Pursued For A Purpose by Julia Marie Mann
I wish I could tell you following Jesus is really easy and that all you have to do is read your bible and go to church and bam you’re good to go. I believed this lie for so many years. And became really ticked off with God when I didn’t feel that “spiritual high” or when I didn’t get what I wanted/prayed for right away. #SassyChildOfGod.
I was just going through the motions. And although I may have looked like the Christian girl who had it all together and all figured out with my artsy bible pics on Instagram, my twitter filled with bible verses and inspiring quotes, and joined just about every single Christian organization on my college campus – I still felt completely lost & felt like there was MORE.
And there is MORE. I think often times we just starting doing, doing, doing and we forget to take a step back and examine our hearts. We forget to make sure that we’re going on mission trips to SERVE & GROW His kingdom, not so other will give us a pat on the back and see our good deeds. We forget that we go to church to hear the word of God in order to be TAUGHT how to be more like Him, not to just check off the boxes and say you were present in service. Now, by no means and I am perfect. I struggle with this & my heart is still a mess. But the good news is that Jesus is our physician and we are His sick kids, eager to be healed and seeking different ways to be cured. But HE is the only one who can heal our messy broken hearts. Isn’t that beautiful? Our purpose in this life isn’t to make ourselves known, it’s to make HIM known.
One night my husband and I were laying in bed, just as he was about to go to sleep, I turned over to face him. I asked him [completely out of the blue] “babe, why are you proud of me?” Sleepy, yet willing to answer, he began to list every single reason why he’s proud of me. I smirked and continued with “yeah, but what else?!” Yup I’m that girl. (Words of affirmation are my love language.) And being the kindest and most patient person ever, he continued to list off plenty of more reasons. He’s a keeper.
Then the waterworks happened and I started bawling like a baby. “I don’t feel worthy.” I whispered. “I’m just a mess. I’m tired and burnt out and just feel empty. And I feel so far from Jesus and so broken.” He wrapped his arms around me as tears continued to roll down my cheeks. In that moment I felt so loved — obviously by my husband, but it was as though Jesus was giving His daughter a big ol’ hug.
He whispered to me “Jules, You don’t have to be perfect. Jesus doesn’t expect you to. You are so loved and Jesus doesn’t love you any less. He yearns to know your heart more.” I wiped the tears from my cheeks, sniffled, and smiled.
I’ve struggled with being disciplined when it comes to prayer time and reading the Word daily, and if I’m being 100% candid with you (and myself), I go through seasons where I just feel like I’ve lost that fire for Jesus. I’ll find myself searching for love; from friendships, my husband, and trying to fill my time up to stop from feeling empty. My heart has been so hungry for The Lord.
Until my husband, John, made a really good point that got me thinking; “if you and I were only to talk once a week, once every two weeks, or once a month, we wouldn’t be as close. It would be hard to know each other and hard to love each other deeper. The same thing goes for our relationship with Jesus. When we go a long period of time without Him, we start to feel empty and the enemy starts to attack us. But the good news is Jesus paid the price for us, knowing that we aren’t always going to love Him well.”
Praise God for continuing to pursue our hearts even when we don’t want to be pursued. Praise God for convicting our hearts and breaking them for what breaks HIS. And Praise God for His unfailing love that always draws us back to Him. So, send a HUGE thank you to Jesus for mercies made new every day!
God’s love language is obedience and He reminds us in John 14:15, “If you love me, keep my commands.” Don’t feel pressured to be perfect. The more you fall in love with God, the more your heart will just adore your Heavenly Father and that adoration will blossom into obedience and being faithful to what He calls upon you.
If you’re burnt out on Christianity, rest in this: It’s NOT about having it all together or making it look like you have this whole Jesus thing figured out. It’s about embracing His unfailing grace. It’s about obedience and constantly seeking His truth rather than the false teachings of the world. It’s about discipleship- teaching others how they too can live a life walking in His love.
"But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ— by grace you have been saved." // Ephesians 2:4-5