A common phrase in the military is, “Leave no man behind”. In fact, part of the Soldier’s Creed is, “I will never leave a fallen comrade.” This morning, I was listening to the song “So Will I” by Hillsong, and a couple lines in particular stood out to me today.
“You chased down my heart through all of my failure and pride.”
“You’re the one who never leaves the one behind.”
God will never leave us behind, if we are seeking him. I think it’s amazing that he doesn’t simply allow us to come to him. That alone is an overwhelming thought. Can you imagine the President of the United States just allowing anyone and everyone to just walk into his office anytime? Or the President of any major company? The Queen of England? Of course not! Even your neighbor probably doesn’t want you just walking in their house unannounced. But God, the Creator of the world, allows us to come to him anytime day or night without an appointment. He is never too busy to listen to us. He never hides from us.
But it gets better! He doesn’t simply allow us to come to him, but he actively pursues us. He chases us down and tries repeatedly to get our attention because he does not want any of his creation to be left behind or to spend eternity in Hell. Ultimately, He leaves the choice to us, because that is free will. He doesn’t force us to come to him, because force is not love. But he never, ever gives up pursuing us.
Just like we desire relationships with other people, God desires that relationship with each of us. He wants us to come to him, to talk to him, seek his help. He knows everything about you – everything you’ve ever done, everything that’s been done to you, and everything you will do. In spite of all that, he LOVES you more than any human being ever could, and he pursues you because he wants you to spend eternity with him. He doesn’t want anyone to perish, but he allows you to make the choice. Will you choose HIM? Choose to accept his love?
The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9
If you are a parent of multiple kids, have you ever had one wander off in a store or at the zoo? Didn’t you go looking for them, calling their name, trying to get their attention? When you found them, didn’t you rejoice? That’s how God feels about you! He is looking for you to come to him, and together with all the angels he will rejoice when you make the decision to turn to him.
“What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off. In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should perish. Matthew 18:12-14