God relentlessly pursues us!
Choose to be captured by Jesus!
I took these ideas home with me as I left Nancy Bentz’s “Life In the Vineyard” retreat a couple weeks ago. ( https://shammahsfield.com/coaching/)
I have heard these before. In fact, the Bible is full of stories about God pursuing us. He loves us with a great, generous love; yet He leaves us with the choice to be captured or not.
How can we fathom love like that? Wouldn’t it just be easier for Him to grab us and make us knuckle under? But I suppose that would be control and not love at all.
And at the end of the time away, when life hits us in the face again once we return to our “regular lives,” remembering that God longs for intimacy can get lost in the shuffle. And somewhere in the struggle we come back around to that choice to be with Jesus again. He only holds our peace and our joy.
Nancy stuffed a lot of information in our heads. She exhorted us about living under the Tree of Life and not to sit under the tree of death. We learned how our brains grow trees—that’s the healthy thoughts we put in them.
She showed us how the brain operates. Then she contrasted how a brain full of healthy thoughts (that look like trees) appears compared to a brain that is depressed or full of negativity (that looks like holes). Who would want a brain full of holes?
Yet, when life throws the negative things at us so constantly, holes can be likely.
It is wisdom to listen to the Word of God, as it teaches us to deliberately put our minds on the things that are true, noble, just, pure, lovely, good, virtuous, praiseworthy (Philippians 4:8). It’s a choice to think on these things, too.
I have often mused about reflecting God. He created us to do just that. To do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with Him (Micah 6:8).
It seems to me that to reflect God, we must be transparent. With God, with one another and with ourselves. To rule over our thoughts, to be open to God’s working within us. Truth. How beautiful is that?