Do you long to know God? I long to know God, I long to get just a little closer to his heart each and every day. I need God’s love, grace, and forgiveness. I want to live my life with intentionality and I don’t want to waste the time I have been given. I want my relationship with God to be fresh, new, authentic, and real, every day, don’t you?
Why are we internally driven to connect with our creator? Why are we driven to pursue God? We want to know the depths of who God is. Falling in love with God is very similar to falling in love with another person. We just want to be around Him, learn as much as we can about him, spend time just doing life with him. God wired us as spiritual beings, but not everyone finds the one true God. Some worship idols, millions of God’s, or create their own god out of something they make or their imagination. If you want to know the true God, you need to examine Him in the scriptures and admire His creation that is evident all around us every day.
We are also compelled to pursue God because we long to understand God’s ways. How do we get to know God's ways? The same way you get to know a person, you spend time with them. The more time you spend in God’s Word the better you will understand God’s ways.
David sought God to understand his ways and he sought him to understand His will. This is the third reason why we are compelled to pursue God, we long to know His will for our life. Deep down inside we want ask: Why am I here? What is the meaning of my life?
When it comes to following God’s will God rarely reveals every detail. He says trust me and then we take it step by step. God wants you and I to trust him too even when all the details have not been revealed yet. If you know God’s ways, it makes His will a lot easier to find. Ask the Holy Spirit for wisdom and trust God every day. He will lead you.
In addition, we pursue God because God pursues us. God pursues us tirelessly, personally, relentlessly, and gently. In 1 John 4:19 we are told that we love God because He loved us first. God doesn’t give up on us. God pursues us for the duration of our life.
No matter how many times I read the Psalms they never get old or stale because they are written from the heart. More than anything else, David longed for God. He wanted to stand before Him and worship. His Psalms give voice to the full range of human emotion. In Psalm 42, David vacillates between doubt and faith, despair and hope, pessimism and optimism, looking and his circumstances and looking to God for deliverance.
“Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.” Psalm 42:5
David knew hard answers are never easy to come by. David refused to settle for shallow answers in deep struggles. This is what it looks like to pursue God. We pursue God to know the depths of who God is, to understand His ways, His will, and because He is pursuing a love relationship with you that is personal.
So what are we supposed to do with this? Stop settling for empty rituals and shallow faith. Develop a holy dissatisfaction. Get to know him. Seek God. Love God with your whole heart, mind, and soul. God wants you to draw near and your heart longs to respond.
Don’t let your past keep you from pursuing God in the present. Don’t keep looking back. Satan loves to point out our past to keep us from stepping into God’s preferred future. Rebuke the Devil and he will flee from you. Strive for what’s ahead. Press closer to Christ. If you long to know God more, start pursuing Him today. Read His word, get to know Him. Worship Him in song, cry out to Him in prayer. Admire his handiwork in creation. Bask in His grace. Open your heart to His love.
When I started this series three weeks ago I said that if you got one insight out of this series this should be it: God owns it all. It’s all His and it’s my job to manage that which God has given to me. God wants us to use whatever we have been entrusted with to glorify Him. This is so essential because how we handle our finances is a spiritual matter.
Therefore, every Christian can improve their finances by following three really hard but really good life-long principles that will keep you moving toward financial health.
First, always seek the kingdom of God first. In Luke 12, Jesus tells the parable of a man who was never satisfied with more. He wanted more and more and more, that’s why he kept building bigger barns. Jesus then says that the man died a fool because he spent his entire life storing up earthly wealth but didn’t have a rich relationship toward God. In Matthew 6:33 Jesus says:
“33 Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” Matthew 6:33
This takes us to the second life-long principle that will keep us moving in the right direction. Seek first the kingdom of God and second, believe that God will meet all your needs. Immediately after telling the parable of the rich fool he turns to his disciples who weren’t worried about building bigger barns to store their booty, they were worried about where they were going to get their next meal since they had given us everything to follow Jesus. They wanted a little bit of security and can you really blame them? But Jesus doesn’t offer them any worldly security, he offers them truth that God will provide for their needs if they put him first.
Jesus tells us that if we seek first the kingdom of God then he will meet all of our needs. Don’t get wants and needs confused. A lot of us bring about our own stress by worrying how we will pay for junk we don’t need to impress people we don’t like. We don’t need to go deep in debt to have our needs met.
“19 And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19
The only place in the Bible that God ever tells us to test him is in the area of finances. God says put me first and watch me work with the rest. Tithing is a tangible way for us to demonstrate that we seek the kingdom of God first. If you want God to bless your finances, tithing is a must. Plus, when we do it God’s way we can enjoy the remaining 90% because we know we have not robbed God, we trusted Him.
The third life-long principle that will keep us moving toward financial health is learning to live below you means so you can live above the stress. When your finances are out of control it feels like you are living in a snowstorm with bald tires and all that is going to send you into a tailspin is one unexpected expense. I’m convinced that most people can live within their means if they are willing to adjust their standard of living to their income. If we could just learn to be content with what we already have life would be simpler.
In conclusion, when our financial priorities reflect biblical realities, we will experience a new level of contentment that may have been eluding us for years. Ultimately, when we understand that everything belongs to God, we become more generous and less covetous. When we tithe and give 10% back to God, it blesses us because we get to be a part of what God is doing. When we trust God with our finances, it actually simplifies our life because it builds our trust in God. When we lower our debt many of our problems and pressures we feel become a lot smaller. And when we learn to live within our means we are able to feel more content because we are not always wanting more. God wants you to live better and to live with his blessing and he will bless you if you seek Him first and follow His financial principles.