“But Jonah rose up to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the LORD. So he went down to Joppa, found a ship which was going to Tarshish, paid the fare, and went down into it to go with them to Tarshish from the presence of the LORD.” Jonah 1:3
In my previous blog entry, “Running away – Part 3”, I wrote about the fact that God is calling each one of us to go and make a difference in this wicked world. The call to “go” is there, but many of us, for one reason or another, prefer to run away from it. Some of us simply don’t want to get out of our comfort zones; others prefer to be more logical, thinking that it’s “not a wise thing”, or “I am not gifted in that area; it’s for someone else”, or “someone else is better” etc. We are chock-full of reasons why we are not obeying God’s call on our lives.
In a recent discussion with my staff, we talked about reasons why people are hesitant to volunteer or do service-oriented projects. We spoke about all kinds of “good” reasons why people don’t do it. One of the things I realized during the course of our conversation was that there is a deeply rooted problem in the way people understand God and his call on our lives.
There are some people within the Body of Messiah who think they are doing God a favor if they pray, read His Word, tithe, go to fellowship or volunteer. If that is you, then I only have one thing to say to you: you are not doing God any favors! God does not need any of us in order to accomplish His will and His plan of Salvation for this world. God can use rocks, donkeys, fire, etc to accomplish His will and His plans.
It is we who need God; we depend on God and count on Him for our breath … we count on Him to lead us and guide us every step of the way. Think about what a privilege it is to be in personal relationship with the Creator of the Universe, the One who gives and takes life … to know His plans and understand the secrets of life. To have a living hope in a living God in the midst of all that is happening in the world, and more importantly, of all that will happen in the future. What an awesome comfort it is to know that we will have everlasting life in the presence of the Living God.
I believe that once we realize these things, we will all have a better perspective and approach to our lives and for God’s call in each of our lives.
Many of us think that we can run away from “the presence of the Lord”, that we can hide from God, that He won’t see where we are and won’t know what we are doing.
“And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. Then the LORD God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?” And he said, “I heard the sound of Thee in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself.” And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” And the man said, “The woman whom Thou gavest to be with me, she gave me from the tree, and I ate.” Then the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” And the woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” Gen 3:8-13
This reality is not a new one; it is a reality that was there from the beginning when Adam and Eve were trying to hide from the presence of the Lord. God in His amazing, unlimited wisdom knew exactly what happened and was trying to bring them to a place where they would confess their wrongdoing without excuse.
From the beginning, human beings did not take responsibility for their actions, but instead blamed each other for their disobedience.
What are you running away from today? What are you doing or even thinking that God doesn’t see or know about?
Praise God for His unlimited grace and forgiveness that whatever is going on in your life right now, He knows and He cares. He is just waiting for you to come to Him and stop running away.
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Well said, Moran. We can run but we cannot hide.”…where can I go from your spirit…?”