The practice of and fight for religious beliefs are central themes throughout world history and in the Bible. The Bible records the lengthy history of Israel’s opposition and fickle love towards God. The Israelites single-handedly created their own battles with God and their history was primarily based on their continual fascination and draw to paganism and idolatry, which they displayed openly before God. God sent his prophets to speak to them, but they only ridiculed them and continued their pursuit of worshiping their vile pagan images.
Why did God relentlessly pursue a people who were stubbornly faithful to being unfaithful to Him? Why does He still ceaselessly pursue a stubborn, distracted, idolatress people throughout the timetable of history?
Why? Because God is love, it’s His nature. Love cannot be separated from who He is. (1 John 4:8,16)
Because God designed and created us in love, he cannot un-love us, even when we war against Him. God may be unhappy with our choices or lifestyle, but He loves us unconditionally none the less. When we drift away from Him, He waits patiently for us to return… all the while pursuing us. He is the God who leaves the ninety-nine to go find the one:
“Jesus said, “Suppose one of you had a hundred sheep and lost one. Wouldn’t you leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the lost one until you found it? When found, you can be sure you would put it across your shoulders, rejoicing, and when you got home call in your friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Celebrate with me! I’ve found my lost sheep!’ Count on it—there’s more joy in heaven over one sinner’s rescued life than over ninety-nine good people in no need of rescue.” Luke 15:4-7
After personally experiencing several devastating losses in my life, I spent thirteen years playing the role of the prodigal daughter. I openly rebelled against God and what do you suppose He did?
He loved me. Unconditionally. He protected me when I placed myself in dangerous situations. He provided for my every need. God spoke to me clearly in numerous ways- gave me dreams of warning and dreams of redemption- and directed me to the very steps that led to the door of my life’s purpose in Him. God relentlessly pursued me like any loving Father would until I turned back and found the road that led to Him, and embraced Him in love, sincere remorse, and heartfelt repentance.
God does not show partiality (Acts 10:34). He is the loving Father of all prodigal sons and daughters. We don’t have to be in a “prodigal” state of mind and heart to be considered far from God’s heart; we can find ourselves distant from Him by simply relaxing our disciplines of prayer, reading our Bibles, walking in obedience, and exercising our faith.
God’s love, mercy, and forgiveness are always waiting for us with open arms, but we have to make the first move towards him. Remember- we are only as close to God as we want to be.
Do you need to make a move towards God today?
“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38,39