From the desk of Steve Shultz:
Victoria Boyson is a prolific writer and I always look forward to reading her articles. She just released her brand new book Passionate Pursuit which you can order just below. After reading her book excerpt from her article, it made me want to read much more of the story.... and I'm sure you will too!
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Passionate Pursuit: Desperation Draws Him
I love to read books, I love to buy books, and I even love to smell books. I believe strongly that when I buy a book, it should have something to give me – it should in some way empower or teach me. When it doesn't, I feel taken.
So, when I write, it is with this thought in mind: that you are the person I am writing to and what I say to you must have the power to transform your life through God's anointing.
Today's article comes directly out of my newest book, His Passionate Pursuit: God's Passion To Captivate Your Heart. Below is chapter one.
The vision in this chapter is what God gave me to begin the journey that was to be His Passionate Pursuit the book.
God bless you,
In a vision, I was with God in the Spirit as we flew over the surface of the earth. He held me as we traveled at tremendous speed, causing everything on the earth's surface to appear as if it were one massive blur.
As we traveled together, I felt the passion in the Lord's heart. He was utterly determined to find someone who was yearning for Him – one whose heart was reaching out to find Him.
After some time of flying at this speed, we slowed down and focused in on one lone woman who was on her knees crying out to God in desperate prayer. I watched the Lord as He stood in front of the precious woman and gazed down at her, but she didn't seem to know He was there. As she prayed, the Lord breathed in deeply to take in the aroma of her prayers. He closed His eyes and raised His head. His chest heaved as He breathed. His eyes brimmed with tears as He became enveloped in the sweet fragrance of her prayers.
As He drew in her prayers, radiant light began to burst forth from inside Him. The light seemed to be electrified, with waves of power surging through it. It burst out from Him and encircled both He and the woman in what seemed like a cocoon of magnificent light.
As I watched, I marveled at this remarkable moment. The Lord then spoke to me and said, "It was her desperation for Me that drew Me to her."
"They Want Me!"
Years ago, I took part in a church service where the passion of our worship was very high; you could feel the heightening of our longing for our Lord. Many people were crying out to God in desperate anticipation of Him.
"Come, Lord Jesus! You are welcome here!" they cried. As our worship increased, our longing for Him intensified.
I felt in my spirit that the Lord was truly moved by our desire for Him. He spoke to my heart like an emotional bridegroom, "Look, Victoria, they want Me!" Our longing for Him gripped His heart.
I burst into tears with my head in my hands, not because I was sad but because He was so happy. I was delighted for Him – delighted to see His heart made so full by the sincere and ardent worship of those He loved so much. It was as though we were at last beginning to desire Him even as He longs for us.
Our hearts were captivated by Him because we were suddenly made aware of our great need of Him and of the emptiness we had inside us without Him. We felt His desperation and His love for us. We knew that He wanted to be with us, and our response to Him was, "Come, Lord, come!"
God is passionately seeking those who are awakened to His heart and yearning for His presence. He watches for the moment when you turn to pursue Him, because He is pursuing you. As you turn to Him, His heart skips a beat as He watches you in breathless anticipation, hoping you come to Him. He's passionate for you to realize how much you desperately need Him.
Who Is It You Are Looking For?
Mary Magdalene was one who truly loved Jesus. To her, He was not just the Savior of the world, He was her friend. To this woman who had lived a difficult and rejected existence, He represented hope. He represented the only faithfulness and love she had ever known. Jesus was the only one who had treated her with care and respect. He made her feel she really mattered to Him. Instead of seeking what He could take from her, Jesus set her free from all bondage she had endured in her life, and then He poured His life into her. So she loved Him.
When Jesus was crucified and buried, it was Mary who woke before the sun to run to His tomb (see John 20:1). And with her heart crushed, it was she who stayed by His tomb crying when His body could not be found.
When the two angels stationed at the tomb asked her why she was crying, she replied, "They have taken my Lord away...and I don't know where they have put Him" (John 20:13).
The sight of the angels before her didn't stun her. Undeniably, her only thought was for her Lord. Can you imagine her pain? Her only Friend, the only One who truly loved her and gave her hope, was singled out and killed – she'd lost Him. She was desperately unhappy, and when Jesus appeared to her, she did not recognize Him. Overcome by emotion, she broke down and wept uncontrollably.
Jesus was overwhelmed by her heartfelt display, and He spoke to her.
"Woman...why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?" Thinking He was the gardener, she said, "Sir, if you have carried Him away, tell me where you have put Him, and I will get Him." John 20:14-15
She had seen Him, the One she loved, brutally tortured and killed. She had watched in a state of shock and despair as the unthinkable happened. In her bewilderment, she endured the countless questions in her mind as He suffered. Is this what He meant when He said something would happen to Him? Was this what He was talking about?
Through the agony of her mind, she wondered if it were all just a bad dream. He had helped so many. How could they possibly kill Him? She could not force her mind to think or let herself reason; all she knew was that the One she loved was dying. Then suddenly, He was gone.
Mary carried all her heartache with her to the tomb that Sunday morning. She rushed there the very moment it was permitted. When she arrived, she found more heartache still...His body was missing!
She wanted to hold Him and care for Him just as He had cared for her. Now even this she could not do – she could not even find His body. This was too much for her to take; she could no longer bear it. Under the weight of her grief, she broke down and wept.
In her broken desperation, she cried to the man she thought was the gardener. "Sir, where is He?"
Drawn by Her Passion
Jesus had yet to present Himself to His Father, but He felt Mary's cries of despair, so He went first to comfort her. To Mary, a simple soul who'd known very little but heartache in life, He would show Himself first. He had not seen His heavenly Father nor His own mother, yet His heart responded to the despondent cries of a woman whose heart was desperately longing for Him.
She did not recognize Him...so He asked her, "Who is it you are looking for?" (John 20:15).
He knew who she was looking for; He did not need to ask her. Her passionate grief for Him was what had drawn Him to her. Jesus simply wanted to hear her say it. He wanted to hear who it was she was searching for. He wanted to hear her say the words, "Sir, if you have carried Him away, tell me where you have put Him, and I will get Him" (verse 15).
How her words must have revived Him; He went from the arms of His accusers to the passionate pursuit of His friend. He could no longer hold back His compassion for her and He revealed Himself to her.
"Mary," He said.
"Rabboni!" she cried.
She had unsuccessfully searched for His lifeless body, but now she found Him whole. Suddenly, Mary was transformed from desperation and agony to exuberant joy! She had found the One whom her soul longed for.
In her passion, she lunged at Him, embracing Him. But Jesus grabbed her and said, "Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father" (John 20:17). But she couldn't help it. The dark night she had lived through had passed and a bright morning had come in its place.
"I Will Be Found By You"
The Lord is looking for those who are ardently seeking Him, whose hearts are longing for Him – those who love Him. He is desperately looking for those like Mary who are desperate for Him and who want to be with Him. When He finds one who is passionately seeking Him, someone who wants Him, He explodes with excitement. It is what He's dreamt of since the Garden of Eden, for He longs to walk with us as He walked with Adam and Eve.
"'You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart. I will be found by you,' declares the Lord" (Jeremiah 29:13-14). That is His promise to you.
Beloved, the One your heart longs for will come to you! Turn your eyes toward Him. He is desperate for you. You will see how truly amazing His love is for you and how much He desires to pour His life into you.
You have just read chapter one from Victoria Boyson's new book, His Passionate Pursuit.
Speaking Life Ministries
Victoria Boyson met Jesus at the age of seven. At 13, she started ministering using music as a platform to tell others about Jesus and sang as often as anyone wanted to hear. After high school, she received a music scholarship to attend Trinity Bible College in Ellendale, North Dakota where she met her husband, Steve Boyson. Shortly after their marriage in 1988, they started ministering together at various churches and functions, again using the platform of music. In 1992, they became youth pastors, and through the following years ministered in various churches. In 1999, the Lord told them to move to Cedar Rapids, Iowa to work for Francis Frangipane, who was extremely influential in their development as Christians and as ministers. Francis recognized Victoria's gift in writing and encouraged her pursuing its development. Steve and Victoria Boyson have four children: Cassandra, Cody, Cole and CailieEllen.