Thursday, May 5, 2011
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We were waiting in front of a restaurant with our children, and my son saw a parent trying to keep his two-year-old occupied. Now, you know, it's tough enough for the parents to wait to get into a restaurant; it's a little hard to keep a two-year-old boy busy. And there's something in a child that wants freedom. And this child was no exception, because as soon as the parent would let this little guy go, he'd start to chug the other direction as fast as he could. It almost appeared as if he thought he really was going to get away from his dad. Not a chance! Dad started after him, you know, looking like it was hard to catch him. You know it wasn't.
Now, my teenage son was watching all this in amusement; he was sort of the observer of the world scene kind of guy. And he said, "Dad, it's so funny watching a kid get away from his parent." I said, "Why?" He said, "Because you know they'll lose every time." Well, it's true...they will. So will you and I.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "You Can't Run Fast Enough."
Now, our word for today from the Word of God comes from the book of Jonah 1. You know the word of the Lord came to Jonah, and you remember what he did? "Go to the great city of Nineveh," God said, "and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before Me. But Jonah ran away from the Lord" - there you go - "and headed for Tarshish. He went down to Joppa where he found a ship bound for that port."
"You may remember a great storm comes upon that ship, the sailors cast lots; they find out that it fell on Jonah as the one who's to blame." The Bible says, "And then the sailors said to each other, 'Come, we'll find out who the person is.' And they cast lots and it fell on Jonah. So they asked him, 'Tell us, who is responsible for making all this trouble for us. What do you do? Where do you come from? What is your country? From what people are you?' And he answered, 'I am a Hebrew, and I worship the Lord, the God of heaven who made the sea and the land.' This terrified them and they asked, 'What have you done?' (They knew he was running away from the Lord, because he had already told them so.)"
All right, here's a child of God trying to run away from his Father, and you know his Father is going to catch him. And He does in the mouth of a great fish, when Jonah's thrown into the water. Now, in some strange, providential way, it could be that God has brought you and me together today for this little visit because He knows you're running. You're running from something that He's told you to do, or running from the first place you know that He deserves in your life.
If we were to see a picture drawn by God right now, there He would be with His arms extended, and there you would be running the other direction just as surely as Jonah did. Well, consider the cost of running from God. If you read Jonah chapter 1, it cost Jonah his money, money he never had to spend. But it cost him money to get away from God, and it cost him his sleep; he wasn't sleeping very well. And maybe you know about that part.
And it cost him his prayer contact with God. He wasn't even praying during this great storm because well, I think he felt like there was something between him and God. And you maybe know about that. He'd lost his sensitivity to other people. He didn't care what was happening to them. He was too busy surviving. And he lost his testimony to these people, and he lost the welfare of those close to him.
When you're running from God, you are a destabilizing force on everything and everyone around you, and God is pursuing you even to this moment today. It's a good thing isn't it that parents always catch their children? Because if they didn't, eventually you know those kids would run into disaster or death. Well, God is catching you. Isn't it time to stop running, and to turn and face your Father? Let Him hold you in His arms. Let Him have you; He bought and paid for you with His Son. You have nothing to fear from being with Him. You have everything to fear from being away from Him.
When it comes to running from God, you could just ask Jonah. You can't run fast enough!