Monday, August 5, 2013

You Can Run…by Martin Wiles

“You can run, but you can’t hide.”

Maybe it was the seeker saying it to the hiders. Or the policeman to the fleeing criminal. But it was definitely God saying it to me when I wasn’t going in his desired direction.

At twelve years of age, I knew God wanted me to preach. I didn’t know how it would all materialize, but the call was certain. Then I was willing to accept the challenge, but the pressure of my teen and young adult years pulled me in another direction. Like Jonah, I learned I could run, but I couldn’t hide.

God called Jonah to preach to the unbelievers in Ninevah—capital of the vast Assyrian Empire. But Jonah hated these guys, didn’t want to see them repent, and would gladly enjoy God punishing them. So Jonah got up and went in the opposite direction to get away from the LORD (Jonah 1:3 NLT).

Fear initially caused my escape. What would my friends think if they knew I wanted to preach? Would I have to survive on a meager salary? Would I have to attend college? And even graduate? Then stubbornness moved in. Living for me and adopting my rambunctious friend’s lifestyle would be more fun. No spiritual rules to live by. Just live for the day.

I discovered what Jonah did: you can run from God but you can’t hide. Because of his love, God won’t allow me to travel in unwise directions or romp in rebellious regions without ushering in consequences. Jonah’s three day foray in a big fish’s belly re-oriented his perspective. And God has put me in a few undesirable bellies as well.

Obeying God’s direction for your life and leaving the consequences to him is always the preferred course of action. Are you going God’s way?

Prayer: Give us courage, dear God, to always go in the direction You prompt us as we believe by faith that You have our best interests in mind.

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