Thankful Thoughts: A God Who Pursues

A guest post by Ken.

I am thankful for a God who pursues us.

When people ask about my theology, I tell them that I am a “recovering legalist”. And when I say that, I am not kidding.

Growing up in the church, God can be treated like Santa Claus: “He’s making a list and checking it twice. He’s knows if you’ve been naughty or nice.” I have always known that Jesus died for my sins, but I have often fallen back into the thinking that LIVING the Christian life is up to me.

I have to try harder.

I have to do more.

I have to be more spiritual.

I… I… I… somehow, I have made my salvation all about my efforts and my achievements.

While it’s definitely true that my actions matter to God, I have been guilty of thinking that I need to EARN God’s love and His forgiveness.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

I remember being at a Michael W. Smith concert in the Sky Dome Stadium in Toronto, Ontario. He was performing that evening as a part of a Billy Graham Crusade. Smitty was introducing a song, “I’ll Lead You Home” and he talked about being tired. Tired of trying to do more. Be better. Impress more people – including God.

I could relate.

Michael W. Smith went on to talk about one night in particular in which God led him to the piano. Obediently, Michael sat down and started to play a song. And even though Michael was singing the words, it was like God was talking to Him. Speaking words of comfort, hope and acceptance.

Here a few of my favorite lines from that song:

So let it go and turn it over to
The one who chose to give his life for you
Leave it to me
I’ll lead you home

Hear me calling
Hear me calling
You’re lost and alone
Leave it to me
I’ll lead you home

That song and that story changed my life. It changed how I saw God. The lyrics helped me to understand that I could stop trying to measure up to a holy God and instead accept His love and forgiveness.

I could stop running after God and realize that He was pursuing me. I didn’t need to convenience God of anything, I just need to surrender control.

 So today I am thankful that I am free to love God and be loved by Him. I am not a slave to my past or a victim of my short-comings. I can stop worrying about lists and rules and instead be thankful for a God who knows me, accepts me, loves me and leads me home.

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