So then we pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another. — Romans 14:19 NASB
The word “pursue” in the verse above is the Greek word “dioko” and it’s a very aggressive word. In the Bible, it’s most often translated as “persecute”. For example, Jesus says:
“Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” — Matthew 5:10 NASB
Picture a hunter focused on chasing down and catching his prize. Dioko involves great intensity and intent. A Biblical example is the man who wrote the book of Romans, Paul. Before his encounter with Jesus, he aggressively and zealously pursued catching, torturing, and killing Christians. After meeting Jesus, Paul aggressively and zealously pursued spreading the Good News and building the Kingdom, the spiritual family of Father God. In both cases, Paul completely threw himself (body, heart, and soul) into chasing after these things with every intention of apprehending them. He says in his letter to the church in Philippi:
Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. — Philippians 3:13-14 NASB
I press on!
I aggressively chase down until I apprehend the prize!
Jesus said, “From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and violent men take it by force” (Matthew 11:12 NASB). The words violent and violence come from the same root word “bia” and it means forceful. This word is also used to describe the pounding of waves that destroy a ship.
If anyone ever told you that being a Christian is for the weak, they’ve never read the Bible and they don’t understand faith. Though we are called to live in meekness and humility, our faith is aggressive, forceful, and intent on apprehending. Our drive is persistent, resolute, and relentless.
So then we aggressively chase down and apprehend the things which make for peace and the building up of one another. — Romans 14:19 [Matt’s Elaboration]
We are suppose to aggressively chase down and apprehend things that bring wholeness and edification to the church, our spiritual family members.
R + H = P
This is my prayer for each and every member of Wellspring: “May Father God meet with you today and give you a revelation (R) accompanied by hunger (H) that sets you on full sprint pursuit (P) of things that bring wholeness and edification.”
We have to know our target and it’s value, its immense desirability. It’s the desire that sparks the hunger which drives the pursuit. How much we value something is revealed by the intensity of our pursuit.
Have you ever hungered for something? If you’ve ever been addicted to something, you know what it’s like to have an insatiable hunger. The more your hunger grows, the more intense and focused your pursuit. Eventually a person who is addicted to drugs will steal from his own mother in order to apprehend a fix. That’s the dark side of hunger, chasing after things that will never satisfy and will ultimately lead you to a lonely death. But here we’re talking about a good hunger because it’s for things that bring wholeness and growth. We need the Holy Spirit to reveal to us and ignite a hunger in us for the things that bring wholeness and edification to the church, so that we’ll have the drive to chase down and apprehend these things.
What’s an example of something good or bad that you’ve aggressively pursued in life?
List things that bring wholeness to your church.
List things that bring division.
List ways you can build up those in your spiritual family.
Pray that the Holy Spirit would give you a revelation (R) accompanied by hunger (H) that sets you on full sprint pursuit (P) of things that bring wholeness and edification.
May God fill you completely with joy and peace!