“Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” — John 7:38
Pursuing the Big One!, by Randall D. Kittle

… you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.  I will be found by you, says the Lord.” — Jeremiah 29:13-14

A few of years ago, my brother-in-law Mark suddenly became quite a celebrity.  He was on the front page of our local newspaper, on the evening news, and even on a number of internet news feeds — the type that provide interesting stories to Google, Yahoo, AOL, The Weather Channel, etc.  It was quite strange to sign in to check my email and see a picture of my wife’s brother smiling back at me.
What had Mark done to gain such renown?  He had simply caught a fish … well, the world’s largest muskie to be more precise.  Now, the picture of him holding this “monster-of-a-fish” seemed to be showing up everywhere.
Catching a fish might seem to be a simple thing (and it can be), but managing to hook and land a fish that’s about as long as you are tall and outweighs your grandchildren is no small feat.  The hunt for this giant muskie took Mark years — years of learning, years of devotion, years of pursuing.  Over the years, he
often had to spend substantial amounts of money to acquire bigger and better fishing gear.  Mark also would steal away whenever he could to go fishing.  Most of his vacations began to focus on fishing (or at least he’d find a way to do a little fishing while on the trip).
While that might sound like fun, Mark also spent hours watching fishing videos just hoping to glean a pointer or two.  Then there were the days he spent fishing when nothing was biting and he spent his time merely casting lures and trying to avoid sunburn.  I also remember seeing pictures of him heading out well before dawn wearing his winter ski-suit to try and stay warm while fishing on bitter cold lakes.  For Mark, fishing had changed from an interest to a passion — a passion bordering on obsession.
Passionate Pursuit
As great as it must have felt for Mark to catch that world record muskie — to see his prized catch in the paper, on the news, and splashed across the world on the internet — there is a much greater prize that
any of us can obtain … if we’re willing to pay the price.  It’s the prize that caused the apostle Paul to say:  “Whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ … I want to know Christ — yes, to know the power of His resurrection and participation in His sufferings. … I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me” (Philippians 3:7-12).
If you and I would pursue the presence of God like Mark pursues fishing, we would all have more of His presence.  Every day, as we walk through our ordinary duties, are we moving toward “the big one” —
“the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us” (Philippians 3:14)?  For the sake of laying hold of more of Jesus, are we willing to make Him what we fill our minds with and fix our hopes upon?  Are you and I willing to pursue the presence of God above everything else?
Each of us should aim for the prize of the Lord’s presence, with the knowledge that the Lord is blessed just knowing we have chosen to pursue Him.  And no matter what set backs we face or how long it may take, remember the Word of God promises
“… you will seek the Lord your God, and you will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul” (Deuteronomy 4:29).

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