"His pursuit is purposeful"

Meet Jake: This is his story of God's pursuit. 

God moved me in a simple way. It was through an invitation and a door of a church where I would later call home. 

Before this revelation ever happened I was wandering life, lost. Looking for answers on my own with desires unfulfilled. My life was in my own hands, but I had no grip on it. I was a college graduate with no career ambition, working a part-time job and feeling emotionally lost. It was there in the wilderness where God found me, but the funny thing was that I wasn’t necessarily looking for Him. I realized that God was always in pursuit of me.

The pursuit of God comes like a storm. His love is ravenous but in the same breath, peaceful. It’s ravenous in the sense that God captures your heart in a way you’ve never been captured, takes you on adventures through life you never thought imaginable and fills you with the peace of His love and mercy. Grace...grace is what found me in the wilderness, grace is what called me home. And I live by the grace of God. 

Before, I was lonely, persistent on being neglected and content with being fully introverted, but that’s not how God made me and truthfully, that’s not how God made you. Two years ago I walked into Southridge Church because of an invitation I felt obligated to accept. My aunt’s neighbor invited me to attend one Sunday and that Sunday changed my life. Sounds cliche right? But it was true. The presence of God covered me that day, as I took my first steps into the building I felt a shift in my heart. I felt so comforted by the people and presence and felt completely at home. Have you ever experienced something like that? I remember the lead pastor saying to the crowd, “We believe that it is no accident you are here...” and I fully experienced that. God’s pursuit is purposeful: to bring us back to Him. 

Remembering this, I cant help but think about what Jesus taught through the parable of the lost sheep,

“If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them wanders away, what will he do? Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others on the hills and go out to search for the one that is lost?”  (Matthew 18:12 NLT)

If you’ve fallen away or maybe have never offered your heart to God, I would like you to think about this. Just like the man who lost his one sheep, God pursues you with the same determination and the same love. He’s working for your good and for you to realize His fullness. Don’t be like I was - wandering life with no direction and no true fulfillment. 

Even as I’m typing these words God’s working in me. Everything is not perfect. 

Just last year I remember praying to God for a relationship. A week after that prayer I met a girl at church who was “perfect:” a heart devoted to God, fun to be around, funny and beautiful.  What more do you need, right? I was so excited, my prayers were answered, God provided and I wanted to pursue her. But God had other plans. See the person was there but the timing wasn‘t right. That same week I went to a park seeking direction from God in prayer on how to pursue her. God spoke two words to me, “patience and faithfulness.” God wanted me to be patient because at that time God was urging her to be satisfied in Him. She told me what God was speaking to her and we decided to just be friends. A month after our talk we slipped, we let our boundaries break and trust was broken. Pain was present and we were forever changed. We kept disobeying God for a year.

For a year we took our relationship into our own hands, which led to sin upon sin. Our hearts were broken. We fought multiple times a week leaving the argument drained and ashamed. The fruit in our hands was rotten; we grew to hate each other. The worst thing is that it affected our community. We had the same friends, we were both serving at church, our community became a mess. 

Yet God still pursued. 

Even in our disobedience and brokenness God showed us His glory. God redeems every situation, it may not look like what we thought it would look like but He works all things for our good. Last year I was working at a local hardware store and now I’m interning at my church. God’s called me to leadership, to step into the ministry that He always planned for me. I noticed that God wants us to always be close to Him. We have two choices: keep declaring our past over ourselves OR start believing in the promises of God.

Whenever there’s hardships in my life I’ve come to see it as a sign of preparation. His pursuit is purposeful and His plans include you. 

Tori Vandament