‘and He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation, that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and exist, as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we also are His children.’ ‘ Acts 17:26-28
To give context, this comes from Paul when he is speaking to a group of philosophers, learned people of Athens. They had taken him to the Areopagus (Areopagus, earliest aristocratic council of ancient Athens. The name was taken from the Areopagus (“Ares’ Hill”), a low hill northwest of the Acropolis, which was its meeting place.) This is an important element, because this was a place for debate and collaboration. He had so peaked their curiosity with his street preaching, they wanted to learn more and gave him a formal setting to teach from.
I received an “accidental” phone call from a former Harley customer of mine. We had a great conversation and, like so often happens, our conversation shifted to spiritual matters. Jesus had brought our discussion to the Areopagus. He shared with me that he’d gone through his second divorce about a year ago. He told me that he felt shame as a result and that he had let God down. He also told me that he didn’t want to divorce, but believed he had done all he could to try to repair it. He finally accepted that the effort being put forth was one sided and that he needed to let go. I brought God into the conversation, agreeing that yes God hates divorce. However, rather than staying on that train, I began to theorize as to why divorce is so very rampant in our society today. The pondering I shared with him was a simple one. The majority of people, including professed disciples, fail to put Jesus in the forefront of their life. They fail to make Him their number one priority. How many of you can say that for the majority of your day, Jesus Christ is paramount in your mind and on your heart? Be honest. I can’t say that I do. I believe the answer, to why divorce is as prevalent in today’s society, is that simple. We are not making Jesus #1 in our life. We give that spot to our spouse, children, job, hobbies, sins, etc. We can not achieve the fullness of life Jesus has determined for us if we put anything or person ahead of Him.
I believe it is truly that simple. I say simple, because, well it is. In Jesus we have the only being in the infinite history of space and time (which He spoke into existence) that will never fail us. He will never love us with anything less than the ultimate, incomprehensible love that only He is capable. He will never leave us, never forsake us, He took the full force of God’s punishment for our disobedience, the worst of which was separation from the Father, freely and without reservation. He wants to give us a fullness that only He is capable of. Anything and everything else will fail us, health, jobs, children, friends, material things, government, you name it, and yes even our spouse.
So, why then is desiring to fully and recklessly pursue and know Him so hard for us to do? I do not know the statistics, but I am 100% certain that those who fix their gaze firmly upon Jesus, living that pursuit daily, lead fuller, happier, more productive lives in every regard. They pass through adversity with greater courage, endurance, faith and hope with the ultimate object of affection in their sights. Every facet of their lives is better. Couples who seek, first, the kingdom of glory and Jesus Christ have fuller, more complete, healthy and lasting relationships than those who don’t. And yes, they a far less likely to call it quits when things get tough.
Like you, I struggle with this. My fire kindles and the flames get fanned, then I wane. It’s a back and forth cycle, that has gotten better the more intentional I am, but there will always be room for improvement. Think about your attitude toward seeking, pursuing and knowing Christ. Ask yourself, what’s the overall tenor of your life and relationships when you are more fully engaged in making Jesus your #1 priority? Finally, ask yourself, which way do you prefer? Have a blessed weekend.
‘O God, You are my God; I shall seek You earnestly; My soul thirsts for You, my flesh yearns for You, In a dry and weary land where there is no water. Thus I have seen You in the sanctuary, To see Your power and Your glory. Because Your lovingkindness is better than life, My lips will praise You. So I will bless You as long as I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name. My soul is satisfied as with marrow and fatness, And my mouth offers praises with joyful lips. When I remember You on my bed, I meditate on You in the night watches, ‘ Psalms 63:1-6
In full pursuit of the greatest Trophy