Heaven's Hound

 "The Lord gave this message to Jonah son of Amittai: 'Get up and go to the great city of Nineveh! Announce My judgement against it because I have seen how wicked it's people are.' But Jonah got up and went in the opposite direction in order to get away from the Lord." Jonah 1:1-3............"Our journey into Christ is at the same time, His journey into us. You see, we are His promised land. We can be assured that the giants we are facing, though they may have humiliated us, they will never humiliate Him. He shall conquer each of our enemies, even death, and live in us forever." Francis Frangiapane

 

Theologian Ravi Zacharias tells the story of His conversion to Christianity. He said that he had come to a place of such utter hopelessness that he had checked into a hotel with the full intention of committing suicide. But he related how "the God who is always following us," followed him even to that place....and found him. And made him His. Zacharias said that "the Hound of Heaven" had relentlessly pursued him, never letting off in that pursuit. It is His way. With all of us.

 

The story of Jonah is the story of each of us. We talk much of being "seekers after God," but no one can seek Him unless they are first being drawn to Him by His grace. Grace that is always seeking us. We are born on the run. And we will spend all of our lives running....from Him. And we have a seemingly unending number of ways of doing that. Jonah ran from God because he didn't wish to do what the Lord had commanded him, which was to go to Nineveh, capital city of the relentless enemy of Israel, Assyria. Yet his was only one way to run from Him. We can run away in our woundedness, our fear, our anger, and our unforgiveness. We can run in the midst of our loss, our discouragement, and our despair. What we will find, as did Zacharias, is that He will follow us, come after us. With all His power and life, He will pursue. He is the Hound of Heaven, and He will not leave off our trail.

I know the sense of loss, disappointment, even betrayal. The pain of rejection, feeling devalued, overlooked, unappreciated. In all of those places, the first impulse of the flesh is to withdraw. To find a hiding place. From everyone. Even the Father. It was certainly the first impulse of Adam and Eve in the Garden after they had failed both God and themselves and sought to hide in their sin and failure. Yet His Word tells us that the Father came looking for them, calling out "Where are you?" He knew where they were. He knows where we are as well. No matter how much energy we may put into hiding ourselves away from Him, His grace will find us. It has never lost sight of us. It laid hold of Noah not only on a storm tossed sea, but in the belly of the fish. It laid hold of Peter on a seashore after he had three times denied his Lord. It took hold of Paul on the road to Damascus, as he sought to destroy the followers of a Christ that he saw so clearly in the life and death of Stephen. A death he was in hearty agreement with. That grace finds you and me as well. No matter how dark, hopeless, or painful the place. It has found me before, it finds me now. It will find me always. It will find you too. The only question for us is, what will be our response?

Where might you be hiding today? No matter how thorough a job you may feel you've done in it, He knows where you're at. The Hound of Heaven has pursued you, and will continue to pursue. As the Psalm says, there is no place to go to get away from Him. We can reject Him, send Him away, but He will keep on coming after us. Isn't it time to come out of hiding and into His arms? Have we not spent enough time "in the belly of a fish?"

Blessings,
Pastor O


 

 

  December 2017  
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