Thursday, March 19, 2009

When God Ran

I know I haven’t posted “My Testimony - Part II” yet, but this is something that God put on my heart and I need to share. I’m sure most have heard the song, “When God Ran”, by Phillips, Craig and Dean, if not, it’s totally “off the hook” (if I can borrow a term from Curtis Marshall, blog love HERE). I love that song, it is such a great explanation of how much God desires for us to come home and how absolute His love for us is. Recently, I’ve been trying to learn and understand as much as possible about having a relationship with Jesus and listening to, then DOING what God wants and needs me to. I feel like I have 20 some years of learning to catch up on. One of the things God has been revealing to me lately is the love that He has for us.

I haven’t talked about it yet, but when God finally got my attention to go into ministry, I was in the shower. Then a few months later, at one of my life groups, one of the guys said God called him to do something, while he was in the shower. Today, God laid this on my heart…again, while I was in the shower. At the same life group another guy asked, “Why does it seem like lately God wants to have life changing conversations while people are showering.” I thought it was pretty funny at the time, but it got me thinking. God does his best work when we are at our weakest. When we are at our most broken, God is at his best. It’s at that point that many of us realize we can’t do it on our own, then we turn to God and he does amazing things. In line with that I think God gets the most talking in when we’re at our most vulnerable. At the point when we have nowhere to run to, God runs to us.

As far as the shower thing goes, when are more vulnerable than that? Think about any horror flick you’ve seen with a shower scene. That’s one of the WORST things you can do in a horror film (that and say, “I’ll be right back”). Anytime someone takes a shower and are attacked, they die. Now, I’m not saying that God wants to attack you in the shower, but what I am saying is that maybe, for some, God has been trying to tell you something for years and you’ve just ignored him. Maybe (I know this is my case), God has been chasing you around, trying to get you to listen and you run away, pretending not to hear him and giving any excuse you can think of when he does get close and whispers in your ear. Maybe when you’re at your most broken, God will corner you at your most vulnerable (for some it might be the shower, because you’re naked, have shampoo in your hair – shaving cream in my case – and you can’t run anywhere), then He’ll tell you exactly what you need, but don’t necessarily want to hear.

So the song chorus goes like this:
The Only time I ever saw Him run,
Was when He ran to me, He took me in His arms
Held my head to His chest, said "My son's come home again"
Lifted my face, wiped the tears from my eyes
With forgiveness in His voice He said,
"Son do you know I still love you?"
He caught me by surprise when God ran
Wow! Doesn’t God tell us that all the time? Doesn’t he rejoice, when His sons & daughters “come home again”? Unfortunately, some of never get to hear it, because we’d rather run away than run to Him. Why are so many of us suprised at the fact that God would run to us. Often times, we tell ourselves that we've done too much, that God could never forgive us and we're not worthy of God. Part of that is right, we're not worthy of God, but He still runs to us. That's how much we mean to Him, that's how much He loves us. The greatest example of God running to us, is when Jesus ran up that hill at Calvary. Now I know that Jesus did not actually run up the hill, in fact he had to have help to even carry His cross all the way to the top. But think about it for a second, at 33 years old would any of us be ready to die. Jesus only actively ministered for 3 years. Yes I know that for 30 years prior to that he ministered through the way he lived, but he only traveled and spread the Good News for three years prior to his death and resurrection. He could have very easily said, “I need way more than three years of ministry to spread my word and save people.” But he didn’t. At 33 years old he ran into the hands of the people that would betray him, beat him, mock him, spit on him and kill him. He didn’t run away, He ran to. Was he sacred? You bet, he even asked God to take that responsibility away from him if there was any other way. But there wasn’t. He knew the ONLY way to save all of us, wasn’t through walking around Judea and Samaria for 60 years. He knew he was on Earth long enough to commission his disciples to spread the Good News, then to run to the cross and provide a way for us to come home to him.

If God is willing to run to us, why are so many of us reluctant to run to him? That is where it is the responsibility of those that already know him, to show those who don’t the “road” down which He lives. Then God will see them walking down that road and He’ll run to them. God never said we need to cover some of that distance. We can’t, we’re not capable. That is why Jesus dying on that cross was essential. He covered the whole distance, he ran all the way to us.

When you finally understand how God ran (and continues to run) to you, it is such a humbling and breathtaking moment. So much so, that running to Him (not just when we’re in need, but all the time) becomes a deep desire and need. Proverbs 18:10 says, “The name of the Lord is a strong fortress; the godly run to him and are safe.” God has already run to us. But He also promises us that if we’ll run to Him, He’ll take care of us. He longs for us to run to Him, just as He runs to us. Isn’t it time to stop running away and run to Him?

Still Running to God,
Bruce