There’s a similar theme throughout Scripture, and that is:
When we take baby steps toward God, He runs toward us!
When we are weak or hurting, our feeble cries for help immediately reach His ears, and He comes running after us! We simply turn in His direction, and He runs after us! Even the turning toward Him is something He enables us to do. My flesh doesn’t want to come to Christ, especially when I am choosing to put Him on a shelf so I can have my own way. My spirit and my flesh are constantly at war with one another.
But it says in Phillipians 2:13, “God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.” He even gives me the desire to turn in His direction!
I’ve seen three examples in the Word recently of God moving toward someone whose baby steps toward Him set in motion His ridiculously extravagant love toward them!
“Come close to God, and God will come close to you” (James 4:8 NLT).
In Exodus 3, we find Moses minding his own business tending his father-in-law’s sheep when something catches his eye. It was a tree engulfed in flames but not completely consumed.
So Moses thought, ‘I will go over and see this strange sight–why the bush does not burn up.’ When the LORD saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, ‘Moses! Moses!’ And Moses said, ‘Here I am.’ (Exodus 3).
It wasn’t until Moses went over to look that God spoke to him. God is so loving and so good. He is so quick to move toward us when we make even the slightest move toward Him. He wants our attention.
If we clear our spiritual eyes to see, God is always trying to get our attention. He promises over and over again that if we seek, we will find. May we fine tune our hearing when He calls our name, so we can also say, “Here I am!”
2. The Prodigal Son
Think about the story of the Prodigal Son (Luke 11). A man had two sons, and the younger one demanded his complete inheritance from His father and ran off and squandered it on wild living. After awhile, there was a famine in the land, and he was tired and hungry.
There is always famine in the land of forgetfulness of God (MacLaren’s Expositions–www.biblehub.com).
In order to make ends meet after he spent all his money, he got a job feeding pigs. When he came to his senses and realized that was not the life to be living, he decided to go back home and make it right by asking his father to forgive him. On his way home, it says, “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him” (vs 20). One of the commentaries I read about this verse said his repentance might not have even been wholehearted, but His father still ran to greet him when he came back. He made up his mind to return to his father, and so he did.
His father, who must have been waiting for his return, was not angry or bitter. Instead he was filled with compassion for him. He RAN to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. He even threw a party in honor of his return.
Isn’t that how God works in our lives?! He is waiting and watching for our return. Even after we’ve wasted our lives and all that He’s done for, in and through us, God longs for the day of our return. As we come to our senses, we realize it is better in our Father’s house as a son/daughter than a hired hand tending to the pigs. When God sees us making even the slightest move toward Him, He runs toward us. It says in Isaiah 65:24 that He is even working before we call out to Him, “I will answer them before they even call to me. While they are still talking about their needs, I will go ahead and answer their prayers!” (NLT). He doesn’t wait for us to come groveling, yet He does wait for us! While we are still far off…while we are still so far away in our hearts, once we decide to come back to Him and take that first step, He sees us!! Oh what grace!
3. The Bride in Song of Solomon
You have captivated my heart, my sister, my bride; you have captivated my heart with one glance of your eyes, with one jewel of your necklace (Song of Solomon 4:9).
One glance in His direction makes His heart beat a little faster! He longs to be with us. He desires our company! We have something He wants–something only we can give Him! We captivate Him!
I was in worship one night and the worship leader said to us, “Let’s press into worship as the Lord ministers to us and AS WE MINISTER TO THE LORD!”
It was then that I heard the Lord tell me He wants me to minister to Him! He longs for my worship. He told me I have something He wants that only I (Julie Holmquist) can give Him. He said He was ravished with me. Even though I’m a word girl, I had to look up the word “ravished!” It means: “to fill with intense delight.” I’ve been struggling in some areas in my life (maybe someday I’ll share), but He still wanted me.
He is all about us as His Church, His Bride! He longs for intimacy with us. He’s always ready if we but just look in His direction.
My one glance tells Him all He needs to know. Even when I’m not particularly wanting to be intimate with Him because I’m weighed down by the world, my own temptations and my pride, He knows I am deeply needing Him to run toward me!
Tell me about a time you barely turned toward Jesus, and He ran toward you!
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