Fervently Pursuing the Will of God

In conversation recently a Scripture came up that reminded me anew about the necessity and vitalness on my part to be actively and fervently pursuing the will of God for my life:

Philippians 3:12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended by Christ Jesus.  (KJV, bold emphasis mine)

Though God made the first move towards me, and apprehended my life and made me His own, the ball is now in my court to passionately and devotedly apprehend all that He has for me to receive and to accomplish during my pilgrimage on this earth.  Verses 13-14 (once again, bold emphasis mine) go on to say:

Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth to those things which are before,
I press towards the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
In these three verses alone there are four words and/or phrases that emphasize effort and activity on my part: follow after, apprehend, reaching forth, and press.  The Greek definitions of these words reveals I am to be stretching myself forward; pursuing; taking eagerly, seizing and possessing all that God has made possible in so great a salvation!

I remember seeing an advertisement years ago that compelled me to write its content on one of the back flaps of my Bible so that I could periodically be reminded of the type of posture and attitude that God does not want me to have!  The ad was for some kind of drink to aid in the losing of weight and it touted this tempting slogan for the would-be dieter:


That’s ludicrous! But, sadly, isn’t that what a lot of us as Christians want?  We want to experience the presence of God; receive the promises and blessings of the Lord; have changes that will produce Christ-likeness in us, but we want all of these things to happen with minimal effort (or better yet no effort) on our part! We just want to go about as we’ve been doing – God forbid we’d have to change our lifestyle! I’m not talking about getting caught up in dead works, or busyness without fruitfulness but a true fervent spirit that follows hard after the Lord with whole-hearted dedication, devotion, commitment and consecration.  Apprehending with such determined purpose that we will let no one and no thing get in the way of or hamper our pursuit!  The rewards, blessings, fulfillment and satisfaction of such an all-out/sold-out pursuit are beyond description! 

I encourage you to take a quiet moment before the Lord and allow for a long, hard look to examine the manner and the premium you have put on “apprehending that for which I am also apprehended by Christ Jesus”.  Remember this:

If you are looking for excuses you will find them.
If you are looking for God you will find no excuse!

You have been apprehended, chosen, and called, and have come into the Kingdom for such a time as this.  “Be fervent in spirit, serving the Lord”!  (Romans 12:11)  The word “fervent” is one of my favorite Greek words in the whole Bible.  It’s the word “zeo” (dzeh-o) and it means: to be hot, to the boiling of liquids and the glowing of solids.  Now that’s hot!  And that is the type of posture and attitude that God expects and desires from us.  When I read that phrase I can see that the first statement is interchangeable with the second – to be fervent in spirit is to be serving the Lord; to be serving the Lord is to be fervent in spirit! To think we can have one without the other is to only be fooling ourselves, and only amounts to presenting to the world a diluted, compromised, impotent form of Christianity that they will not be interested in having! 

Be encouraged and compelled to follow hard after Him, to follow on to know the Lord, to follow the Lamb wherever He goes, to seek Him with your whole heart.  You will find that the workmanship of God that takes place in your life will have been so worth the effort, and that the godly lifestyle changes wrought in you will cause you to be “sought out” by those watching and observing your manner and standard of living!  Be counted among those who want to apprehend the Lord. Be not in the company of those who have settled for a complacent, apathetic walk with the Lord that requires “no work or lifestyle changes” – but with those who want ZEO!

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