Monday, July 15, 2013

Are You Running To or Running From God?

Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?
If I ascend into heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.
Psalm 139:7-8

Running From The Empty Tomb

Last week, I listened to a wonderful message by Dr. R.C. Sproul regarding how Peter denied Christ 3 times...and then the rooster crowed.

It's a story I have heard over and over again all my life, and yet the impact is still profound.

In the message, Dr. Sproul focuses on how Christ looked at Peter right after he denied Him the third time. Dr. Sproul wondered allowed just how did Christ look at Peter? What did that glance look like and what did it say to him?

"Peter, how could you? After all we've been through..."

"Peter, now do you understand what I was saying?"


"Peter, go and edify the brethren..."

Whatever that look was, it must have been devastating.

But then Dr. Sproul went on to talk about what happened after the crucifixion. Another Bible passage I have read and studied over and over again, yet I saw something I hadn't seen before. 

I love that about God's Word, don't you?

When the women go to the upper room to tell the disciples that the body of Christ isn't in the tomb and that they actually saw the risen Jesus, how does Peter react to the news?

He runs.

But does he run to the empty tomb?  ...or does he run away from the empty tomb?

By reading that Peter ran toward the empty tomb, we can know that the look Jesus gave him that night had to have been a life changing look.

Amazing, isn't it? What we glean from God's word is truly amazing.


Our pastor announced he will be going through the book of Jonah for the next four weeks. As he spoke, I read through the first chapter. Again, I have read and studied this book over and over again. 

So I prayed and asked the Lord to show me something new.

And He answered my prayers. 

As I read, the Lord showed me how this book is applicable even today. As I blogged about last week, so many friends are hurting right now. 

They are dealing with real issues that can either strengthen one's faith or destroy it. 

These friends can either run to the empty tomb...or they can be like Jonah, and run away from it.

But Jonah arose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord.
 He went down to Joppa, and found a ship going to Tarshish;
 so he paid the fare, and went down into it, to go 
with them to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord.
Jonah 1:3

His desire was to avoid God altogether. 

Jonah's motivation was to flee from the commands of the Lord. Why?

Hatred. He didn't want to proclaim forgiveness to the wicked enemies of God.

Have you ever been there? The Lord has commanded you to take His word, His healing gospel message, to the wicked of this world...and, instead, you run off in the opposite direction?


a. Because you don't want to be rejected.
b. Because you don't care about those evil wicked people.
c. Because deep down want those evil wicked people to burn in       
    hell for what they do. 
d. All of the above.

Sound familiar?

I know I felt that way, too. 

I tried to pull a "Jonah" many times. I ran away from God instead of running toward Him and His perfect plan. 

God Found Jonah

You might be saying to yourself that your situation right now is dire. You are hurting so badly now, that you can't possibly talk to anyone about Christ, let alone the wicked.

Or you might be telling yourself that you don't have the gift of evangelism. That's a gift other people have.

But trust me, the Lord has commanded all of His believers to GO and proclaim what the Lord has done or is doing in your life. 

Let the redeemed of the Lord say so,

Whom He has redeemed from the hand of the enemy
Psalm 107:2

Has the Lord done great things in your life?

Proclaim it!

Has He healed you?

Proclaim it!

Has He redeemed you and saved you from the pits of hell?

Proclaim it!

Has He shown you great things in His word today?

Proclaim it!

There are so many ways to tell of God's glory today that we are without excuse. Yes, social media and the internet can be used for evil...But instead, use social media for good! Use it to His advantage!

You have a story, you have God's Word, you have Him on your side....there is nothing to fear.

So you might be rejected. So what? So, the person might call you bad names, so what?

Think of what some Christians are facing right now just because they proclaimed the gospel message of Christ:

Financial ruin

Remember what happened to Jonah who ran away from the commands of God: 

God found Him.

God found him unfaithful. 

How do you want God to find you?

Run To the Empty Tomb

God warned Jeremiah and Ezekiel that if they did not go and speak the words of God, they would be punished:

 Jeremiah 1:17

“Therefore prepare yourself and arise,
And speak to them all that I command you.
Do not be dismayed before their faces,
Lest I dismay you before them."

Ezekiel 3:18 & 20

"When I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life, that same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand. 

“Again, when a righteous man turns from his righteousness and commits iniquity, and I lay a stumbling block before him, he shall die; because you did not give him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he has done shall not be remembered; but his blood I will require at your hand."

You might say, "That's the Old testament...surely, God was talking to them, not me!"

Remember....the God of the Bible does not change. If He has commanded us to Go, we are to go and speak His words to the world!

As Dr. Sproul pointed out in his message, we can either run to the empty tomb or run from it. 

The Bible is full of stories of people who ran from God. In the end, it wasn't pretty. 

In our sorrows and trials, we can either run from God or run to Him. He clearly says in His word to proclaim your story. 

If you have been redeemed...say so!

We cannot hide from the presence of the Lord no matter how hard we try. And we definitely do not want the blood of others on our hands when we stand before Him. 

My advice? Be found faithful. 

Put on your running shoes...and run to the Lord!

Your turn: where are you at right now? Are you running toward the empty tomb or away from it? Are you telling your story or not?



  1. That is the word... You have spoken so much that our generation have to put in mind if we truely want to take the world for christ... It is important to proclaim his faithfulnes at all time.. So that he can do more for us.. Recently God has being dealing with me given me some responsibility to speak to my friends about how he change me and that he can do the same for them but all my effort sucks and is just weird.. They just dont want to hear me out.. But now no matter how it is i will keep trying my best.. Is important to speak it out. Thanks. So inspiring.

    1. Well praise God that you are sharing your story! Your friends are watching you because actions speak louder than words. They will watch to see if your actions will match what you say about Christ. Stay in God's word! Keep praying...