Day 12 // Pursuit

“… the wise men went their way. And the star they had seen in the east guided them to Bethlehem. It went ahead of them and stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were filled with joy!” Matthew 2:9-10 (NLT)

What are you pursuing in life? I remember asking my dad one time what he wanted for Christmas. He smiled and said, “Peace of mind.” I figured raising my two older brothers drove him to that request. What about you? What do you want most? Some may say love; others happiness; maybe wealth. What you pursue says something about you. It shows what you value, what drives you. Now is a good time in our Advent adventure to ask the question, “Is what you are pursuing worth it?” I mean, if you got it, would it really satisfy? Most things in life I’ve ever pursued and achieved didn’t really deliver what I thought they would. It left me feeling a bit hollow and disillusioned until I picked up another pursuit. Surely, that will satisfy. As I have grown older, I’ve noticed how marketing over promises and under delivers most of the time.

The wise men in our Advent passage were in pursuit of the newborn King of the Jews. They had been traveling by caravan from far-off eastern lands following a star. It was their GPS – “God’s Positioning Star.” My question is this: How in the world did they associate a star with a King, and how did they identify it with Israel? Their pursuit tells us something about them. These wise men were astrologers who may have been familiar with an obscure passage in Numbers 24:17, where people in the East had a prophecy given by Balaam concerning the nation of Israel and a coming king. He said, “I see him, but not here and now. I perceive him, but far in the distant future. A star will rise from Jacob; a scepter will emerge from Israel ….” The prophecy says a Star will rise from Jacob. Jacob refers to the nation of Israel. And a scepter will emerge from Israel. A scepter is a symbol of royal authority, the emblem of a monarch’s rule. The star and the scepter go together. If the wise men of the East had that prophecy, they would be looking for the star that would lead them to the king. The Bible says, “When they saw the star, they were filled with joy!”

Their pursuit led them to Christ. When they saw Him, they bowed down and worshiped Him. If you were to ask them, was the journey worth it? Absolutely! Their search ended, fulfilling every expectation and more! Imagine the stories they would share with their loved ones and friends upon their return home. What an adventure Advent was for these wise men! The same can be true for you. If you’ve examined the things you are in pursuit of only to discover they really can’t deliver what they promise, maybe it’s time to learn from the wise men and make Christ your highest pursuit. Jeremiah 29:13 says, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”

“How foolish I’ve been to pursue the things that cannot satisfy. Set my heart on You, O God. Only You can give me that abundant life Christ promised; love, joy and peace in the Holy Spirit. All of this and heaven, too, is mine in Christ! Halleluiah — what a Savior!”

What is your highest pursuit in life?

What are you sacrificing to achieve it?