Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal,
but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.
Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it.
But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead,
I press on toward the goal to win the prize
for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:12–14 (NIV)
Since I became a follower of Christ 20 years ago, I have purposed in my heart to exert all my effort to “press on” towards the goal to win the prize. I have often prided myself in my zeal and for forcing myself to go on, even when I was exhausted… and yet, it became clear several years ago that there was a big flaw in my pursuit – I was going so fast, but I didn’t really know what the goal even was!
Where was I going–and was it pleasing God that I was trying to get there so quickly? Can you even get “there” quickly?
Certainly not if you don’t even know where you are going.
And so, as I sat in a small group one night I had a revelation:
I am going toward Christ.
I am pressing on to know Him – not just know more stuff about God,
or memorize more scriptures although both of those things are great help –
but to know Him, somewhat like I would know my husband or my mom…
but more profound.
And as I pursue Christ, I am transformed to be more like Him.
Suddenly things changed in my life. My passion didn’t wane, but my speed did. I slowed down. I realized, if I’m not pressing on toward a “there” – not a place, but toward a “who” – a person; the Lord… well, then speed was not going to help.
So, how do I pursue God… How do I get to know Him better?
By Slowing Way Down.
My New SLOW Pursuit:
1. Taking Time to Ponder: One way I pursue a close relationship with God is by practicing reflection. Every few days I take some time to reflect on what is going on in my life while I am also praying…
2. Taking Time to Pray about Everyday things: Basically, I take time to talk to God about everything that is going on in my life and to read His word…
3. Taking Time to Read the Bible: I take time to read His Word daily and notice how it speaks into the things going on in my spiritual life and in my circumstances.
4. Taking Time to Journal: Quite often I will journal, listing off everything I am worried about,–all the things that are heavy on my heart–and pray through each one. I find that this helps me involve God in my everyday thoughts and decisions. It draws me closer to Him.
5. Taking Time to Get to Know Jesus in the Gospels: I try to get to know Jesus better by reading the books: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John in the Bible continually because I am convinced that among my primary goals as a Christian, topping the list is:
to know Jesus, to love Jesus and to share Jesus
I find that I am constantly getting to know Him better as I read the gospels and ask questions like: WHO is Jesus talking to? WHAT is He saying? What consequences is He willing to endure to bless people? What ATTITUDE does He have towards the hurting, the broken, and the outsiders?
Well, I better go.
I encourage you to press on, to pursue God…