Maybe you’ve never asked the question out loud, but you’ve wondered. You do the things that look good on paper: read your Bible, pray, attend study groups and go to church on Sundays.
But you aren’t convinced you really know Him.
Angie Smith understands, because she had run circles around the same paths searching for Him, frustrated at her lack of progress. And she probably would have continued to do so had it not been for one realization that changed everything.
She wasn’t following God; she was trying to catch up with Him.
And without realizing it, you may be as well.
It’s a distinction that affects every aspect of our lives with Christ, and it begins with learning where we’ve relied more on man’s explanation of God than God Himself.
So many requirements, so many rules, and so much guilt where there is supposed to be freedom. It’s the reason you wonder if you’ve measured up, and the nagging voice that tells you you’re a failure as a Christian.
Three simple words changed everything for Angie, and she believes they can do the same for you.
Stop chasing God.
About Angie Smith, author of Chasing God
Readers and audiences are drawn to Angie’s candid stories of her life, insight into Scripture, and passion for God. Popular author, speaker, and blogger, Angie is the proud wife of Todd Smith (lead singer of Dove Award-winning group Selah), and mommy to Abby, Ellie, Kate, Charlotte, and Audrey Caroline, who passed away the day she was born, April 7th, 2008. Angie was inspired to write Audrey’s story, and began a blog in honor of her daughter, which led to Angie’s book I Will Carry You. Angie is also the author of several other books and co-writer of the song “I Will Carry You” (found on Selah’s CD You Deliver Me). Angie, Todd, and their daughters live in Tennessee.
Excerpt from Chasing God by Angie Smith
One can hardly deny the appeal of a good chase.
It’s beautiful in concept: we seek after that which eludes us, longing for something just out of reach. Anticipation builds as our hearts beat faster, wondering if we are about to turn the final corner and catch the object of our affection.
Our minds are wild with possibility and we’re intoxicated by the sense of adventure. Before we know it, we’ve forgotten the objective because we’re caught up in the thrill of wondering. Either that, or we simply give up and forego the chase altogether because we’re exhausted and discouraged.
It can only end in one of two ways: either we catch up or we give up. And despite the outcome, it’s safe to say that our running was based on the presumption that we want something more than it wants us.
For most of my Christian life, I have been chasing God.
I have piled up commentaries, memorized scholar’s words, and watched how others walk with Him, all the while keeping journals of the bread crumbs I think He’s leaving for me as I go.
I’ve stacked up the “required” pile with false obligations and bloated assumptions, and I’ve scorned the mystery with my desperate need for control.
I know I’m not alone.
We try to fill in the gray instead of living in the black and white. We shape theology to suit our taste, our times, our situations, and our desires. It’s the mess we’ve made by desiring to understand Him more than we want to know Him, and we’re growing more exhausted than inspired every day.
The goal of my book, Chasing God, is not to present you with a formula for living out Christianity. It’s to offer my thoughts on the difference between looking for Him and looking at Him.
And maybe you, like me, have been spending your time going after the wrong objectives (without realizing it) and it’s left you weary of the whole process. What was meant to be a gift has become an obligation, a source of guilt, or a way to fight fear. I assure you, I have been there. And it took quite a bit of time on my knees before I realized I was needlessly exhausted and unsure of my role as a follower of Christ.
Don’t misunderstand me; we are not called to be passive in our journey with Christ. In fact, being a disciple of Christ necessitates that we press forward until we can hardly believe we can do it anymore. The problem comes when we use our energy in ways He never asked us to because we’re more concerned with our own feeble sketches of God than we are with God Himself.
We rely on our standards, our rules, our opinions, our agendas, and our measurements of holiness instead of His. And as the books pile one on top of another, so do the questions.
It’s the difference between following and chasing.
Excerpt from Chasing God ©2013 Angie Smith (B&H Books) Used by permission.