Monday, April 4, 2011


Have you ever just wanted to run away? We all probably have that feeling once in a while. We just want to get away. Sometimes it is even that way in the ministry. It is hard trying to please a lot of people and it’s stressful at times feeling responsible for many lives. We all have thoughts of escaping at times.

God invites you to join Him in His work. He impresses your heart, speaks through His Word, leads by His Spirit, and influences you through mature Christians. His calling in your life is just as significant as His calling in anyone else’s life. Ephesians 2:10 says, For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. (NLT)

The problem is that sometimes we don’t like what He tells us to do and we would rather run in the other direction. God called Jonah to take a message of judgment to Nineveh. God said to Jonah in Jonah 1:2 "Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me."  Nineveh was an up-and-coming world power in Jonah’s day. It was the most important city in Assyria. Within fifty years, Nineveh would become the capital of the vast Assyrian empire. It was a great city but it was not a nice place. Their cruelty was known throughout the world. These were definitely not nice people and to put it frankly - Jonah hated them.

Sometimes, God tells us to do things that we don’t want to do. And we feel like turning around and running in the opposite direction. Maybe there’s someone at work you’ve known for a long time. And you’ve heard about the problems they’ve been having in their marriage. And God has pressed it upon your heart to talk to this person and engage them in conversation and to listen to them. And you’re thinking, “The last thing I want to do is hear about someone else’s problems. I really don’t want to have anything to do with that person.” Or maybe there’s someone you work with who doesn’t have many friends. You see him every day. And God wants YOU to be his friend. But you’re not on board with this idea for whatever reason.

God has commissioned you and me to take the gospel to those around us – even if we don’t want to. We may not like some of the things He tells us to do. That’s okay. We don’t have to like what He tells us to do; we just have to obey.

Because God has given us a free will we can tell God “No”. We may say “no” and try to do other things and go in another direction, but we will only find peace when we are in the will of God. The wise thing to do is to choose God’s agenda for us instead of our agenda because that’s what He’ll hold us accountable for.

Like Jonah, when we run away from the Lord, which means we choose not to go God’s way, we never get to where we’re going, and we always pay our own fare. We try to provide for ourselves what we need – inner peace, lasting joy, contentment, unconditional love, forgiveness. We try to take care of ourselves. And we sail right into a big storm.

But when we go the Lord’s way we always get to where we’re going, and He pays the fare. He provides all the things we need. He takes care of us.

“I run in the path of your commands, for You have broadened my understanding.” Psa. 119:32.

1 comment:

  1. I always tried to justify running away by saying, I need some time alone. That would have been good if I had added two words..."with God." I was like a broken recorder in which the rewind button was the only one that worked. The play and fast forward buttons were broken. Trying to avoid conflict and discomfort I would run to my hiding place praying that God would remove the fears that seemed to imprison me, without understanding it was a direct result of not being obedient to His will. It took a while before I realized that freedom to choose could lead to freedom to lose. Now when I feel like I want to run away I hold out my hand to God and invite Him along. My escape route now leads to a "respite" place where I can spend alone time not with myself but with God. Thank you Lord for being my running partner. I now have a clear vision of the victory in the race.