Running From God
By David J. Stewart
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Are you running from God? Many people today certainly are trying, but you can't run from an omnipresent God. Why do people run from God anyway? Why attempt the impossible? John 3:20 gives us the answer in simplest of terms... "For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved." Sin is the culprit. The reason why most people run from God is because of their love for sin.
Another reason why people run from God is because of bitterness towards God because of a tragic event in their life, such as the death of a loved one, bad experiences, et cetera. Men oftentimes unfairly place God on trial, when it is sin which is to blame for our miseries, and not God. God is Good... "O give thanks unto the LORD, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy" (Psalm 107:1,2). Every believer should proclaim the goodness of God, for His mercy endureth forever.
Oh! How tragic that so many people are running from a loving and good God that cares about us (1st Peter 5:7). The problem with most people is that they judge God based on the present circumstances, failing to realize that we were placed upon this earth to be tested by God. God could have just created a bunch of clones to worship Him, but He chose to create mankind, and give him a free will. If we get saved, it is ONLY because we choose to get saved, of our own free will. This act of faith pleases God (Hebrews 11:6).
Would to God that every Christian would ponder 1st Peter 1:7 until it sinks in... "That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ." Now that's a hard Scripture to accept. Do you mean to tell me God that all my problems in life, numerous burdens, heartaches and bodily pains, are more valuable than a truckload of 24k gold? Yes, that is exactly what the Word of God teaches.
How contrary is such Biblical teaching from the greedy and covetous world! So many people today are running from God because of the very difficulties which God states is worth more than gold. And notice the Bible says in 1st Peter 1:7 that the gold shall "perish," but ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord (1st Corinthians 15:58). There is no reason to run from God.
Christians Who Run From God
Jonah ran from God... "Now the word of the LORD came unto Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me. But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD, and went down to Joppa; and he found a ship going to Tarshish: so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD." God had instructed Jonah to go preach to the city of Nineveh, but Jonah disobeyed.
The Assyrians were reputed as a brutal people, known for torture, whose warriors often sawed their victims into pieces. I could understand why Jonah would have been reluctant to go to Nineveh, the capital of the Assyrian empire. Yet, God never tells us to do something that we are unable to do. Jonah feared man more than God. Matthew 10:28 states... "And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell." We ought to fear God more than sinful, finite, men.
God prepared a whale to swallow Jonah, and over the course of 3-days, Jonah learned the hard way that God is to be feared more than mankind. The Bible says that Nineveh was a three day journey, but Jonah ran his tail off and made it in one day (Jonah 3:3,4). I titled this article "Running From God," but the truth is that we don't usually run away from God, we walk away. It is quite amazing, and humorous, that Jonah actually thought he could flee from God on a boat. What was Jonah thinking? You can escape God.
Yet, that is exactly what so many people are trying to do today. All across America, professed "Christians" are trying to escape God by attending New Evangelical dead-beat churches, using corrupted bibles, subscribing to apostate magazines such as ChristianityToday, and listening to girly-boy sugar-stick preachers like Joel Osteen and Rick Warren, who couldn't preach their way out of a paper bag. Lord give us some Billy Sundays again, who preach uncompromisingly against SIN. Away with the sissies.
We read in Revelation 2:4-5, "Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works..." This Scripture speaks of the backslidden church, in this case the believers at the church of Ephesus. They had fallen into a spiritual slump, to where their church service was more resemblant of a funeral home than a church. It became more of a business to them than a soulwinning ministry.
This describes most churches today, where the pulpit is controlled by a pulpit committee instead of a man of God. We hear the word "new" quite a bit nowadays, but Jesus DIDN'T tell the believers at Ephesus to do anything "new"; rather, Jesus told them to "remember" where they had gotten off course, and return to the old paths. Jeremiah 6:16 states... "Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls..." What are the old paths? They are the good ole fundamental teachings of the Word of God. Beware of all modern Bible-teachers, who use corrupt Bibles, and write their books with no mention of sin, judgment, condemnation, or the precious literal blood of Jesus Christ. If you want to be safe, then read the books of proven soulwinners―men like Dr. John R. Rice, Dr. Jack Hyles, Dr. Oliver B. Greene and Pastor M.R. DeHaan.
The Unsaved Person Running from God
The Apostle Paul, before he became a Christian, was known as "Saul." Saul was a brutal tyrant, who broke Christians doors down, hauled them into the streets, and partook of having them martyred for the faith. In Saul's unregenerate state, God had been dealing with his heart, i.e., conviction him. This is the job of the Holy Spirit... to reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment (John 16:8). Saul was stubborn, as are most people today, and wouldn't repent of his unbelief.
It wasn't until Jesus confronted Saul personally in Acts 9:3-5 that he finally gave in and repented, falling on his face before the Savior in belief... "And as he [Saul] journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do."
I recently read in the news that Catholicism's mentor, Mother Teresa, never could find God in her own personal life. Should that be surprising, when she never looked anywhere other than the hellhole of the Catholic Church? Jesus plainly stated in John 4:24 to the woman at the well that those who worship God MUST do so in TRUTH. The Catholic church has substituted the truth of God's Word with their own manmade TRADITIONS, which they arrogantly and defiantly defend as being inspired with the Bible. Jesus condemned ALL manmade traditions... "Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition" (Mark 7:9).
Mother Teresa spent her entire life RUNNING FROM GOD in the Catholic religion. She had churchianity without Christianity. She had religion without truth. Jesus said that you can only worship God in truth, i.e., the Word of God. A phrase that you'll NEVER hear from the lips of any Catholic priest are the precious Words spoken by Jesus in John 5:39... SEARCH THE SCRIPTURES!
Have you been running from God? You don't need to keep running. God is willing to forgive ANYONE for ANYTHING. If you desire forgiveness, then you haven't committed the unpardonable sin yet. The only unpardonable sin is rejecting Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, for how can any sins be forgiven if you reject the Lamb of God, who shed His precious blood for your sins and mine? Eternal life is a free gift of God, paid for by Jesus' precious blood.
If you are running from God, then you are only destroying yourself. Why? The world hates God because of their wickedness and sinful pride. Who are we to shake our fists at God, and demand that He give us EQUALITY. This is what Lucifer wanted in Isaiah 14:14. This is what Eve wanted back in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:5). This is what feminists want today―equality with authority. Oh! that men would fall on their faces in humility before the God of the universe, and repent of their sinful unbelief.
We humans are a stubborn bunch, and in the end we will only hurt ourselves if we do not OBEY the Word of God. God doesn't expect us to be perfect, for if He did no one could please God. God wants us to come to Him by way of the blood of Jesus Christ, and be saved. Then as a believer, God wants us to live day-by-day trusting upon the Savior to guide, lead, comfort, teach, reprove, and protect us through His Holy Spirit (Romans 8:9). Thank God for His wondrous blessings!
Most of the people running from God are actually running from themselves, out of hatred and resentment for their own sins, inadequacies, failures, and shortcomings. God wants to make everything right (Isaiah 1:18; 2nd Peter 3:9), and simple asks that you come by way of the name of Jesus Christ (John 14:6; Acts 4:10-12).
Ye Must Be Born Again!