The Heart of God
Matthew 18:12-14 If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray …So it is not the will of my Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.
There are those who believe that God does not care about the individual. They believe that God has an overall, master plan and that the only way to understand pain and personal tragedy is to accept that God just does not have it in him to worry about the one over the many.
Jesus here reveals that this is not the case. God not only cares about the one, but He goes to great lengths to bring the one back into right relationship with him. It is not God’s will that anyone go astray, but He allows it, and then He constantly works to bring that one back to himself.
I am, of course, the sheep, wandering, ignoring and getting lost. I go astray, which God allows, but He continually seeks for me to return to him. I think I grossly underestimate exactly how much God desires that I remain in constant communion with him.
Jesus himself, went up on the mountain by himself to pray (Matthew 14:29). Jesus, the son of God, who lived a perfect life, required time away from the masses, to connect with God. How much more effort should I be making to continually stay in proximity to the father?
The reality is, that God is everywhere and I cannot remove myself from his presence, but I can very much distance myself from him practically. I can deafen my ear to his voice and blind my eyes to his presence. I can diminish his spirit in me as I pursue self.
Jesus here reveals how much the father longs for me to return to him. God is not a beggar, panhandling for my attention, but the picture Jesus painted is certainly that of a shepherd, desperate for the return of his lost sheep. He is desperate for me. I should be desperate for him.
Instead, I expend my time and efforts in pursuit of self and world. Where does my mind naturally go when it is not occupied? Do I naturally pray, meditate and listen to God or is my mind filled with self? When I have free time, do I practice just sitting in God’s presence, or must I pick up some activity to entertain myself?
God longs for me to remain in right relationship with him. I long to be in right relationship with him. I just get distracted by so many things. I am learning though. As I spend more time with the father, my mind is starting to learn to wander towards him.
God longs for me to be in right relationship with him. He always does his part. I need to do mine and pursue him.