“And when he has got it again, he takes it in his arms with joy” (Luke 15:5, BBE).
Jesus came to earth with one passion on His heart: to seek and save what was lost. After utterly emptying Himself to this end, He ascended into heaven. His change of location did not at all mean a change in the one fervent pursuit of His heart. Rather, He was merely moving into the next phase of His unfolding plans: He promptly poured out His own Spirit on His disciples, in order to proceed with the same seeking, saving mission. He would now carry it out through them.
This passionate activity of His has never slowed down. It has only accelerated through the centuries, spreading like a wildfire all over the planet. Its all-consuming flames came to include the very interaction where you first heard of His love. Who was it that shared Him with you? Whoever that individual was, Jesus sent him or her. That person was merely His vessel. Jesus Himself was seeking you that day.
Today, He is still seeking you. The more He gets of you, the more He wants. The more He tastes the sweetness of fellowship with your spirit, the more He yearns to go deeper with you.
This is why He earnestly expressed to the Samaritan woman, “A time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks” (John 4:23, NIV, bold emphasis mine). God is craving intimacy with us. He is fervently seeking worshipers who will come into His chambers and lavish their love on Him.
As we meditate on God’s pursuit of us, let’s look closely once more at Jesus’ story of the lost sheep in Luke 15. I’m struck all over again by His description of the Shepherd leaving the ninety-nine behind.
Holy Spirit really likes this particular number, just shy of a hundred. Last year, He highlighted it to the entire world when Billy Graham graduated to Heaven at age ninety-nine. As soon as I heard the news of his passing, the Lord brought this famous parable to mind. I am convinced that Reverend Graham’s parting was a prophetic marker emphatically highlighting this portion of Scripture. Daddy jealously longs for us to hear His heart on this.
In reality, He doesn’t need to leave anyone behind to seek out a particular soul that has wandered off. He is infinite. He can give all “ninety-nine” His full attention, individually, all at once. Except, expand the numbers by seven billion plus. That’s how immeasurable His love capacity is. He doesn’t have to neglect anyone at all, and He most certainly doesn’t. Ever. What, then, does this detail of the story mean?
Jesus put it in there as a symbolic representation of how unspeakably important you are to Him. He fixates His attention on pursuing you in a way so personal, so focused, so intent, that it’s as if no one else existed. It’s as if you were the only one. Unceasingly for all of eternity, He is entirely absorbed with you. He is seeking… you.
And when He finds you, when He encounters you, when you respond to Him with your love and with your worship… just think about what it does to His heart! “And when he has got [you] again, he takes [you] in his arms with joy” (Luke 15:5, BBE). When He finds what He is seeking (that’s you!), His heart bubbles over in uncontainable, blissful merriment. You bring Him great, great happiness.
You are what He wants! He is seeking you! Be found of Him, dear one. Then sink into His arms and revel in His delight as He holds you close today!
Throughout your life’s journey, have you been more aware of your pursuit of God, or His pursuit of you?