Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Running From God or With Him?

Do you remember playing chase when you were a child? I sure do. In fact it seems like we ran pretty much all day. Run downstairs. Run outside. Run to the neighbor’s house. Run to run, just for the fun of running.  My grandchildren run around my living room which is open floor space, almost like a huge indoor playground. Sometimes I try to catch them to get a quick hug but they’re busy running around having fun and they breathlessly breeze by in such a hurry.

The other day one of them got in trouble. Their mother was going after them so they kept running. She shouted out, “It’s just gonna be worse if you keep running!”  She was getting frustrated and he was fearful she would catch him!

As adults, we still run don’t we? We run to the store, we run to work, we run to church, we run to the laundry, we run to the bakery, we run to exercise. Run, run, run. Our lives can be like a marathon and we can get oh so tired, but we keep on running.  We run to get away from things: trouble at home and we run to work. Trouble at work and we run home. Running becomes less enjoyable as we get older because we enter what’s known as the “rat race”. We run away, run after and run for. 

Some folks are running from God.  They’ve decided it’s better to run than be caught. They think that God is after them and He is. But He’s not after them to punish. He’s after them to love.  

Maybe you’ve been running from God. You’ve heard His still small voice beckoning you to come to Him but you think you like your marathon life just the way it is. You keep running to ease the pain, stop the anxiety and thwart the reality. But God keeps pursuing you. He speaks through a preacher, the sunset, the movie, the song. You can’t get away from Him. Everywhere you look, wherever you go, whatever you are doing, God pursues. You run harder, but God is relentless in His pursuit of your heart.

It’s true – it will just get worse if you don’t stop. Oh God won’t get you. He won’t take you down. He won’t punish you. But the life of a believer is full of joy, peace, contentment, REST. And God wants you to live this way. God has no desire for you to work harder, run faster or do more. He just wants to catch you and hold you and speak His love words over your life. No one who’s ever stopped running and let God catch them has been disappointed. You won’t either.

Oh beloved, God knows everything you have to accomplish this day. He’s in pursuit of you because He loves you. He wants to have a little time with you each day to speak His blessings into your life.  Yes, He wants to change things. But nothing given to the Lord is ever missed. Because He changes your desires, your hopes, your dreams. He exchanges the marathon life of stuff for a walk in the garden with Him.  Others have told you to run. Others have said you can’t get ahead if you don’t keep running. Some of your most treasured acquaintances have run away, run on ahead or run off and left you. But God will go with you the rest of your days. 

Won’t you spend a moment with Him this morning, quietly, restfully, safe in His arms? He is running after you with love, He beckons you to rest in His love and He calls you to read of His love. Because He loves you and He’s for you the stop is worth the doing because He will make your life more enjoyable so that you can run without getting weary for the rest of your days.

Psalm 139:7 I can never escape from Your Spirit! I can never get away from Your presence!

Micah 6:8 No, O people, the Lord has told you what is good, and this is what He requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.

Psalm 127:2 It is useless for you to work so hard from early morning until late at night, anxiously working for food to eat; for God gives rest to His loved ones.

Psalm 23:2 He lets me rest in green meadows; He leads me beside peaceful streams.

Isaiah 40:31 Yet those who wait for the Lord Will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary.

Matthew 11:29 Take my yoke upon you. Let Me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

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