In Jack Hoagland’s prayer yesterday morning, he said something that struck me! While I will not be able to quote it verbatim, in essence he said, “Please help us to pursue the world, not that we would be like it but that we would make it like Jesus.” What a beautiful, biblical thought. How many times have we preached and taught that we should not pursue the world. In one sense, that is definitely true. Some pant and long for the world. They pursue its ways, its praise, and its gaze. Thus, it is wrong to pursue the world in order to be like it. But, at least as far back as Jonah, we find God commanding His servants to pursue the world to bring the world back to Him.
We need a revival of Christians pursuing the world in order to make it like Jesus! We need to create and foster relationships with non-Christian co-workers, neighbors, and friends, with whom we can share Jesus! That was what the early church did. Even when scattered from their homes, they “went about preaching the word” (Acts 8:4). They even managed to “turn the world upside down” with their teaching (Acts 17:6, NKJ). Their pursuit led to the gospel being preached to every creature under heaven (Col. 1:23).
A couple of weeks ago, CHP officer Roman Gardia was sitting at his desk in East Los Angeles when he heard about a speeding motorcyclist who refused to pull over for police. The pursuit went several miles, through multiple jurisdictions. When he heard that the speeder was coming into his area, Gardia jumped on his motorcycle and went out onto the highway. He slowed traffic, waiting for the suspect to approach. The suspect wove into the right lanes and Garcia positioned himself on the shoulder with his own motorcycle in the bike’s path. The suspect had to stop and get off the bike, and Gardia jumped off his own bike and tackled the suspect. Dramatically and even heroically, Gardia pursued his man in the name of the law.
We are not police officers, trying to coerce or strong-arm people into following Jesus. Yet, should we not imitate the spirit of this man, going after the lost with the same energy and determination? May our daily prayer indeed be, “Please help us pursue the world!”