Read His Words Before Ours!
I have a two-year-old daughter who enjoys following me around the house. She pretends to cook and clean, and is always eager to “help” me with things that need to be done. Most of the time, it is amusing and delightful to have her tag along behind me; however, she is so close that she usually bumps into me when I stop moving. I turn and look at her in amazement that she isn’t bothered by the lack of space or that she isn’t clamoring for me to slow down.
I hope she never loses her desire to be close, or follow in my footsteps,
although I’m sure one day the situation will be completely different.
To pursue is to:
– to follow close upon
– to follow in order to overtake, to chase
God’s goodness and faithful love are just like my daughter. They chase us with the sole purpose of overtaking us, following us relentlessly, day in and day out. They are personified characteristics of God, examples of His heart and intention toward us. Just like the shepherd who chases down a stray sheep with the intent to overtake it, and brings it back to a place of safety and assurance, our Shepherd does the same. He wants His character to completely overtake ours, so that we are no longer naive in our sin, but fully aware of Whose we are.
David, the author of many psalms wrote passionately about his relationship with God.
He was well acquainted with being pursued.
In Psalm 142:6, David cried out for God to rescue him from those who were pursuing him, stating that they were too strong for him. King Saul despised David. He recognized the calling on David’s life long before he ever reached the throne. Although David wasn’t in competition with Saul (it was God who made David king and nothing would change that), it was Saul’s intent to overcome David and take his life in an attempt to hold tightly to something that God has already removed from his grasp. We too have an enemy that is set on our destruction, but God has ordained us for a purpose as well, and we will not be undone.
In vast contrast to this story, we have the good Shepherd changing the narrative for us. While the enemy of our hearts may be stalking and seeking to devour us, God’s goodness and faithful love are formidable opponents and are in even greater pursuit.
In John 10:14 Jesus calls Himself the good shepherd. He knows His sheep and His sheep know Him. He laid down His life for His sheep (John 10:15).
His faithful love and goodness follow us just as a good shepherd would chase after his sheep.
What does it look like to have the goodness and faithful love of God following you?
Let’s allow God’s Word to answer for us:
I myself will search for my flock and look for them. As a shepherd looks for his sheep…so I will look for my flock. I will rescue them from all the places where they have been scattered on a day of clouds and total darkness. Ezekiel 34:11-12
His rescue knows no bounds, Sisters;
His pursuit to free us from the darkness of sin is relentless.
I am the Lord your God, who brought you up from the land of Egypt
Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it. Psalm 81:10
He is good and will provide for us. His provision is both something we receive and something we experience.
Give thanks to the Lord because he is good. His love continues forever. Psalm 136:1
His outpouring of faithful love has no expiration date; it extends beyond what our minds can comprehend.
Acknowledge that the Lord is God. He made us, and we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. (Psalm 100:3)
We belong to our Creator. Our Good Shepherd will always save us, his beloved sheep.
As I think back on the determination my daughter had to keep up with me, I can now visualize in my mind’s eye the goodness and faithful love of God as two friends, chasing me down with joy.
I am their intended mark,
the beneficiary of their obedience.
That makes me feel valued, protected, cared for.
Whatever you may be facing, remember that you too have a Good Shepherd.
One who is well acquainted with your story,
and is faithfully pursuing you with His faithful love and goodness!
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Thanks for joining us today as we journeyed into Shepherd Week Three! Don’t miss out on the discussion below – we’d love to hear your thoughts!
So thankful that God’s goodness and mercy follows me all the days of my life!
Me too! I loved your illustration of your daughter’s close pursuit of you likened to the pursuing goodness and mercy of our God. “We are the intended mark” has stuck with me. Thank you for sharing!