the roar of His waterfalls (Psalm 42:7).

Our surrender to God’s ways will soon smell satisfyingly sweet if we will simply turn our gaze to Him and off our soul and our circumstances. Know this: Jesus is worth it all in comparison to any other pursuit. Refuse to quit when your soul demands you to pacify its needs. Keep drawing near to God, and He will draw near to you (James 4:8).

All this may seem foreign if you have not journeyed this way before, but in time I pray that, for each of us, the budding understanding of this experience will be fully formed in us, assisting us as we decide to push past the pain, the emptiness, and the yearning with the determination to grow closer to God.

We know with assurance: Only Christ can fully satisfy these yearnings.

When You Don’t Feel God’s Presence

You may be in a time in which God’s presence seems absence and His voice silent. Know that even though things may feel this way, God is working in and around you. You’re never alone, and He will never abandon you.

Father God is loving on you even still, and drawing you closer to Him in faith. Keep going in your pursuit. As you seek Him, you will reap His blessings. God desires to strengthen your heart to press onward even still.

Keep going in your pursuit. Don’t give up!

In the Word, God speaks that we walk by faith and not by sight. We don’t navigate through this journey based on what we see or feel, but by confidence in God and His promises to us:  for we walk by faith, not by sight [living our lives in a manner consistent with our confident belief in God’s promises]” (2 Corinthians 5:7 AMP).

Hebrews 11:6 goes on to define this more deeply:

But without faith it is impossible to [walk with God and] please Him, for whoever comes [near] to God must [necessarily] believe that God exists and that He rewards those who [earnestly and diligently] seek Him.(AMP)

God truly rewards those who seek Him with diligence. This truth does not change even when we are not feeling His presence or experiencing His love in a way we can sense it emotionally. His heart for us never changes, and His love for us always remains.

He will make Himself known to you more, it’s a promise! This may not happen immediately, or even in a week, but He promises that when we seek Him, we will find Him:

Then [with a deep longing] you will seek Me and require Me [as a vital necessity] and [you will] find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. (Jeremiah 29:13 AMP)

When You Don't Feel God's Presence
When you don’t feel God’s presence or hear His voice, speak forth the truths shared here over your soul and emotions.

Do not let your pursuit of Jesus be adversely affected by what you feel or don’t feel, but by God’s faithfulness.

Feed on the testimonies of His faithfulness in your life and those you love, trusting in God that as you delight in Him, He will fulfill your heart’s desires (Psalm 37:3-4). As you continue in your pursuit, even in the waiting, keep declaring out loud your heart’s one great aim just as King David did:

When You said, ‘Seek My face [in prayer, require My presence as your greatest need],’ my heart said to You, ‘Your face, O Lord, I will seek [on the authority of Your word].’ (Psalm 27:8 AMP)

As you sow into your pursuit of knowing Jesus more intimately, you are reaping of His Spirit of life, even though you may not yet see it in the natural. It’s a sure promise that you will reap what you have sown (Galatians 6:8); in fact, this is a truth that God Himself will not fail to act upon, for He does not lie.

The harvest within your heart is coming, as is the harvest of souls around you who you have impacted.

Though you do not perceive His presence, much more is happening in the spiritual realm of your life than you know. As you pray, angels are sent on assignment because God’s words do not return void (Isaiah 55:11).

Your hope placed in God will bring His response; He hears your cries and brings answers to your prayers. God’s heart is moved by your steadfast pursuit of His heart even in this “dark night of the soul” and He loves to be with you as you seek Him.

Do not allow despair to drown you in hopelessness, discouragement or depression. Keep pressing into God’s heart without wavering, knowing full well that He is beautifying His most precious garden inside of you!

Such hope [in God’s promises] never disappoints us, because God’s love has been abundantly poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. (Romans 5:5 AMP)

Living for God: The Right Motivation

I want to live as a lover of God in the midst of this world. I want to live the fasted lifestyle* with my focus firmly set on Him in passionate pursuit of knowing Him and His heart.

But I don’t want to be religious or legalistic in my pursuit. I don’t want to do this for the approval of others, whether it is man’s, my own, or even in striving as if I must earn through perfection what God has already purchased for me through His Son. God’s Holy Spirit will help all who desire for the purifying of our hearts and the renewal of our minds in this. I don’t want to live out of the wrong motives. Not at all.

I want my supreme motivation to be LOVE–God Himself, for He truly is Love Himself.

I want to be a lover, not a worker; a daughter who serves knowing she is beloved, not a slave who serves out of fear of punishment.

I want to live as a friend of the Bridegroom, as His Bride who is being made ready and who He says is His beautiful delight and cherished by Him.

He has not left us as orphans who must live striving to earn our place in His eyes as ones accepted as good enough; we do not have to perform for our Father or for people. We are already loved, already accepted, and we always have been loved by God, for we were knit together in love by Him.

He longs to pour out more and more of His affection and revelation into us. Help us, Lord, to open our hearts even if we feel unable to do so, and let Your love heal us of all fear, legalism and rejection.

Deliver me and set me free, heal me of all that needs to be so I can live with the right motivation. My sole purpose is to know Jesus, for this is eternal life. Nothing else will matter in the end. It’s love, relationship… with Him.

Let me live, Lord, for You–for Love Himself–and by Love and His ways, and out of the overflow of Your heart of love. Deposit Your love in me more and more each day so I can love You more and love like You love.

We are created to be loved and to love; we are His beloved, that we may receive love.
God is Love, our Life alive, our sole Reason, our holy All ready to fulfill every need and heal every hurt.

He will fulfill my every longing, for He alone can satisfy.
He will fill every empty place, for He only has the key to my heart.

Listening:
Forerunners with Holy Violent Love by Mike Bickle (teaching series)

Reading:
What Is the Point by Misty Edwards (excellent book fit for anyone!)


*Fasted lifestyle — Voluntarily choosing a lifestyle of simplicity which limits various things in life: food, money or accumulating things, status, recognition, etc. While the rewards are primarily internal and spiritual, they are eternal (Isaiah 58; Matthew 6:18, 9:14–17; John 3:39; 1 Corinthians 2:10) –via Chicago House of Prayer

Fixed on Jesus

There is such a longing growing in me. A longing for God. A longing to pray night and day, to seek Him at all hours. A longing to worship Him with all my heart, all focus completely and utterly on Him. To be so in tune with God and for Him to be glorified in every moment, every place, every day.

Maybe it’s a longing for me to be living in Christ more and more deeply each day. I know that God is guiding me there: “…He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6). Maybe it’s partly the groaning that Paul speaks of in Romans 8:23: “…we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body.”

Let me dive in more and more, Lord.

I’m one of those creative types to whom the “atmosphere” where I read, write, sing and seek, or the people I am pursuing God alongside, makes all the difference. It doesn’t feel like it should exactly be this way (after all, God is with us wherever we go (Psalm 139:8), but it’s there.

Leaving home to study or write in a cafe is a helpful change of pace and place. Getting out of the usual place and pace of things can help me be even more deeply focused.

At times this comes by gathering with friends to seek God in intercession and worship. All  of us know that there is power in gathering with other believers to unite in prayer and to worship Jesus!

I want to live a life of continual and intentional focus on God and the mission of Christ. I don’t know how, except to let His Word penetrate deeply, and to just go for it–to seek after Him! Just to press in, seeking God with all I can muster at any given moment–yet not getting caught up in striving–but being still, knowing that He is God (Psalm 46:10), that He is my God–the lover of my soul–who wants me all for Himself and for His glory. I want to be that. I want to be solely fixed on the One and Only Giver of life (Jeremiah 32:38-40). I want to be steadfast, focusing on the One Thing–the One–Jesus Christ!

That is my prayer.

“O GOD, my heart is fixed (steadfast, in the confidence of faith); I will sing, yes, I will sing praises, even with my glory [all the faculties and powers of one created in Your image]!”
(Psalm 108:1 Amplified)

“Have the roots [of your being] firmly and deeply planted [in Him, fixed and founded in Him], being continually built up in Him, becoming increasingly more confirmed and established in the faith, just as you were taught, and abounding and overflowing in it with thanksgiving.”
(Colossians 2:7 Amplified)