According to Matthew Henry following hard speaks of “a very earnest desire and a serious vigorous endeavor to keep up communion with God”.
How frequently do our involvements, even good ones, take us away from communion with Him? I know I am guilty. There have been times that my earnest desire to be with Him alone is derailed by getting caught up in checking messages, or Facebook, or my to-do list. I’ve been guilty of ‘worshiping’ problems, or fixating on a loved one’s situation, or committing to another ministry opportunity, or obsessing on what is going on in the news from around the world and along the way I lose my focus on Him and I realize I have gone my own way and am not following hard after Him.
Following hard is a calling.
Following hard is a way of life.
Following hard is a daily commitment.
My desire is to follow Him wholeheartedly, unreservedly, with determination.
I want to be filled and saturated by Him.
I want to worship Him with my whole being.
I want to follow hard after Him.
When I run I notice my surroundings. All around me is life. The trees, birds, people, animals, and plants, that I pass all cause me to think about life. Specifically life in Him. Life because of Him. In the evenings as the sun is setting the splendor of Him Who sits on the throne overwhelms me. God’s paintbrush coats the sky with brilliant orange-gold fire that causes me to breathe deep with wonder. And all I can do in response is give Him praise. Praise helps me to follow Him. Praise helps me to keep my eyes on Him and off of my self or my situation.
Matthew Henry also says “those that follow hard after God would soon fail and faint if God’s right hand did not uphold them.” As the year winds down and Christmas approaches let us look to the divine power of God to hold us up and strengthen us as we determine to cling ever more closely and follow more passionately… indeed following hard, after Him.