The opening ceremony of the Rio Olympics had a unique beat and sound. Though late in the evening, the drums and percussion were reinvigorating, encouraging me to get up, move my body, and dance! While the musicians played to spur athletes of each country into Olympic Stadium, they probably didn’t realize the pulsating effect they were having on viewers around the world.
Even Super Model Gisele Bundchen walked the runway in step with the music like a Pro. In this case, her runway walk was anything but easy, especially given the length of the runway. As someone who has trained professional models, I know what it takes to make that walk look graceful and effortless, even when the only light is the spotlight in front of you. Presentation is everything, and she represented her home country of Brazil with boldness and confidence.
I believe life is our runway, and we are called to walk in the Light of Christ, in step and rhythm with Our Father in Heaven. We should be walking in true faith, and our walk should be modeled after Jesus Christ the “Real Supermodel!” He walked the walk, and talked the talk, and we are His ambassadors from his kingdom, sharing His love with all countries in the world. We should each be training like Olympic athletes, passionately, purposefully, for Christ. We should be chasing hard after God, settling for nothing less than gold!
Thirty years ago, when I made the decision to follow Jesus, I was surrounded by people who were running, chasing as hard as they could after God. They were strong people of faith, not perfect, but people drawing closer to God every day. They hungered for one more morsel of His word, one more moment in His Holy Presence. As I watched them chase after God, their pace was fast, but they brought me along, training me up for my own race. While they seemed like Olympian God Chasers, they were ordinary people who chose not to be ordinary, or like the world. Their language was gentle and loving, and they embraced the hurting, the weak, the wounded, and the sinners. There was no judgment, no condemnation, just encouragement and constant revelation of God, and how much He loves us.
My craving to chase hard after God grew as I studied His Word and practiced a disciplined prayer life each morning. As my faith grew, and blossomed, I found myself believing and trusting God for everything. It was wonderful, running faster after God than I ever imagined.
It was during this time, when I was a single mom with four children, and holding down four part time jobs, God allowed me to catch up with Him. Times were tough; sometimes we didn’t have money, sometimes we didn’t have a car. Life’s circumstances had tripped us up and we had to start over. Believing God’s Word is the absolute truth was frightening and exciting at the same time. As I put my faith training to the test, trusting, believing, and obeying His Word, our needs were met. We experienced signs, wonders, and miracles, on a daily basis, in our home.
Consider how the Olympians pursue their goal of chasing the medals. They do not suddenly decide two weeks from the Olympics to participate. They must sacrifice and train for years, while defeating all other athletes in their classification or sport. Chasing after God is not a once a week pursuit! And unlike athletes, God chasers do not retire, the chase is too sweet, and finishing the race too important.
You know the God chasers in the Bible. David said, “My soul followeth hard after thee.” Then there is Job, “Oh that I knew where I might find Him!” Now, that’s chasing after God. No Sunday go to meeting and Monday go off the deep end. True living faith; faith lived out in everyday life. These were the kind of people whose pursuit of God was not perfect at times and even sometimes criticized by others. But they loved God and they were passionate in their search for Him. Paul spoke his heart in Philippians 3:12 “I chase after that I may catch that which apprehended me.”
God chasers are God pleasers. They are not afraid to step out and be uncomfortable or foolishly take a singular stance for the sake of Christ; Foolish by society’s standards, not God’s standards. God chasers have tasted the goodness of God and now they will settle for nothing less than His presence. Most importantly, they want to train others to chase after His goodness!
Those God chasers who trained me in the early days are still chasing after God. I think of them when I take a new step of faith. Some have finished their earthly race and live in heaven, while the rest chase hard after God’s will for their life. For me, I am drawn to people and ministries that run hard after God.
Last Monday evening we sat down to watch some of the Olympic competition. David Boubia and Steele Johnson were divers representing the USA in synchronized diving. The key to this competition is for the divers to synchronize their movements as closely as possible to each other. The two who most closely synchronize their dives are rewarded with the gold medal. Boubia won a gold medal in the 2012 Olympics and Johnson is a newcomer, and trying to learn as much as possible from Boubia, mimicking many positive aspects from his mentor. These two became as close as brothers and were rewarded with the silver medal. In their victory, both men placed diving a distant second to their real identity in Jesus Christ.
What are you chasing? Have you ever tasted His goodness or had a glimpse of God?
Theresa Rowe is the Founder of Shaped by Faith, Author of Guideposts’ Shaped by Faith, 10 Secrets to Strengthening Your Body and Soul, a Motivational Wellness Speaker, and Host of Shaped by Faith Radio.