To the One Running from God

November 8, 2016

I can’t get you off my mind.


I’ve tried for weeks to push this message out of my heart and file it under things to write on in the future.  I’ve put off writing these words for many reasons.  Fear of rejection.  Fear of the unknown.  Fear you won’t hear my heart and won’t understand where I’m coming from.  I wanted to leave this alone.  Truly I did.

But it doesn’t always work that way.  There are some words, some messages that won’t leave me alone and friend, this is one of them.  I can’t promise that these words won’t stir up something inside of you, I actually hope they do.  Maybe these words aren’t meant for you at all.  Maybe they are meant for someone you hold close to your heart.  A family member.  A beloved friend.  A co-worker.  


Friend, please hear me when I say, these words of mine come from love. Such a deep love for you.  There is no judgement.  No malice.  No ill intentions.  I need you to know that so when you move down the page of my heart on this screen, you know that my words come from me wanting you to know you are cherished.  Loved.  Worthy.  Magnificent.  So with that, I need to tell you something hard but something ever so important.



Stop running from God. 











I’m sure it feels like life is just a giant question mark sometimes.  You struggle to know who you are, where you’re going or what the next season holds for you.  Maybe you find yourself looking in the mirror at yourself and wondering when you changed.  




I know it’s an uphill battle.  Sometimes the pain is just too great and there are too many questions unanswered.  Perhaps you’ve asked some of these questions before:



If God is such a good God, then why did He let this happen?
If God really loves me, why didn’t He save me from this?
If God is real, then why is there so much suffering in the world?
If God…
If God…
If God…




Those are difficult, valid questions.  Questions I won’t pretend to know the answer to.  But I do know that God uses our trials and struggles to draw us closer to Him.  I know that if He brings us to it, He will more than bring us through it.  In this way, we learn our desperate need for Him, for a Savior.


Maybe it’s not questions that plague your mind.  Maybe it’s simply that sin feels better than repentance and change.  Satan is so good at making us a slave to our sins and the things of this world draw us in like moths to a flame.  They fulfill us, for a short time.  They feel good.  They give us what we want, what we desire.  Whatever it is- drinking, sex, partying, gossip, lying, greed.  But none of it compares to Jesus. 

 
Friend, I've been there. I've turned my heart away from Him before.  It was easier to go through the motions of life and pretend my sin didn’t exist.  To look for value and acceptance from others instead of letting Him blow my heart wide open with His truth.  It was easier to pretend that He was some distant God in the sky more than a personal Savior.  It was easier to push the pain down than to allow Him to do the work He needed to and heal me.


God is a fierce pursuer of our hearts and He doesn’t stop pursuing His children.  “For the Lord your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.” Deuteronomy 4:24 (NIV).  I’m so glad He never stops pursuing us.  Aren’t you?


I need you to know this.  You are never too far gone for God to reach you.  To see you.  To work in your life.  To love you.  Never.  God’s love is never-ending, never ceasing.  You see it doesn't matter what you've done or where you've been. It matters that you return and that His arms are wide open ready to receive you.







What if, just for a brief moment, you stopped and sat still with Him.  You let your shoulders relax and your breath slow.  You focused your mind simply on Him, on His peace.  There is no agenda there, from you or from Him.  There is simply stillness.  I think in those still, quiet moments God would whisper to your heart, come home child.


I love you.

I miss you.

I cherish you.

Nothing you do will stop me from loving you.



Do you believe that?  Do you know how much He loves you?  How much you matter to Him?


You matter.  Your life matters.  And if it sounds like I’m being overly dramatic and too serious, I’m okay with that.  That’s how serious I take this.  Because I want you to know just that badly how much God wants you to stop running from Him.


It’s okay that you messed up.  It’s okay that you don’t have it all together.  Welcome to the club!  We’re all broken and in need of a Savior.  You think you’re too messed up for Him to use?  Look at the people in the Bible-Noah, Moses, David, Rahab, Mary Magdalene, and Paul just to name a few.  They messed up, but God used them in mighty ways.  Ways that brought Him glory; that fulfilled His promises and purposes.



If you need healing, who better to heal you than Jesus?

You need acceptance?  Who better to accept you than The One who was rejected by man.

You need love?  You’ll never find anyone who will love you more.  I guarantee it.

You want to know there’s something beyond the life you’re living?  That God has a plan for you?  You bet.  1,000% He does. (Jeremiah 29:11)



But you have to stop running friend.  You have to let go of the things that have held you captive and release them to God.  There is nothing too dirty, too painful or too burdensome that God can't handle or that you cannot be forgiven and redeemed from. 


What if today, you stopped running, stopped pursuing other things and gave yourself back to Him? 



You are never too far gone for God.  You can always come home.  Will you come?




Lord Jesus,

I don’t know why we run from you.  I don’t know why we think our ways are better than yours. Forgive us for turning away when what our hearts need most is You.  You give us this beautiful parable in Luke 15.  A story of the prodigal son returning home.  He thinks he will be met by his father with haste and anger, yet he is welcomed with open arms, a celebration of return.  You give us this beautiful example of your love for us in this story.  Thank you for your unending patience and grace with us.  Thank you for open arms and unending love.  You are the only thing that can truly fulfill us.  Draw us closer to you and help us to run fast to you.  Fast to your everlasting arms. 


In Your Name, Amen. 








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