Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Don't Run from God

Don't Run from God 

Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. 

Compassionate Lord, I will look out not only for my own interests, but also for the interests of others. Let this mind be in me which was also in Christ Jesus, who made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant. Even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many. He died for me, that I who live should live no longer for myself, but for Him who died for me and rose again. When Jesus saw Mary weeping in sorrow, and the Jews who came with her weeping, He groaned in the spirit and was troubled. Jesus wept. I will rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. I will have compassion for others; I will love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous; not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that I was called to this, that I may inherit a blessing. 

Thank You, Lord God, for the example of servanthood You give me in Jesus—and for the power to follow His example You give me through Your Spirit. 

GALATIANS 6:2; PHILIPPIANS 2:4–7; MARK 10:45; 2 CORINTHIANS 5:15; JOHN 11:33, 35; ROMANS 12:15; 1 PETER 3:8–9  - Dr. David Jeremiah Life-Changing Moments with God 

It might be a strange title considering what this prayer starts out sounding like, but if you look you can see it. 

Jonah was a very angry man when it came to his enemies.  The people of Nineveh were the enemies of Israel and hatred for them fueled his anger. 

Yet we see in his story God wanting to give an opportunity for mercy...and Jonah ran.

We often get ahead of God in life's decisions we make.  There's obviously good reason to follow the Scripture of " in everything by prayer and supplication..." everything includes everything. 

We can run ahead of God in planning out a career. 
We can run ahead of God in planning for a family. 
We can run ahead of God in demanding justice. 
We can run ahead of God in trying to avoid where we think He's taking us.
We can run ahead of God in jumping to conclusions about things He's showing us. 

I know in my life that on numerous occasions this has been the case. 

Looking out for my own interests before others...ouch.  This can be a painful one.  We live with several generations of "me first" mentality.

Being a servant to others...same idea.  There's few books on the subject of servant leadership. The ones worth anything point to the example of Jesus in the Gospels. 

We can run from God because of our emotions.  Running as Jonah had from anger is but one. Some run from God because they cannot understand His reasons for taking someone from this world rather than healing them.  Truth is that being taken from this world is a healing.  Just because it doesn't fit our desires doesn't invalidate the answer. 

We can run...but as the saying has cannot hide. 

Everyone who has run from God is one step away from turning to run into His grace and mercy. 

Everyone can find grace and mercy if they wouldn't hold onto what they do.

Even in the midst of intense judgment to come in the world through the 7 year Tribulation, people in great distress and in great turmoil, would rather talk to the Earth, wanting it to fall on them, to hide them from the presence of Christ Jesus than turn and repent of their sins. 

Not returning evil for evil.  This certainly is difficult to find in the headlines today. We see a culmination of several generations wanting to freeload off of the government with no regard to the truth that the government cannot afford to give away prosperity because of already intense overspending. 

So evil people are indeed proceeding from bad to worse.  Retribution is seen everywhere in the world.  People wanting instant justice regardless of the truth that they refuse to see. 

To die without salvation in Christ Jesus means immediate summary judgment against the individual.  It means you die here, regardless of how, and wake up in your next breath in torment in Hell.  The world may call your exit from this life as heroic!  Means nothing if that person lived life running from God.  

To die without salvation in Christ Jesus means that your running from God days are over and you begin eternity living out your sentence of eternal separation from God in torment and agony.  Your only final reprieve will be in the day of Final Judgment at the end of the Thousand Year reign of Jesus Christ. When everyone who has ever lived will be shown explicitly how they missed the mark in their personal righteousness. That they were not written in the Book of Life.  They are given a perfect body alright, but are then cast into the Lake of fire. The Final Judgment. 

Running from God gets you nowhere because God IS everywhere. 

Running ahead of God gets you into more trouble than your finite mind can understand. 

I ran ahead of God in my excitement of what I understood my future to be and its taken decades to come back to where I was supposed to be.  Many lessons learned along the way, all too many are repeated lessons.  I still bear the marks of my years its taken to come back to where He meant me to be.  My desires honestly almost destroyed me.  My wants almost buried me.  My wishes came close to doing me in.  My understanding of my future almost pushed me into a premature exit from this world.  My ambitions were not what He had in mind.  

The wonderful truth is all it takes is to turn back towards God in order to find Him again. 

I used to love a great many things in this life from people to things.  My understanding of taking up my own cross is that I have to let go of all of my life to take that up, 

To walk with Jesus means being close enough to listen for His voice. 
Jesus said His sheep hear His voice.  Are you listening or are you caught up in the things of this world to the point that your personal satisfaction and personal well-being mean more to you than your obedience to God?

Are you stuck in your ways to the point you're resigned to thinking there's nothing more, nothing else for you to do in your life?  Are you using age or infirmity define what God can do with you?  Are you actually running from God by your pursuit of life, liberty and pursuit of happiness?  Have you unknowingly set up idols in your life with various names on them?  Family, work, sports, entertainment, anything in our world can be an idol if it's coming before our relationship with Jesus. We read in one of the letters making up the New Testament all the things people of one city openly worshiped.  Including an Unknown God. 

Being in a modern world isn't making us more moral, more obedient or more good than prior generations.  

People are flooding into Hell every single second.  People are finding out the hard way that they missed the mark.  People are learning their running from God had them running into the jaws of Hell. 

Jesus runs to those who turn to Him.  We see this in the Prodigal Son.  Jesus says we can't possibly mess up life more than His ability to fix it in His power to save.  The Bible says He cried out "It is FINISHED!".  We aren't that bad or even that good that we can cancel out the power of Jesus Christ. 

Jesus runs to you if you would but turn to Him.  We read countless times across many generations in the Old Testament of Jesus telling people to just turn and return to God. 

Regardless of what you think about life, your acceptance or rejection of God’s plan for your determines if you are walking with Him or running from Him.  

It brings to mind something my Dad used to have us do as kids. When we were out in some public settings he had us put one finger in a belt loop on his pants, one of us on either side of him.  We couldn't go any faster or slower than him, and had to keep pace with him.  

God's plan has us walking with Him, not getting ahead of Him nor falling behind. 
God's plan is to reach people for Christ. To seek and save the lost. As the Father sent Him, Jesus sends us. God's will is our sanctification, it's wrapped up in obedience, it's being sent into the world, not living for ourselves.  It's walking with Jesus not running off to do whatever we think is right. 

Are you running ahead of God or are you running from God?  Turn back and see what God will do for you and with you. 

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