Thursday, September 20, 2012

On The Run

"And I ran... 
I ran so far away
I just ran...
I ran all night and day
I couldn't get away."
- I Ran (So Far Away) by Flock of Seagulls

That song is probably the greatest one-hit wonder of all time. At least Top 5!

In this fast-paced world that we live, it seems like we are always running around. Running to and from places. Running everywhere or running nowhere. Running to stay ahead or running to catch up with everyone else.

Have we ever stopped for a moment to look at where our running takes us? To take note of where we are and where we're going? Who we're running life with? How far we've come and how much farther we need to go? Or maybe we're running from something... an unhealthy relationship, an addiction, a dangerous situation.

There have been plenty of times where we feel like we're running and running as far and as fast as we can from something, but then we stop and realize that we end up right back where we started.

Running away from danger is the wise thing to do, but where are we running to? Are we running to God in our time of need and crisis? Are we running away from one dangerous situation and right into another? Are we running towards others who can help us make wise choices or to people that will point us towards more danger?


"Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, 
but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body." 
- 1 Corinthians 6:18

Too many times we walk on the ledge of danger, checking to see how close we can get the edge before falling off. We bend the bar of morality, checking to see how far we can go without breaking it. Many times we play, as my pastor put it this past weekend, this game of Jenga with our lives, making little compromises here and there that we think are harmless, but eventually one of them will cause everything to come crashing down.

Is it worth playing this game with our lives? Is it worth losing valuable relationships? Great opportunities? Precious time?

We all, at one point or another, have pushed the limits. Tried to see how far we can go without having everything fall apart. From my own experience, there is no gain from it. There is nothing there but regret. We look back and ask ourselves how we could have been so dumb and reckless!

When the alarms go off in your head, telling you that this situation is not where you should be, run as fast as you can in the opposite direction.


"The name of the Lord is a fortified tower; the righteous run to it and are safe." 
- Proverbs 18:10

When we run, we need to have a destination. And the only true place where we are safe is in the arms of Christ.

Many times we will run looking for comfort and safety in all the wrong places, chasing after things that ultimately cannot satisfy us. In Christ, there is forgiveness, healing, protection, and strength. All of which equip us for the challenges and temptations all of us will face in the future.

Temptations in life are not a matter of if, but when. Where we run to in the face of crisis is just as important as running from the crisis in the first place. Because if we don't end up in the arms of Christ and into the arms of someone or something else, we're setting ourselves up for failure.


"I run in the path of your commands, for you have broadened my understanding... Give me understanding, so that I may keep your law and obey it with all my heart. Direct me in the path of your commands, for there I find delight. Turn my heart toward your statute. and not toward selfish gain. Turn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life according to your word." 
- Psalm 119:32, 34-37

Run on the path God has set for your life. Don't steer to the left or the right. Don't veer off course. Don't try and take shortcuts or detours. We have to keep our eyes set straight ahead, fixed on Christ.

Running on this path is one of sacrifice. If we are going to run on this path, we're going to have to drop some of the junk and the funk that distracts us from the blessings God has planned for us. Maybe it's an unhealthy relationship that needs to be severed, a call to move elsewhere, a career change... whatever it is, make the necessary changes and eliminate those unhealthy distractions from your life!

I'm starting to realize that in order to stay on this path and not allow compromises to drift me off course, extreme standards need to be set in order. I have to ask myself: How far am I willing to go to protect myself? To honor God? To run on His path?


"Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air." 
- 1 Corinthians 9:24-26

How are we running: Are we running with strength, confidence and humility? Or in fear and timidity? 

Running a race requires alertness, readiness and awareness; It requires discipline, wisdom and focus. If you have ever trained for something, you know that it requires time, dedication and maximum effort if you're going to succeed. Are we putting in the kind of training necessary to run the race God has set for our lives? Or are we simply stumbling along?

We need to keep running, and continually prepare for the challenges of life in away that allows us to run strong. 

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