On The Run

  "Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling." Matthew 23:37

 

I heard someone say that though we talk much of a loving, caring, seeking God, we spend a great part of our lives running and hiding from Him. This is tragic when it applies to those who have never known or experienced Him in any way. It is more tragic when it pertains to those who profess to be His. From the first, it has been the way of the flesh. When Adam and Eve sinned against Him in the garden, their first response was to hide from Him. When He came seeking them, the call from His heart and lips to them was, "Where are you?" He knew where they were. Lost, and in that moment the heart of the Father was shown, and became fully shown in Jesus Christ, who said of Himself that He came to "Seek and save that which has been lost." Seeking and saving not only lives and souls, but all that pertains to those lives and souls.

With this being so, why are the words of Jesus spoken in Matthew 23 still so true today? Why do we, like our ancestors Adam and Eve still so often have as our first impulse, the desire to hide from Him? The answer is not found in any one thing, but a sum of many related ones. Shame, fear, ignorance, pride, to name a few. We run from Him because we don't know Him, though so often we think we do. We assign to Him the traits of vindictiveness, pettiness, a God who is perpetually and always angry...and angry with us. Yes, we are to fear Him, and yes, the anger of God is real, but every aspect of His character, including His anger and wrath, is drenched in His love. His perfect love. The whispers of the enemy have formed in our minds the image of God who is never satisfied with us, always disappointed in us, and really would prefer to have as little to do with us as possible. It's true that we are all guilty before Him, but the enemy has done a very thorough job of turning our guilt into shame. When His Holy Spirit convicts of us sin, that conviction is meant to draw us to Him for forgiveness, cleansing and healing. When the enemy is able to turn it into shame, it causes us to run from Him, to seek a hiding place from Him. And that hiding place always results in a deeper personal darkness, and greater sense of shame. We are disoriented from Him. We are disoriented from who we can be in Him.

How much of the previous year, the previous years, have you spent running from Him? How weary of it all are you? As He did in Matthew 23, Jesus Christ looks upon your life and calls you to Himself, that He may cover you with His Life and His healing. In your hiding, no matter how good a job you may think you have done of it, the Father knows where you are. He calls you to Himself, to His forgiveness, His healing, and His life. Whether you are there due to fear, shame, pride, even open rebellion against Him, He calls you. He has come to you, that He may seek and save you, and all that has been lost, stolen, or taken from you. To restore not only the years that the locust have eaten, but to restore fully what has been lost of yourself. He has come for you, to find you. All that remains is, are you willing to come to Him? Are you willing to be found? Or, will you spend another year.....living on the run?

Blessings,
Pastor O

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