The other night I went to a worship night with a new friend of mine here in Kansas. She’s a young sorority girl like me (so we have a lot in common) and I was so excited to meet some new people. We went to this worship night and things were pretty much how I expected. The songs were about Jesus’ love for us and how He wants to change us into whatever we’re supposed to be.
Honestly, part of me was getting a little frustrated. My mind was wandering and for a second I thought, “okay, here’s some more millennial worship”. We kept singing these choruses about Jesus breaking down walls and boundaries to be with us. One line said that He would bring light to every shadow and that I couldn’t hide from Him. I just kind of looked down at the floor and said to myself and to God, “no, I want to pursue YOU. I want to break down the walls and climb over mountains to get to You.” It was like I was scoffing at this whole “God pursuing me” thing. Like I wasn’t expecting Him to WANT to do that.
At that moment, I realized something that I think is probably hard for anyone like me to realize.
God WANTS to pursue us.
I don’t know about you but I’m a perfectionist. A go-getter. I’m my daddy’s daughter and I work hard. If I’m not out of bed AT MOST by 9 and doing something even a tiny bit productive, then I am wracked with guilt. If I don’t leave my house for an entire day, I feel as though my soul is sitting in the depths of despair and I’m dwindling away to nothingness. (Okay, now I’m being dramatic, but you catch my drift). I WORK. I go after what I want. So when I realized that God actually wanted to do the hard work of coming after me, it shocked me. It made me feel, honestly, kind of lazy. Like, what? Sometimes God wants me to just… be loved?
Listen, I get the whole “works” thing. What’s the point of being a Christian and having this hope if we aren’t going to GET OUT THERE and give it to people? THAT’S WORK. Showing people the kind of Jesus they need and want is absolutely WORK. The disciples didn’t go and preach about Jesus, get flogged, and become imprisoned for FUN.
But even so, God still wants us to sometimes just realize that we are loved.
1 John 4:15-16 says, “Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.”
Think about that just for a second. Sometimes I get so caught up in the work I want (or even, yikes, feel obligated) to do for Jesus that I forget that He actually seriously LOVES me. He died on the cross so I could have communion with Him forever. Every single day, just like a good friend would, He proves His love for me. It’s this love that can give us the strength to keep working and bringing Jesus to those around us.
Just because we must work to pursue Jesus doesn’t mean He wont work to pursue us too.
What would a relationship with Jesus be if the only one putting in the work was us? We can’t have any sort of life/goodness/love aside from Jesus which is why it’s so important that we realize God is ACTIVELY pursuing us. Right now. If you’re a believer and follower of Jesus Christ, He is actively working in your relationship with Him. You know that, right? Otherwise, He probably wouldn’t call us His children!
“Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us that we should be called children of God!” 1 John 3:1
Now, I’ll be honest. When I think about this, it gives me anxiety. It makes me feel actually guilty sometimes because I KNOW I don’t deserve His pursuit. I think about all the things I’ve done to push Him away, all the people I’ve hurt, every mistake I’ve made, or even the work I haven’t yet done and I get anxious, as if that has any effect on how He sees me. When I have these feelings, I turn again to 1 John and remember:
“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. We love Him because He first loved us.” 1 John 4:18
Don’t be anxious or afraid of a God who is actively pursuing you. The truth is, we AREN’T worth it. But Jesus decided to take your place at the cross because He loves you and wants a relationship with you. It’s like the ultimate, “I would do anything for you”.
It makes me think of that song that goes, “ain’t no mountain high, ain’t no valley low, ain’t no river wide enough… to keep me from getting to you.” It’s SO TRUE. God literally sent His Son to the depths of HELL to kick Satan’s butt and save our souls. HOW AMAZING IS THAT?
You are a child of God. He loves you. That’s just the truth of the matter. Now, BECAUSE of this love, go out and love other people near you. Work towards love and this relationship with Him because He is loving you. So much.
So feel free to go listen to some Millennial age worship music, or hymns, or even Gregorian chants if that’s your thing. Just let Jesus love you while you love Him.