My soul followeth hard after Thee: Thy right hand upholdeth me (Psalm 63:8). “Mary had a little lamb, whose fleece was white as snow.… And everywhere that Mary went, the lamb was sure to go.” That is, until the Lamb said, “I must be about my Father’s business.” Now Mary must follow the Lamb. “These are they which follow the Lamb” (Rev. 14:4). Our passion must be following Him. I join with the psalmist: “My soul followeth hard after Thee, O God.” I confess, I am a God chaser.
Jesus was the “little” Lamb in Joseph and Mary’s household, walking around their house, perhaps clothed or naked. When he was a toddler, he was cheerful dashing across the living room looking out for his mother in the passageway, bedroom and kitchen, and perhaps asking, “Mummy, what are we going to eat tonight”. The mother must have smiled broadly and sometimes in her heart dancing and praising God that she had such an adorable cute little baby. He was an obedient child, obeying the instructions of his earthly parents. He hung around His mother, tender and sweet. He must have been a little baby to behold, full of wisdom, love, grace and truth. He was not a little rascal. The mother must have pondered over and over again from the time the Angel visited her, through the pregnancy and through the childhood of Christ, how special they were to have a man-God with them. They probably thought, “Would this child ever make a mistake”.
However, they remained a strongly godly family and were very prayerful. They knew they had somebody special in their midst as their child and God’s presence and angels were around twenty-four-seven to protect them. So from the moment of conception to His death on the cross, Mary was bound by her calling and endearment of motherhood to follow her Son all His lifetime on earth. They, by the presence of Christ, must have lived near perfect lives and followed the leading of the Spirit to preserve the child in their own parental capacity. It is clear they did not make a mistake in their parental duties to the child up to the time they escaped to Egypt to save the life of the child from Herod, and they probably guided the child appropriately in all his youth, if 30 years is used as a yardstick to measure the cut-off for the age of youth according to Jewish custom when the bright ones are said to have memorized all the verses of the Torah and can recant them from the mind without missing a word.
Here are two scriptures that give us a glimpse of the childhood of Immanuel, Jesus, the Lamb of God, one of which was a prophecy, rendered figuratively by Prophet Isaiah to an unbelieving king of Judah amidst warring unbelieving neighbours.
Isaiah 7:14-16 Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Listen carefully, the virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and she will call his name Immanuel (God with us). He will eat curds and honey when he knows enough to refuse evil and choose good. For before the child will know enough to refuse evil and choose good ……
The Lord knows how the minds of infants work and I do believe the mind of Christ was the very best without sin in childhood and all through adulthood. Before the child knew enough to refuse evil and choose good; it appears there were constant attempts to pollute the mind of the infant by satan, but He being the wisdom of God repelled satan with the word hidden in His heart and mind at conception. Remember, the Holy Ghost shielded the Holy Child in Mary’s womb. The life in the word continued to sustain Him throughout His life including His temptation in the wilderness at 30. He first showed His gifting when He turned 12 and Mary was a heartbeat away when He over-exposed Himself as a responsible mother would do.
The second Scripture is Luke 2:41-52 …… Jesus kept increasing in wisdom and in stature, and in favor with God and men.
So we can say to the credit of Mary, that she, sustained by grace and the power of the Holy Ghost, played an important part in His infancy, childhood, and adolescence until the Master Himself took charge of His calling and destiny.
The part Joseph played was that he probably guided Jesus as an earthly father would do a son and taught Him the skills of carpentry, so Jesus likely made the best furniture ever made. We have little information from scriptures to go on more with this line of reasoning. Mary and Joseph were definitely God chasers. I wonder if this was a hotly contested topic in the days of the church fathers, about the role of Mary and Joseph, and whether they concluded Mary’s role was unquestionably important, beatifying her with sainthood and the status she enjoys in the Catholic Church today.
I want to be a God chaser like Mary and Joseph were. God chasers are those who chase after God and never let Him out of their sight. God chasers know the benefit of dwelling in His presence. They are ready to begin again and again, because they are never satisfied with a little revelation of Himself to their hearts. God chasers want the whole Person of God – they want Christ in all His fullness and glory, and the anointing and power of the Holy Spirit daily. They love the word and keep His commandments.
God chasers know Christ, the Lamb of God. They know His grace and Truth. They are willing to follow Him wherever He goes. They are willing to partake of His fellowship and sufferings. God chasers know a lamb is eventually destined for sacrifice; and that the Lamb of God satisfied all the requirements of Almighty God, shedding His blood for the propitiation for our sins. God chasers follow the Lamb to the altar of sacrifice, are not afraid to identify with Him and wouldn’t deny Him to save their lives. God chasers are consumed by the zeal of the house of the Lord. Those who love the Lamb, and are shepherds are willing to feed the sheep under their care. God chasers have their bellies full and overflowing with the Living water. God chasers are hungry and thirsty for righteousness, are pure in heart and want to see God. They are broken and poor in spirit. They want to inherit the kingdom of God. They want revival and the want it to begin with them. They have laid all their all at the altar of sacrifice. They have their priorities right. That is the type of person I want to be.
Help me to follow hard after you, oh Lord. Strengthen me so I would not be wearied. Keep me from all wolves and those who want to distract me from the Lamb as I follow you. Keep my focus on the price and the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Teach me to focus on things in heaven not the things on the earth. Lord, grant me the grace to be a God chaser strengthened in my inner man to follow you daily as I carry my cross. Lord, satisfy me early with your mercies. Lord, give me the grace to follow you patiently, holding your hands and loving you all the way. I confess, I am a God chaser. Amen!