I found this today and it is so good I had to share it. It is a quote from a message given by a man named A.B. Simpson, the founder of the Christian Missionary Alliance church who lived in the late 19th century and early 20th.
Here is what he had to say about our pursuit of Jesus.
"I prayed a long time to get sanctified, and sometimes I thought I had it. On one occasion I felt something, and I held on with a desperate grip for fear I should lose it, and kept awake the whole night fearing it would go, and, of course, it went with the next sensation and the next mood. Of course, I lost it because I did not hold on to Him. I had been taking a little water from the reservoir, when I might have all the time received from Him fullness through the open channels. I went to meetings and heard people speak of joy. I even thought I had the joy, but I did not keep it because I had not Himself as my joy. At last He said to me - Oh so tenderly - "My child, just take Me, and let Me be in you the constant supply of all this, Myself." And when at last I got my eyes off my sanctification, and my experience of it, and just placed them on the Christ in me, I found, instead of an experience, the Christ larger than the moment's need, the Christ that had all that I should ever need who was given to me at once, and forever! And when I thus saw Him, it was such rest; it was all right, and right for ever. For I had not only what I could hold that little hour, but also in Him, all that I should need the next and the next and so on, until sometimes I get a glimpse of what it will be a million years afterwards, when we shall "shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of our Father" (Matthew 13:43), and have "all the fullness of God."
How often do we pursue what Jesus can give us, rather than Jesus Himself? How often do we use Jesus as simply a means to make us happy, successful, content or feel loved or at peace rather than desiring to know Him, even if it meant going without any of them?
I get asked a lot why God doesn't answer a prayer the way we wanted Him to. And the honest answer is I don't know, because I am not God (don't say 'Hallelujah' too loud, neither are you). But I believe there are times (not always but sometimes) when He does not give us what we pray for because what we are truly asking for would only strengthen our selfishness.
James 4:3 puts it this way, "You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures."
What is your motive when you pray? Are you seeking what Jesus can do for you, or are you seeking Jesus Himself? For me, the honest answer is yes, I want both. But I am LEARNING (keyword) to be content to have Him even if it means that I have nothing else.
In Christ who is our Life,