Have you ever been in a race? If you have, you will remember that constant feeling of striving towards the finish line. It’s almost like that feeling would give that extra push to get through to the finish line.
If we were to have a conversation with a professional runner, we would probably learn that there is a lot more to running than just simply “running.” We would learn that there is a great deal of time, effort, discipline, and training that goes into it. It is important to know this because these are the things which help to develop and build those running skills physically.
Today, we are going to talk about running, but in more of a spiritual sense. We will look at an example of running from God and running towards God. Let’s remember this very important point: No matter what situation we find ourselves in, let's not run from God but instead run towards God.
There is a well-known story in the Bible that most of us have heard before and that is the story of Jonah and the great fish.
God had called the prophet Jonah to preach to the people in Nineveh. Jonah decides that he doesn’t want to go to Nineveh and instead goes to Joppa and takes a ship to go towards Tarshish. Jonah had gone in the opposite direction of where God had told him to go. He was literally trying to run from God.
While on the ship, God sends a great wind on the sea and everyone on board was afraid while Jonah was fast asleep in the lowest part of the ship. The captain goes to Jonah and asks him to call upon his God to save them from the danger they were in. We know what ends up happening next. Jonah gets thrown into the sea and gets swallowed by a great fish. Of course God had prepared the great fish to swallow Jonah and that is where he remained for three days and three nights.
The time when Jonah is in the fish is very significant because he realizes that God was serious about him going to Nineveh and he must obey. He also realizes that it was wrong to try to run from God and so, he repents. God speaks to the fish and it throws up Jonah out onto dry land and he goes to Nineveh where God had originally told him to go.
Let’s stop here and discuss 3 main points from this story:
1. We cannot run from God
“Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there Your hand shall lead me, and Your right hand shall hold me.” (Psalm 139:7-10)
As hard as we try to run from God, He is always there. God is omnipresent which means His divine presence is everywhere at the same time.
2. God corrects us when we need it
“My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor detest His correction; For whom the Lord loves He corrects, just as a father the son on whom he delights.” (Proverbs 3:11-12)
When God corrects us, we need to remember why He corrects us. God loves us and always has the best for us. It’s always for our good and to develop our character into the person that He intends us to be.
3. God is merciful towards us
“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:22-23)
God’s mercy for us is amazing and is new every day. What great hope and comfort this gives us each day, knowing that God is constantly extending to us what we do not deserve. He is an awesome God.
Running towards God
When it comes to running towards God, it can sometimes be a challenge for us to do this especially when we find ourselves in difficult situations. Just like a professional runner takes the time to train and be disciplined, we must also be intentional about running towards God no matter what situation we are facing.
We must be reminded not to allow these difficult situations to make us run from God like Jonah, but instead run towards God like David did. The Bible says that David was a man after God’s heart. Despite his many flaws and failures, He was a man after God’s heart. He would run towards God.
Have you ever tried to run from God? How did that turn out?
What about running towards God? Please share your experience below. We would love to hear about it.
At OMS Canada, we have a new blog each week which will encourage you to run towards God, grow in your faith, and share the Good News of Jesus with others who need to hear. Click here to check out our blog page and share it with others so that they may also be encouraged.
May the Lord continue to equip us in every way as we run towards Him.