I have chosen to seek Him…
"With my whole heart I have sought You; Oh, let me not wander from Your commandments!" - Psalms 119:10 NKJV
Have you ever considered what it means to seek God with your whole heart? ‘Whole’ means everything. Not some; not half; not even 99% - it means everything with nothing left over; it means full pursuit; it means your complete desire is for that which you are pursuing, or in this case, Who you are pursuing.
It’s not uncommon to hear people say how busy they are, and because of that, it’s easy to let some things slide when it comes to our walk with God. We may not pray every day because we are tired. We may not read our Bible every day because something came up and we didn’t get to finish it. We might say, “I can’t go to church because I’ve been invited to spend time with a friend whom I don’t get to see very often. God seems to get our leftovers sometimes rather than our best. Some may say, “I live under grace, not law” or “God sees my heart…”
Luke 6:44 tells us that a tree is known by its fruit, however the word known literally means ‘found out’. God does see our heart because our lives give evidence of that.
Let me challenge you from today to begin asking this question: “How important is this to God”. Seeking Him with your whole heart is a lifelong pursuit, but know this, God is pursuing you with His whole heart also, so you can’t lose.
“I declare that I am committed to a wholehearted pursuit of God. I will live to please Him in all I do. He has pursued me with his whole heart, so I will honour Him with no less…”
"Even before He made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in His eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into His own family by bringing us to Himself through Jesus Christ. This is what He wanted to do, and it gave Him great pleasure.” - Ephesians 1:4-5 NLT
I love how much this verse highlights that you and I matter to God. We aren’t just a number; we aren’t random, and we definitely aren’t here by chance. God planned your life because He loves you. Repeat this: “I bring my Father great delight.” Read that verse again. “Even before He made the world, God loved us.” (God loved you long before you were born!) It also says, He “chose you in Christ to be holy and without fault in His eyes.”
Revelation 13:8 refers to Jesus as “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (NKJV). Before He even created the world, God loved you; He knew about sin; He planned to pay the price Himself so that you could not just be in right standing with Him, but adopted into His family; and He planned for you to be holy and without fault in His eyes.
Wow! That’s a lot of planning, for a lot of people, by a God with a lot of love. Read the last part of that verse because it's a key point. “This is what He wanted to do, and it gave Him great pleasure.” You matter to God. He thinks the world of you.
“I declare that I am valuable to God. He chose me. Before the foundations of the world ever existed, I was on His mind. Because of Jesus Christ, I matter, I am valuable and I am loved…”
"If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." - John 8:31-32 NKJV
Did you notice that these verse come with a condition attached? People want freedom, and this verse shows us that freedom comes from knowing the truth, but the condition is that we need to be people who abide in God’s Word in order to know the truth. Instead of ‘abide’, another translation uses the word ‘continue’ which means, ‘to stay (in a given place, state, relation or expectancy)’.
As I read this, I think of Peter walking on the water and Jesus asking, “in what did you doubt” (see April 21). When we are believing God for something, fear will always raise it head and try to make us doubt God and sway its way, but when we doubt something it loses its ability to remain an option.
If we are trying to grow our faith, then staying in the Word of God will continue to reinforce the truth of Who God is. We grow more in our knowledge and understanding of Him, and we then become more ‘disciplined’ (discipled). The more we know of God and His plans and purpose, the stronger we become. Then fear loses its grip and we grow in the truth of Who God is. Then, as we live out that truth, and walk in the authority and dominion He gave us, we then become people who know real freedom in Christ.
Choose today to become a person who spends more time in the Word, and you will learn freedom like you’ve always wanted.
“I declare that I am free because I know the Truth and He is alive in me…”
"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" - 1 John 1:9 NKJV
God doesn’t hold grudges. No matter who we are, not matter what we have done, when we confess our sins before Him, He is quick to forgive. Often when we forgive someone, we can still hold onto the memory of what they have previously done, and even though we may not mention it again, the memory still has the potential to affect our ongoing trust of that person. This is not the case with God, and there are two things I want to briefly look at regarding how He forgives us.
Firstly, He no longer accredits those sins to us. Psalms 103:12 says that He separates us from our sins. That means they aren’t just out of reach, but totally gone. In fact, He says they are removed as far as the East is from the West. That’s a long way — a never ending line. East never meets West.
Next, Hebrews 8:12 tells us that He doesn’t even remember our sins. It’s not that He has a bad memory, it’s that He chooses to never remember them again.
Think about how much love that demonstrates. Every time we confess our sins before Him, He removes them from us and chooses to never remember them again. God’s grace is amazing.
“I declare that I am forgiven and cleansed. Every time I confess my sins my Father forgives me. I accept His forgiveness and I walk in the joy of the knowledge that I am His, and that I am in right standing with Him…”
"Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever." - Psalms 107:1 NKJV
Each time someone does something nice for you, or gives you a gift, or allows you to go first, or helps you, then you know that the polite thing to do is to say, “Thank you”.
The same should happen in our relationship with God. Giving thanks should be part of our everyday life when it comes to being a Christian because God has done so much for us. In this verse, the writer is directing us to say “Thank You” to the Lord. He isn’t just suggesting we do it to be nice, he is saying we should do it because our Father is good and because His mercy towards us is never ending. For all He has done He deserves to hear our thanks.
Philippians 4:6 is another verse that commands us to give thanks. It says, “In everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.”
Not only has God has done so much for us, He has also promised so much for us. Among other things, He is our Father, He is our Protector, He is our Healer, He is our Provider, He is our Redemption, He is everything we need and more and He wants us to “come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16 NKJV)
Know that you are always welcome to come before God in prayer, but remember, saying thank you doesn’t cost you anything. Giving thanks is a valuable part of our worship because He is a God who is worthy of all the honour and praise we can give Him.
“I declare Lord God that You are good. I give You thanks for all You have done. Your faithful love endures forever…”
“But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.” - James 1:6-8 NKJV
Have you ever told people you trust God, but deep down still wonder if He will actually come through for you? James calls that being double-minded or having ‘two minds’. it is when we have two competing thoughts on something that we become unstable, but James says we are unstable in all our ways. That’s because when our certainty isn’t in God it is in something else.
Jeremiah 17:7 says, “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, and whose hope is the Lord.” The ‘word’ trust in this verse speaks of ‘being confident in and being sure of’ and the word ‘hope’ literally means ‘refuge or security’. But get this, the word ‘hope’ actually comes from the same root word as the word ‘trust’, so we could read it like this: “Blessed is the man whose confidence, boldness and security doesn’t just come from thinking God is His source, it comes from being secure in the fact that He is absolutely His source.”
If you have a need in your life, then find verses that state God’s promise to you and then declare them as statements of faith; meditate on those promises and continue to declare them knowing that God is your source. Then you will become more stable for you will be convinced of the truth that you are very, very blessed.
“I declare that I am extremely blessed because I have confidence that my Father is my provider. I live with expectancy that His is my source and today, I choose to I trust in Him…”
"He has paid a full ransom for his people. He has guaranteed his covenant with them forever. What a holy, awe-inspiring name he has!" - Psalms 111:9 NLT
There is a line from the play, Romeo and Juliet where Juliet says, “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” Consider that for a moment. The name of someone you know, or maybe know of, stirs something in you because of the character of the person behind that name. There is meaning because of who they are, not just because of their name.
Well, Philippians 2:9 tells us that Jesus was given the name that is above every other name. Before He even came to earth, He was given a name that demons trembled at. But as we read through the New Testament, we clearly see that Jesus has well and truely proven He is worthy to hold the name that is above every name. Philippians 2:10-11 also says that there is not one single knee that doesn’t need to bow to Him. Jesus left heaven to live on earth and die in our place to make a way for us come back into right standing with Him. He didn’t have to, He chose to. He paid the ransom for us and in doing so guaranteed His covenant with us for eternity. It’s clear that God loves you and I, but the extent of that love we will never know till we stand before him in eternity.
When I think about everything Jesus has done for me, I can’t help but be in awe of Him. He is worthy of our praise, admiration, applause, worship, love and even more. He holds the name that is above every name, and every time I hear His name I continue to be in awe of everything He has done for me.
“I declare that God has a holy, awe-inspiring name…”
“‘I am the Alpha and the Omega—the beginning and the end,’ says the Lord God. ‘I am the one who is, who always was, and who is still to come—the Almighty One.’” - Revelation 1:8 NLT
As human beings, we are limited by time and space. We think in terms of what we can see, comprehend and measure. Just trying to comprehend God never being created is a stretch for our minds because of our limits to time and space.
Well, understanding our ability to work with time and space, let’s look at something regarding God that we will understand. God is the ‘Alpha and the Omega—the beginning and the end’. As He is the beginning, He is also the first. The enemy is not. He always comes to try and bring division. He will tell you that he is too powerful, that you don’t matter that much, or God can’t respond, or whatever lie he can come up with to make you think God is either not going to, or is not able to do anything on your behalf. But lock into the truth that the enemy has no power, God is your first. You are in covenant relationship with Him; you were made in His image; and you have His authority. You are part of Father’s immediate family and you matter a great deal to Him.
Now, say this out loud, “My Father is my beginning and my end.” Everything starts and ends with Him. He is your boundary line. Nothing exists outside of Him because everything is in Him. Today, no matter what you face, know that you will do it with God because He is your boundary, He is your beginning and end.
“I declare that that God is the beginning and the end of everything. He created all things and He is more powerful than anything we will ever face. My trust is in Him...”
"Everything He does reveals His glory and majesty. His righteousness never fails. He causes us to remember his wonderful works. How gracious and merciful is our Lord!" - Psalms 111:3-4 NLT
The place I grew up in was known for the large trees that grew in and around the rainforest which was only a short drive away from our home. I remember one day being on the bus on my way to school, and we passed one particularly tall tree and the trunk was absolutely massive. As I stared at that spectacular piece of Father’s creation, I remember thinking, “God, you're awesome!” What I wasn’t expecting was what came next. I clearly heard Him say, “I don’t care about the trees as much as I care about you.” I was amazed to think how much more valuable I was to God than a massive tree that had obviously existed for many, many years.
I am still regularly amazed at God’s incredible creation. Every time I look up and see the stars in the Milky Way, I can’t help but think about how amazing, how creative, and how incredible our Father is. The same happens when I look at the detail in a blade of grass. No matter how large or small the creation, God made it all.
As you go through today, be challenged to look at the detail in different parts of God’s creation. Think about what God created, and how much joy He took creating everything. Then, considering how much detail He put into everything, remember this one thing — He doesn’t care about any of that as much as I cares about you.
“I declare that God’s glory and majesty is revealed in everything He does. His righteousness never fails. He shows us to his wonderful works daily. How gracious and merciful is our Lord…”
"Even Death and Destruction hold no secrets from the Lord. How much more does He know the human heart!" - Proverbs 15:11 NLT
How amazing is it that God knows everything? He knows every thought you have, every secret you have, and every struggle you have, no matter what it is, no matter how insignificant or substantial, no matter who it’s about and no matter how happy or painful it may be to you. There is no secret you have that He doesn’t know about.
You may wonder why that is so amazing but the truth is, that it means that you can never bring anything before Father that will surprise Him. There is nothing you can say that will cause Him to fall off His throne in shock. Not only that, He can sympathise with our weaknesses because He was tempted in all areas like we are. (Hebrews 4:15). He knows you intimately, and He still loves you unconditionally.
That is so freeing, because it means that no matter what secrets we have, we can share them with Him, knowing that He isn’t shocked, surprised, or even disappointed. He wants to us to share everything with Him.
Go to Him in faith. The very think you don’t know how to put in words, He already knows. Just go before Him and be open and honest and let Him lead you. You’ll be glad you did.
“I declare that there is nothing that God doesn’t know. Even death and destruction hold no secrets from Him. He even knows the secrets of my heart and I know can trust Him with them all…”