Summary: A message of faith. Do we hide from fear, or step out in faith? Do we normally run to God, or away from Him? And this message ends with a question: ’Are we serious about living for Jesus, or do we just go through the motions, thinking we are serious?’
Two gas company employees were out reading meters one day when they started talking about how good of physical condition they were in. One of them bragged that he used to be a track star in high school and the other one claimed to be one, too. So they decided that after they checked the meter where they were at, they would both run a race to the end of the street.
They finished reading the meter and both took off at full speed to the street where their truck was parked. When they stopped to catch their breath, they noticed three other people who were out of breath, too. It seems they ran behind the two men.
One of the gas employees asked them why they ran with them, and one of the people said that when you see gas employees running away from a house, the only safe thing to do is run with them.
Do you run? And if so, do you run to something, or do you run away from it? Sometimes, we end up running away from something even when there is no reason to, don’t we? And speaking of running, how far have you run lately?
This morning I want to talk to you about something that is happening more and more in Christian relationships with the Lord. I have seen the same thing happening over and over again in many lives, and it doesn’t matter which church a person belongs to, it still happens.
I see individuals who come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, or a Christian will grow closer and stronger in their relationship with Jesus Christ. At first, they become very excited about what God is doing in their lives, but they soon become accustomed to having a life full of blessings, and they see that as routine.
This is the same attitude that a rich child might develop when they get are spoiled; they get too many gifts too often and then they start expecting them on a regular basis without feeling any need to earn them. This puts them in a cardboard box of comfort, and this newly found comfort does nothing to help them live their lives as people or Christians.
This attitude hinders the work of God, and, at best, allows the person to only grow to a small level of faith in the Lord. They settle in their comfort zone, being happy that things don’t change - and then God will ask them to do something new, or in a way that they are not used to doing. He might ask them to take a step of faith and do something that just doesn’t make much sense to them, and out of fear of the unknown, they end up refusing to press onward. By being so inflexible, Christians actually render themselves useless to God.
Most people will start thinking that they must understand everything God tells them to do BEFORE they become obedient enough to do it. They believe that if it doesn’t make sense to them, it must be wrong. They have forgotten that God works through other people, too. The bottom line is, when this happens, their level of faith actually starts to deteriorate to the point that they cannot feel comfortable trusting God anymore.
There was a man named Nasseri who actually lived in a Paris airport for 11 years. He was a man without a country. He had been expelled from his native country of Iran, and on his way to France, his passport was stolen. Landing in Paris, he was not allowed out of the airport, and was soon shuttled to England. Because he had no passport, England refused him and sent him back to France where he was again denied permission to leave the airport.
For 11 years, he lived in the airport. He subsided on handouts from employees and used the public restroom to keep clean. He spent his time writing in diaries. Then, in September 1999, the French authorities presented him with a travel card and a French residency permit. Suddenly he was free to go anywhere he wanted.
But when airport officials handed him his walking papers, he just filed them in his folder, and resumed writing in his diary. You see, over the years he became so comfortable where he was, he was afraid to leave the safety of that comfort, even for something much better.
And, too many of us have grown accustomed to where we are in our relationship with the Lord and have grown so used to how we do things for Him, that we have become fearful and have lost our faith that He will carry us.
Let me say that if you do not ponder God’s desires for you daily; if you do not try and actively seek His will in your daily life; then there is a very good chance that you are the person that I am speaking about right now.