Living In Pursuit

gold medal photo(Acts 13:22)  “And when he had removed him, he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will.”

The Olympic games are over. The world was in awe as we watched Michael Phelps swim his way to more gold medals. We were amazed as Simone Biles did things in the floor exercise that did not seem possible. When you love a certain sport, watching an athlete compete at the highest level is a beautiful thing. For me it is soccer. Starting in August, every week I try to catch an English Premier League game or at least watch the weekly highlights. You know you are a true fan when you appreciate your favorite players as artists of the sport. I think we could say that about most people – whether you love golf, baseball, basketball or even ultimate frisbee. But oftentimes we forget what it takes to get to the highest levels of that sport. We only get to see the end product of a long and grueling process.

A recent article in Wired magazine said it took 8-10 years and $100,000 per year to reach the highest levels in swimming. Gymnastics takes 10-12 years and approximately $18,000 per year in expenses (it’s true – ask any parent who has a child in gymnastics!). Reaching the highest levels in anything requires an “all-in” pursuit.

Two kings in the Bible show us what it means to pursue something with all your heart.. Saul chased after David out of rage caused by jealousy.  In 1 Samuel 26:18, David asks the question:

“…Wherefore doth my lord thus pursue after his servant? for what have I done? or what evil is in mine hand?”

In his obsessive, evil mission to kill David we see three characteristics in the life of Saul.

  1. He was relentless
  2. He was willing to expend the time, money and energy to win
  3. He was completely consumed – every decision was driven by the pursuit

Ordinarily, this would have been the formula for success. But God had other plans because David was God’s anointed.

David is the other example of a king in pursuit of something that captured his heart. The Bible tells us the thing David pursued was God’s heart. God said he was a “man after mine own heart.” We know David wasn’t perfect. He was often much less than perfect and paid the price for his failures. But we also know David relentlessly pursued God. He was willing to invest himself and everything he had in his relationship with God. Although every decision was not driven by his pursuit of God, his repentance for his failures were. David’s success wasn’t as a king, it was as a man of God.

Which king better describes you today? Are you pursuing the wrong thing in jealous obsession like Saul? Or are you relentlessly consumed with the heart of God like David? One day we will stand before God and our rewards will be based on the pursuit and whether we were consumed with our own hearts or His.

Renewed Thought – What consumes our hearts will consume our lives.