Saturday, October 14, 2023

Running from Him

 ‘Return to Me,’ declares the Lord
Almighty, ‘and I will return to you.’ 
Zechariah 1:3

If you read last week's blog post, you know that I mentioned the story of Jonah. You've probably heard this story before but let me do a quick summary. God tells Jonah to go to Niveah and tell the people about Him. If they don't repent God will destroy them. Jonah doesn't like the people of Niveah, for which I just recently learned might be valid reasons as they were quite awful people during their time. So instead of listening to God he decides he's going the opposite way. He tries to run from God and spoiler alert, you can't do that. God sent a storm to the boat he was on and Jonah instantly knew that he just ran into the consequences of his actions. He told the little sailors on the boat, "Hey this isn't about you, this is about me. Throw me over board." And they did. When they did, God sent the big fish to shallow Jonah and Jonah learned his lesson. 

Again that is a very quick summary and not even the whole story. I encourage you to go read the book of Jonah. The reason I went over this is because one part of this story hasn't been able to leave my mind for a couple of weeks. Jonah tried running from God. Even as a kid I used to think it was so dumb, why did he think that the God who created the whole universe wouldn't find him running in the opposite direction?

I always laughed at that, but now it's stuck in my mind because I realized that Jonah isn't the first, nor he is the last person to try to run from God. I thought back to a time when I was struggling with my faith. There was a point when I was running from God and I thought that God wasn't with me at all. Boy was I wrong! 

Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
 if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
Psalm 139:7-8

When we run, we aren't just running away from God. But we are also running towards something else whether that be drugs, alcohol, others, social media, whatever that may for you. We decide that these things will help us and we choose them over God. If I was in God's place that would upset me off if I'm being completely honest. My first thought would be, "I gave my life to you and THIS is how you repay that?" But God isn't like that. He doesn't get bitter or refuse to forgive us because we ran from Him. Instead He gives us His love and Mercy.

But God demonstrates His own love for us in this:
While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Romans 5:8

He choose to love us despite our faults. He doesn't run from us or leave us alone. He waits for us like the prodical father, waiting for His child to come back home so He can show His love once more.

You may be running from God without even realizing it. It can start very simple, skipping reading your Bible in the morning because you are just too tired, don't go to church because football is on, not praying because you promised yourself you'll do it later when you’re less busy. You may think of these situations as harmless. But the more and more you do these things, the more you are running from God. 

He is waiting there with you, calling you to come back to Him. He never left you, no matter where you went, no matter what you did. He's been there with you.  All you have to do is listen to His call and return to Him. Trust me it's easier than it sounds. 

Discussion Question: What do you find yourself running towards when you are trying to run from God?

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