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Running away? – Seeking God No.4

You can't conquer reality by running away from it - Og Mandino

The most funny runaway story I can think of is Runaway Bride.

Is a 1999 American romantic comedy film directed by Garry Marshall and starring Julia Roberts and Richard Gere.

It is the second film to co-star Gere and Roberts, following Pretty Woman (1990).

“The plot entails a New York columnist Ike Graham elaborates, for once without full fact checking, the story he heard from a bar mate of Maryland small town girl Maggie Carpenter, who left several grooms at the altar, taking off without warning or serious reason. Fearing a legal case from Maggie, Ike’s editor and ex Ellie fires him. Staff buddy Fisher cues Ike to seek his job back (or earn another) by attempting to prove the alleged inaccuracies and/or writing a priceless follow-up piece. So his sports-car heads for her home Hale, where she runs a garage and designs glassware. His charms and journalistic nose get everyone to open up and reveal her embarrassing past before she can swear people to silence, from her three dumped grooms and family to her overconfident present groom, high school coach Bob Kelly. In the process, Maggie finds hating him as hard as tempting, while Ike develops a strange appreciation for the maverick, until even Bob sees reason to get jealous.”

Let’s have a look at a spiritual runaway.

Why do we run away?

  • Our current situation is not the situation we longed for ourselves to be in.
  • It might be a hostile not upbuilding situation that we find ourselves in.
  • There might be some responsibilities we cannot face up to. 
  • The stress and anxiety of the situation have gotton too intense.
  • Our rational mindset and our emotions make us think and feel like we need to run away.
  • We feel we cannot express our emotions, we feel we are going to flip out and there is no one to trust.
  • Some leader/s might have disappointed me with their walk with God not loving me back.
  • We stop following God and started to follow people.
  • We think that God is not able to forgive That sin.
  • We feel embarrased about our sins in drifting from God and not willing to face the humiliation before people.
  • We know that God expects us to do His will but we settle for a less of a god doing actually our will.
  • Examples might be abuse, death in the family, financial worries, problems with your kids at school, peer pressure, etc.
  • I think mostly to like a vacation setting like the sea or a lake or something.
  • We think the place we run away to will have no more rules.

Where do we run to?

What are the realities of running away?

  • It is anything but fun, you will face new problems.
  • You might not have any money, food, safety, a place to sleep or people to look after you. 
  • The problem is to meet your basic needs and you might become desperate by doing anything to meet those needs. 
  • Your support base of people is now gone.
  • Another example of running away is the “Jason Bourne” film series I watched lately.
  • Jason used to be a special forces marine who protected his country.
  • He was lured into becoming a USA CIA black opps government assasin by another black opps agent killing his father and make him believe that it was terrorist that assasinated his father.
  • On one of his missions he got shot and lost:
    • His memory,
    • his purpose and
    • the key to his existence.
  • He also lost his:
    • identity and
    • his peace and
    • the movie goes about how he tries to find out who he really was. 
  • Would you believe it; believers and unbelievers alike.

Who runs away from God?

Jonah Flees From the Lord

“1 The word of the Lord came to Jonah son of Amittai: 2 “Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.”

But Jonah ran away from the Lord and headed for Tarshish. He went down to Joppa, where he found a ship bound for that port. After paying the fare, he went aboard and sailed for Tarshish to flee from the Lord.” – Jonah 1:1-3

  • Jonah knew God was a loving and forgiving God. 

  • The last thing Jonah wanted to see was some war hungry Gentiles get into the kingdom of God by repenting of their sins!

  • Jonah was a prophet who prophesied favourable words of prosperity and peace, preaching to the gentiles would make him look bad to his own people who loved him.

  • I think we can be the same as Jonah, although he knew God and was in His kingdom. 
  • His pleasing people and friendships in the Israelite Kingdom was more important to him than pleasing God almighty who’s word he prophesied.
  • He cared more about his reputation and his Israelite Kingdom friendships than 200 000 people in Nineveh who needed saving.
  • In our previous study we spoke about what God’s heart for people on the earth is: God “wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth”. (1 Tim 2:1-5)
  • Jonah learned the hard way that he cannot run away from God because God loves him and Ninevites too much.
  • Leaving his mission for God brought a storm on his life.
    • The reasons God brings storms in your life can be one of the following: get our attention, bring us to repentance (Jonah 1:1-17), get us to be more like Jesus, equip us for service, to demonstrate who is God in our lives, reveal Himself to us, show us how much he loves us and to help us to find out who is really in control of our lives. 
  • It brought him being thrown overboard and almost drowned.
    •  Why do we not repent and what happen with us: our sin will confront us, it reminds us of being a child, we are scared we will not be forgiven, we don’t want grace, we forget to repent, we think Christians are boring people,  we don’t know what sin is and our picture of God and his love is too small. 
  • He must have thought he was really dead being swallowed by a fish, he did not want to commit suicide himself:

How do we spiritually run away?

So in Summary what do we Learn?

  • Running away does not solve your problems but put you in a worse scary situation without support.
  • Running away is not funny like in the movie Runaway bride, it actually reveals your weak character for everyone to see isolating you.
  •  Sometimes running away I want to reinvent myselves, but the problem is I cannot run away from who I am. I can only solve the “me” problem by changing and to come to terms what God wants for me and not to please people. 
  • Paul the Apostle said: “Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.” (Gal 1:10)
  • So Paul says I CANNOT be a Christian if I try to please people over God. That means I am a pagan, lost, bocome unsaved and in “the world”.
  • Running away we want to forget what happened to us but doing that we “throw the baby out with the bathwater”.
  • When we run away from God as a Christian we loose our purpose for God and the key to our existence being a disciple and just live for our jobs throwing away our salvation and become unbelievers because we do not put into practise living as a disciple, being a fisher of men loving people like Jesus but we deceive ourselves to claim to follow Jesus. When is the last time you studied the Bible with someone and baptized them?
  • We stop to “and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” (Mat 28:20) So we do not disciple each other any more which leads to no accountability which is really like sticking your head in the sand like an ostrich. 
  • Have you lost “the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Phil 4:7) being content and happy. Are you at peace with God?

Prayer:

  • Morning Lord
  • Why do I run away from You and not to You?
  • If You are The Loving Father that cares about me and want the best for me it does not make sense that I rather run towards the devil.
  • Help me to run towards You and Your love.
  • I know there is really two aspects God to live as a disciple; someone must teach me word and then mentor me towards obeying your word. 
  • Help me to find that person that would love me like Jesus, really calling me to repent of sin in my life so I can experience your blessings in my life. 
  • That someone wants me to be the best disciple I can be for God and would love me through my hurt to help heal me.
  • Amen.

"You can't conquer reality by running away from it."

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