We all have it at times; that desire to do something we want to do, what our “heart” is telling us to do. Yet we know that it is not the right, rather Godly, desire to have. The chase itself is not a bad or good thing. It’s the what and who you are chasing after (or following) that ultimately decides if something is bad or good, worthwhile or fruitless. Taking a lesson from the spies Moses sends out in Numbers 13, we learn three things about the chase and how it impacts our lives.
The first lesson we learn deals with chasing feelings. Chasing feelings leaves us exhausted and fearful of our surroundings. In contrast, chasing or pursuing the spirit satisfies the soul as we dine at the table of our enemies. For example, the 10 spies saw a land that was extremely fruitful, but they did not have the stomach to fight for what God was giving them. Up to this point, God has literally been providing the Israelites with food, water and clothing. Instead of chasing after what God had promised, they decided to follow their heart’s desire in not having to work for what was promised. Caleb and Joshua, on the other hand, had the faith to take what God had promised. They were chasing after God; having faith that He would do what he said he would do. Caleb and Joshua did not let their feelings (seeing giants and fortified cities) get in the way of their pursuit of God’s plans. In the same way, we cannot let our fears get in the way of following what God has for us. Do not let the enemy deprive you of dining at the Lord’s table because of what or who you are chasing.
The second lesson we learn is the chasing feelings relies on our own wisdom, while pursing the spirit relies on the wisdom of God. Based entirely on how they felt about the situation, the 10 spies allowed their earthly wisdom to impact their actions. After all, if they were to take the land God had promised, they would have to fight giants and fortified cities. They must have thought they were not capable of much. Instead they should have been chasing God’s desires for them! Psalms 119:133-134 tells us that we should desire God to direct our feet and that we should follow His word for our lives. You need to get yourself out of the way. Often, you are the biggest hinderance in your pursuit of the Spirit of God. The spies should have sought out God’s wisdom and not relied on their own. In the same way, we need God to be our source of wisdom, strength and hope to guide us every day.
The final lesson we learn about the chase is that it often glories your true agenda. The truth is that when you chase your own agenda and not God’s, it often leads towards rebellion. John 17:18 says that we are to “Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth.” In today’s world where people are supposed to live their own truth, they forget where truth comes from. God does not want you to follow your truth, but His. God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow (Hebrew 13:8). Know His word and stand on His truth and it will help you chase God’s plan. God does not lead people astray. He may not lead you where you thought or wanted, but he is a God who keeps his promises.
We are faced with this eternal question in our lives: will you chase after the spirit of God or will you chase feelings and be left unfulfilled…
To view the service & listen to the full sermon by Pastor Ric on 7/19/20 click here: The Chase