Are You Running To or Running Away?
February 4, 2010
Our life in this World and our walk with the Lord in this World is like running a race. The minute we become Born Again and call Him Lord, the race begins.
Hebrews 12:1-2 (NKJV) 1 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
You are either running to something or running away from something but you are always on the run.
And, the question is will you finish that race. According to Hebrews 12:2 the Lord ran his race to the finish line (the throne of God) and, for our sakes, HE WON.
As it is with any race there are others running with you and also running against you. We live in a world that is under the sway and power of the evil one (1 John 5:19). When the Lord took back the keys of hell and death He restored spiritual authority on the Earth but the natural authority does not happen until the Second Coming and The End comes. Therefore, we are running in a race where the odds are stacked against us and we are not expected by anyone else to win …anyone but the Lord.
Sometimes the opposition and jostling of the other runners can get so great we want to run away and get out of the race. Don’t feel bad if you do. One of the greatest prophet’s of all time did.
1 Kings Chapter 18 tells one of the greatest stories in the Bible about the Prophet Elijah confronting the false prophets of Baal and Asherah under King Ahab & Queen Jezebel on Mount Carmel. We have heard the story many times about how he called down fire to consume the sacrifice, embarrassed the four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal, and the four hundred prophets of Asherah, who ate at Jezebel’s table and inspired the children of Israel to kill those 850 servants of hell.
What we don’t hear a lot about is that when Jezebel found out what Elijah had done she threatened his life and Elijah RAN AWAY.
1 Kings 19:1-3 (NKJV) 1 And Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, also how he had executed all the prophets with the sword. 2 Then Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah, saying, “So let the gods do to me, and more also, if I do not make your life as the life of one of them by tomorrow about this time.” 3 And when he saw that, he arose and ran for his life, and went to Beersheba, which belongs to Judah, and left his servant there.
It has always been my desire to seek Elijah out when I get to Heaven to ask him why he ran from Jezebel’s threats. He should have been filled with confidence. He had just called down fire to consume the sacrifice, the wood, rocks and water in front of thousands of people and had removed the false prophets from the Kingdom of Israel. Instead he ran in fear and had to be encouraged out of his depression and pushed back into ministry by Almighty God (1 Kings 19). Had he not returned he would not have been able to leave a double portion of his anointing for Elisha who then anointed Jehu to destroy Jezebel and cleanse the Kingdom of Israel.
Be encouraged, even if you have run away or desire to run away, the Lord will seek you out and guide you back to where you were supposed to be in the first place.
However, what if you ran toward the calling instead of away from it? What then?
If you ran toward that upward calling you would understand how young David felt in 1st Samuel Chapter 17.
David, at the time a young sheepherder serving his father Jesse, was sent to get news about his older brothers and to bring food supplies to them. The brothers (Eliab the firstborn, next to him Abinadab, and the third Shammah) were with King Saul and the others Israelites in the Valley of Elah confronting the Philistine army (1 Kings 17:17-19). The army of Israel is on one mountain and the Philistine army is on the other and the valley was in the middle. Out of the throng of Philistine soldiers comes their champion Goliath who according to the Bible is a giant, almost 10 feet tall and reportedly of the lineage of the Raphaim (Deut. 2:20) as suspected he would also have had 6-finger, 6-toes and been of fearsome features as a descendant of the end result of Genesis 6:1-4. He was strong enough to be wearing approximately 183 lbs of brass armor and carrying a spear almost as tall as young David at 5 feet in length. By time David arrives, Goliath has been mocking and belittling the men of Israel for 40-days .
I tell you this to give you a proper perspective of what challenge David faced. Because of his faith in the Living God he believed he could kill the giant Goliath. However, man (especially his own brothers) had a different opinion. His brothers tell him to go home and in verse 33 King Saul says he’s too young to fight the battle tested giant. However, David was not moved by man’s opinion or the facts. He was moved by his faith. When he is finally given permission to fight Goliath he does not hesitate.
1 Samuel 17:45-51 (NKJV) 45 Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46 This day the LORD will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you and take your head from you. And this day I will give the carcasses of the camp of the Philistines to the birds of the air and the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel. 47 Then all this assembly shall know that the LORD does not save with sword and spear; for the battle is the LORD’s, and He will give you into our hands.”
48 So it was, when the Philistine arose and came and drew near to meet David, that David hurried and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine. 49 Then David put his hand in his bag and took out a stone; and he slung it and struck the Philistine in his forehead, so that the stone sank into his forehead, and he fell on his face to the earth. 50 So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone, and struck the Philistine and killed him. But there was no sword in the hand of David. 51 Therefore David ran and stood over the Philistine, took his sword and drew it out of its sheath and killed him, and cut off his head with it. And when the Philistines saw that their champion was dead, they fled.
David ran toward his challenge in total faith and expectancy that God would be with him. It didn’t matter how strong Goliath was, His god was stronger. It didn’t matter how strong Goliath was, His God was stronger. His confidence was such that he had five smooth stones (one for Goliath and his four brothers) and he loaded the sling ON THE RUN. David ran with confidence and his faith was rewarded.
There were others too. Jonah ran away from his calling but God pursued him and sent back in the right direction to save Nineveh (Jonah 4). Peter ran from his failure to publicly proclaim his relationship to the Lord after the Lord was captured (Matthew 26:69-75) but the Lord sought him out after the Resurrection and Peter went on to fulfill his calling.
Romans 11:29 (NKJV) 29 For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.
Romans 11:29 (NLT) 29 For God’s gifts and His call can never be withdrawn.
God will do what He sets out to do with you. He is faithful to finish the good work He began in and with you. He will finish what He starts by seeing it through WITH you to the end.
But know this – even if you try to run away He will pursue you and get you back in the race toward the finish line. He’s faithful even when we aren’t.
He is depending upon you.
The Kingdom of God is depending upon you.
The world is depending upon you.
Run your race.
Run toward that calling.
Have the faith to know He is in it with you.
Richard J GrundAnd through the hands of the apostles many signs and wonders were done among the people. And they were all with one accord in Solomon’s Porch. (Acts 5:12 NKJV) www.onsolomonsporch.org/theporch P.O. Box 713 Windermere, FL 34786-0713