Summary: Why do we run from God? Some lessons on the perils of running from our life source.
Running from God Part 1
I have a confession to make. I ran away from home once. Looking back, it was one of the dumbest things I have ever done. I was in eighth grade, I think. I blame the hormones. A boy was becoming a man, or so he thought. It all started when I decided to cut my own hair. The mushroom hairstyle was popular back then. Some of you may be familiar with this. Anyway, in an effort to look cool, I tried to thin out the sides of my hair with a razor! Right, bad idea. In doing so, I accidentally cut my hair to the skin; about the size of a small rectangle. Well, my dad came home and let’s just say, he wasn’t too pleased with the situation. But I reacted very strongly to his displeasure. I stormed out of the house barefoot. I ran away.
So I walked down the block, down the street and down the next street. Where was I going? No clue. My feet were hurting, but I kept walking. Every car that passed by, I tried to inconspicuously cover my bald spot, though I think more people were concerned with why I wasn’t wearing any shoes. Thankfully no one was walking their dog that day, for then it would be really bad news. Well a half-mile into my journey, a car pulled up next time. My dad opened the passenger, shaking his head in disgust. To be honest, I was relieved and thankful he came after me, but as a teenager, you just pretend you’re angry. I got in and went home. The sad part of it was that we had to go to a family party that night and since I was already on my parents’ bad side, I didn’t fight about not attending. But I still had my bald spot! So I decided to cover it up with a band aid, pretending I cut my head it was bleeding. Now that doesn’t make any sense (why would I be bleeding there?) and I don’t remember what happened at that party (perhaps I have purposely tried to forget), but I can tell you that never again did I try to cut my own hair or run away!
Sometimes you just want to run away, especially when you feel threatened, stressed or paralyzed by fear. Some of us like to fight in a conflict, but others of us like flight instead. We like to bail when the going gets rough. Or when we are overloaded with a mountain of responsibilities, we run away too our hobbies or friends or escape into entertainment. Kids want to run away from parents, sometimes for good reasons, like abuse. Some spouses want to run away from their marriage (and some have done that emotionally).
It is in our nature to run. But since the Fall, we have been running away from God. Remember when Adam and Eve, after eating of the fruit, try to run and hide from God (Gen. 3:8)? And God, not like a policeman looking for a criminal, but a Father looking for His lost child, comes looking for them. Perhaps that was the first hide-and-seek game ever of mankind. He’s still the best seeker ever! And we have been playing that with God since then. Maybe it’s not so much that we are good runners, but we try to be good hiders. Sin, running and hiding all go together.
Today I want to talk about running from God. Yes, you and I both run. And the sad part is that we could be sitting at church running from God. But why do we do it? And what’s really beneath our running from Him? We are going to explore that today in our text. It’s easy to say, “Yes, I am running from God, I need to get better,” but it is more important that we know our heart and its propensity to run and why we run. I guess you know me well enough that I like to dig deep in the Word, so we are just going to look at the first three verses today. Take a note of this first thought:
I. Running from God is forfeiting God’s best for us (vv.1-3)
Sometimes people run from God because they think He is angry or too strict or impossible to please. They think God enslaves them, not sets them free (which ironically is the opposite of what happens). They might run because of fear; whether fear of failure or fear of the unknown or fear of what God will ask them to do (which is in this case with Jonah I think). But I want you to see that running from God is forfeiting God’s best for our life. Hopefully you’ll see it much clearer as we dig in here.