chasing after the heart of God

December 10, 2012

I was eighteen years old, I felt paralyzed in my relationship with God. I knew God was real, but my fancy prayers and daily devotionals were not cutting it. I was doing everything right, but it felt all wrong. yet I thought I was giving God what He wanted.

I began to question — and this good little Bible-belt girl somehow missed the rules for wrestling with her God. As I surveyed my life, realized doing all the right things had won me the admiration of everyone but God. And I felt empty and prideful. It was worse than rebellion: being good with no God. It was beginning to occur to me maybe God was after something else.

Maybe I was chasing the wrong things. 

And then I stumbled across a phrase in 1 Samuel 13.

David was “a man after [God’s] own heart” (v, 14).

The closer I have gotten to the life of this man, David, the more ideas of what God wants from me have been shattered. David had one life and two eyes and one heart, just like me, but they were all laser-focused on the heart of his God… my God. David was in love with Him.


This is my invitation to you, join me in chasing after His heart. Whether we a running from God or working our tail off to please Him, David’s journey will challenge our view of God. Find out more how to start a Chase study here.





11 Responses to “chasing after the heart of God”

  1. Maria Balian

    Hello Jennie! I have a victory story to share with you but it is way to long to share here. I do want to share a little so below I have copied and pasted a piece of it. Thank you for sharing this study with me!

    However, while I was doing your study, your words spoke to me so profoundly. I wrote these notes down about my own life and it was really directed to God. In the “(-)” I put my afterthoughts and what I had learned:

    1) I trust you and that all that you have for me ultimately is for my good but I have … fallen out of love with you. (When I was writing this on a sheet of paper, I couldn’t bring myself to finish past the “f” in fallen because my heart broke into pieces and I couldn’t believe what I had done. It was as if I had left Him behind – I left my savior, my hero, my soul mate, my one true and first love…behind and ignored all the signs.)

    2) What am I angry with you about? How is it possible for me to be upset with you? What/where/when did the offense occur? (I harbored offense – and when you are offended you can still love (just as a wife loves her husband) but your heart becomes hardened and you begin to dishonor God in your thoughts – a good example is: to treat Him as ordinary or common. Your offense can cause you to withhold honor.

    3) I can hardly remember you. I can hardly remember how you feel or how you made me feel. All I can remember are memories but even those are hard to see and feel without strong faith. (I think I began thinking that He is a busy God and that He will come and tend to me when the time is right and that I wasn’t going to be a complainer or question/second guess Him because I didn’t want Him to believe that I didn’t trust Him, or that I wanted Him to serve my needs before others, or that I was ungrateful for all the goodness He placed in my life over the last year. I stopped our relationship long ago.)

    4) Can you find me in the crowd of your children? (I thought that God had forgotten me. Up until now, I actually longed to go through “temporary trials” so that after I had overcome them I could look back and see His work being done in my life just so that I could find a way to thread it to being a result of His unfailing love for me. How crazy does that sound?! God still didn’t show up then either – and why should He? I was using my own strength and will power to please Him – it is only by grace and by not human works that we have been chosen to as live as His adopted children.)

    5) Do I matter to you the way you matter to me? (Wow – I can’t believe I wrote this one down.)

    I can honestly say that my desire to return to God and be in communion was always my deepest desire and what I waited for every day this past year. I have never intentionally wanted to run away from Him, but I did. What I had done was a selfish act in “humbling” myself and pushed away so that the prayers I had for other women would be heard. It was as if I was trying to control God and expected Him to do as I say and heal others then come and walk me through my trial in a timely manner. I was trying to keep God chasing me so that I knew that He would always love me. How could I have done that to God who shows me the purest kind of love?

    Thank you again for this study! I am now back in the sweetest kind of relationship with my Father in Heaven.

    So Loved,

    P.S. Last year I lead Stuck in my women’s group and they LOVED it! Keep them coming!

  2. Jennie Allen

    I don’t know- I didn’t write it with teens in mind but I don’t think it is age sensitive material- so it should work!

  3. My friend and I (we’re in college) lead a small group of 6th grade girls, do you think this study is too advanced for them? I would LOVE to do it and think this could be a great foundation for entering the teenage years. Thanks 🙂

  4. Jen Hatmaker

    PROUD. Happy to see God’s kingdom come through you. Keep doing the work, keep moving the needle. It matters so much. Love you. So glad to tell people about Chase.

  5. You are so gifted, my friend. You even make *me* want to do a girl bible study. 😉 I love everything about you and this looks PHENOMENAL. You put so much work into it, and it shows. Your soul is one of the most seamless I’ve known in real life. You make me a better chaser.

  6. marnee hall

    This is right where I am. I am looking forward to this study.


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