Trish and I have two beautiful Appaloosa horses. Rocky and Domino are intelligent, strong, and almost trained. It is not a good idea for people with little knowledge of horse training to take on training an untrained horse, much less two. We intended to work with them some when they were young, but to have them professionally trained. There have been so many things that have competed for our time and money, that so far, we have been the ones training them. We have had some help from friends. But their training has been far from consistent. Not long term anyhow. We would stay with it for months at a time. Then something would happen. Once, Domino got a cut on his leg running through the pasture at night – apparently from a tree limb that broke off during a thunderstorm that night. Another time Rocky was limping, apparently from a stone bruise. Then there was my bout with cancer. Winter always throws us off pace. It could be argued that if we were serious about it we would either find a way to be consistent, or we would find a way to hire a professional trainer.
But then, that’s true of about everything in life, isn’t it? We give time and attention to the things we really believe in, the things we consider truly important? Sometimes there are setbacks and delays, but we make it happen? We keep after it until we attain the goal?
This is totally from my heart. I need it. I hope it speaks to all who read it. It’s written to anyone with a heart to receive, including myself, my wife, my children and their spouses, my grandchildren. I honestly doubt most of them will even read this. As I write it, I am praying, and pleading.
God loves you. He loves you dearly, deeply, passionately. He longs for you to love Him with the same fervor. He is contending for the affection of His people. That’s you and me. Don’t you see?
Yeah, I know. You love God. So do I. But let’s be honest. When it comes to how we live out our lives, day by day, moment by moment, there are a lot of things we give our love to. There are a lot of things we “cherish” or value more than we do Him. We say we love Him with our lips. The way we live our lives, the things we do, the things we focus on, tell a different story.
And why not? Those things are tangible. We can see them with our eyes, hear them, taste them, smell them, touch them. Entertainment. Books. Food and drink. Jobs. Money. Education. Girl friends, boy friends, spouses, children…. They are all so . . . here. They bring us meaning and pleasure (usually). Even when they do not please us, they are at least a real world experience.
Paul spoke of “the surpassing value of knowing Him.” What we value, we spend time with. We treat it with respect and tenderness. What we value, we say nice things about (praise). What is worthy of being valued by you? What is more worthy of being valued by you than He is? All things are eclipsed by the surpassing value of God.
“Without faith it is impossible to please God, for he that comes to God must faith that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.” First, believe (faith) that He is. That He exists. Then, believe that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him. What greater reward is there for seeking than finding. He wants to be sought. He is willing to be found. He will make Him self known to the seeker. Seek Him and He will reward that effort.
We are talking about a God who has a song that He likes to sing about you. (see Zephaniah 3:17). He created you for fellowship with Himself. He desires that everything about your life be to the praise of the glory of His grace. He wants you to enjoy Him.
God is not trying to make you miserable and take all the pleasure out of your life. He is simply trying to help you realize that you are settling for some really meager pleasures offered by the world. He is offering you Himself. He is offering you the greatest pleasure and joy that can possibly be experienced. “In Your presence is fullness of joy. At Your right hand there are pleasures forevermore.”