Pursue God: Playing Tug-Of-War With God

Blog / Produced by The High Calling

I asked a classroom of women a question a few weeks ago and my words hung in the silent air. I knew I’d stumbled onto something.

I had scribbled a line on a page with a single spot in the middle. With my black marker I threw down the words “You” and “God” on either side of the line. This was only meant to be a filler during my 30-minute talk about Knowing God.

I was coming to the end of my talk, so I pulled out the half-wrinkled page. With a round-about way I explained an idea about the spot and how close we “feel” to God. Then I asked them,

“How many of you, if I asked you how close you are to God, would move the spot to sit right under His Name?”

These women are active in the church, one in full-time ministry. No one raised their hand. No one.

No one had the confidence internally to say (or believe?) they were that close to God. Or that God was that close to them.

Why do I feel distant?

And though I couldn’t fully process it then, I’ve thought about that moment and it’s telling of unspoken truth. — I’m not the only one playing Tug-Of-War with God.

I’ve been “pursuing” God for twenty-one years, and still today I often find my mind on the wrestling mat with Jacob. Because no matter how near I draw to Him, through prayer and study and action, sometimes I still truly doubt how He feels and thinks about me. I know I shouldn’t. I know what the Bible says. And I could encourage you all day with it. But just like we seem to pray more boldly for others than we do for ourselves – we also seem to believe less for ourselves.

If we pull hard enough on that rope, and live just right, will God cross center and come near? How long do we think we need to seek Him and pursue Him before we finally find Him?

I’ve had beautiful moments with God. His Spirit has warmed my heart so much I thought it might burst. I’ve seen answered prayer and gotten the goosies from that verse that seemed to pop up on just the right day. I’ve had a personal healing. So why do I, like so many believers, still imagine quite a chasm between He and I?

There is no rope

Is it possible we are most unsure of what we will do when we really find Him? Like a man unwilling to settle down, is it the chase that keeps us safe from being vulnerable?

Are we afraid of pulling our ropes too hard because of His holiness or our unworthiness?

My faith came to me quite easily at the age of fourteen. I fell hard in love with Christ and His Word, and I practically ran into church every time the doors were open. So when I entered my season of doubt three years ago, I had to redefine what it meant to seek God.

Here is what I’m discovering: God doesn’t play games. There is no rope. And asking questions is actually the key to growth, as long as we are asking the right ones. So the question is: Are we basing His abounding grace and His willingness to be found by who we are or by who He is?

Because if we can take one truth to the bank, it’s this: He is faithful.

“…he will be found by you.” 1 Ch 28:9


Pursue God

What does it mean to pursue God in all aspects of life? How do we live in such a way that every area of our lives and every facet of ourselves is available to the pursuit of God? Are we living fragmented, viewing parts of our lives as sacred and other parts as secular? What would happen if we let the different parts of our lives exist together in an integrated life, pursuing God in every aspect of who we are at work, at home, and at church? offers a few definitions of the word pursue, one of which includes the idea of following in order to overtake or capture, but who can capture God? Instead, let's consider an alternate definition that lifts up the idea of following close upon or going with. In the series, Pursue God, we'll consider how to go with God in every aspect of our lives—inviting him to integrate each part of our lives and to be Lord over all.

Post featured by David Rupert. Photo by Bill Vriesema. Design by Jennifer Dukes Lee.