Relentless is a good word to describe a pursuit that can only end with the death of the target.

That may seem to be a strange introduction to a devotional focused upon righteousness and love, but keep reading and I’ll bring it full circle.

After World War II came to a close, Adolf Eichmann became the world’s most wanted Nazi. As the architect of the notorious “Final Solution” this SS officer was the mastermind behind the infamous death camps that took the lives of some six million Jews without mercy. He had been captured after the war ended in 1945, but escaped before he could stand trial. Mossad, the Israeli national intelligence service, took the lead on Israel’s relentless mission to bring him to justice. Fleeing first to Austria and then to Italy, he continued to elude the Mossad. It took Eichmann four years to obtain a falsified passport under the name of Ricardo Clement. Pairing the passport with a visa to Argentina, Eichmann fled with his wife and four children to Buenos Aires in 1950.

The Mossad’s dogged determination would get a major break in 1957, when an informant revealed that Eichmann was living in Argentina. Their focus now honed on a single nation, the net was closing. Three more years of unyielding investigation paid off in the early months of 1960 when agents were able to confirm that the Mercedes-Benz automotive plant worker in Buenos Aires and the former SS Lieutenant Colonel were one and the same man.

On May 11, Eichmann stepped off the bus after work and began the short walk down Garibaldi Street to his home. He never made it. Mossad agents swooped in, pulled him into their vehicle and took their prisoner into custody. A few days later, disguised as a flight crew member who had suffered a head trauma and was being returned to Israel for urgent medical treatment, the drugged Eichmann was loaded aboard an El Al flight and snuck out of Argentina to stand trial in Israel. The overwhelming evidence led to a conviction, and to the only death sentence ever handed down by an Israeli court. Eichmann was executed on May 31, 1962.

Relentless. Mossad’s pursuit is an eighteen year long definition of the word itself.

Today’s verse describes another pursuit that is intended to be just as relentless. Actually, more so.

A.W. Tozer was an American pastor, author and magazine editor. But most of all, he was a man consumed with the relentless pursuit of God. Convinced that it was not enough to simply know ABOUT God, his mission was to bring people into a relationship of ever-increasing levels of intimacy with Him; relationships that would lift us up into “the world of adoration and praise and worship.” For Tozer, intimacy with God was an all or nothing affair. He said, “I want the presence of God Himself, or I don’t want anything to do with religion. I want all that God has, or I don’t want any.”

He saw clearly that far too many folk are satisfied by a religion without a relationship. They are busy pursuing a religion based upon human commands and seeking a self-made righteousness. It all looks good on the surface. Specific rules about what you can eat or drink, how to dress – these all have an appearance of wisdom. The problem is pursuing righteousness alone, instead of pursuing righteousness AND LOVE.

Love rules over righteousness, it rules within righteousness. Love writes the commands of God upon our hearts. Once His love resides within us, His commandments become living promises. Tozer said “I don’t want the world to define God for me. I want the Holy Spirit to reveal God to me.” When we pursue righteousness AND love we come to understand the futility of so-called spiritual rules that tell us, “Do not handle, do not taste, do not touch!” The bible refers to that sort of rule-driven obedience as self-prescribed worship; it leads to false humility when you pretend to be able to keep all the rules and destructive fear and anger when you finally see that they provide no help in conquering a person’s evil desires.

Only as we pursue righteousness AND love do we find the One who is Himself LOVE changes our hearts and gives us His righteousness. He can do this because in Christ all the fullness of the Deity dwells in bodily form. Since He is God Himself come in the flesh, He is the one who is the head over every ruler and authority ; and can free us from anything that has ruled in our lives and taken authority over our actions. When we pursue righteousness AND love, we are made complete in Christ.


I began today’s devotional by saying “Relentless is a good word to describe a pursuit that can only end with the death of the target.”

That definition makes perfect sense when we apply it to Mossad and mass murderers. But do you see how it applies spiritually?

Your choice to pursue righteousness and love relentlessly was not made in a vacuum. We have been the target of God’s relentless pursuit of us! Our sinful nature had to die so that God could make us alive with Christ. So He pursued us … relentlessly — seeking the death of that which was killing us so that He could give us that which would make us truly alive. He forgave us all our trespasses, He canceled the debt that the rules had charged against us. He took it away, nailing it to the cross! He disarmed the powers and authorities that wanted us prosecuted for our sin and He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.

He pursued us in His love to cover us with His righteousness. The target that had to die IS ME. My sin, my guilt – they had to die. He pursued me, and now He enables me to pursue Him — relentlessly.


Choose Your Language »