You Can Run But You Can’t Hide!
Have you ever tried to play ‘Hide and Seek’ with God?
Are you playing the game with Him right now?
If so, how is that going for you?
I’m just going to take a wild guess and say,
“I bet you’re losing!”
If we “run” like Jonah and “do” like Martha,
we won’t “become” like Paul until we “listen” like Mary.
“Run” Like Jonah?
Personal experience has taught me that trying to play ‘Hide and Seek’ with God is a game I cannot win. It is a life long losing battle. When we refuse to submit to Him, it only makes sense that we can expect to go through more of the same struggles and more of the same storms, because He is trying desperately to get our attention. Now, of course we really can run from God, but we truly can’t hide from Him. And as long as we try to, we can expect to receive the same assignment over and over and over again… until we finally learn the lesson. Allowing us to go through these tests and trials is our Father’s way of lovingly disciplining us.
The story about ‘Jonah and the Whale’ teaches us this. Jonah was commanded by the Lord to go preach repentance to the city of Nineveh before He destroyed it for its wickedness, but Jonah didn’t want to obey. Being a stubborn man, he thought he could run and hide from God instead, but as he did this he wound up putting others in danger too. Jonah hid on a boat and God sent a violent storm that threatened to break the ship into pieces. Jonah knew God was angry with him for his disobedience, so he told the crew to throw him overboard into the depths of the sea. Once the crew did this, the storm immediately calmed. Then Jonah was swallowed by a big fish where he repented and praised God in prayer for three days. Finally, God commanded the whale to spit him out onto the shoreline in which, Jonah then obeyed God and went forth preaching salvation to the city of Nineveh. As a result, the entire city repented and God had compassion on them, so He did not destroy them.
Everyone in this story (Jonah, the crew and an entire city!) was saved as a result of surrendering to God by way of faith and obedience.
What is it going to take for us to finally say, “OK God, I’ll do it Your way!”
“Do” Like Martha or “Listen” Like Mary?
Have you ever tried to “run” from God
by staying so busy “doing”
that you couldn’t “hear” what He was saying?
Perhaps Martha wasn’t intentionally trying to run from God, but the same concept still applies as that of Jonah, because Satan will use even good things like Christian duties or daily responsibilities to draw us away from our Father. Martha was concerned about all the “things” that needed to be done to make everything just right. Remember any leaning away from God is a leaning toward sin which manifests itself by creating doubt, anxiety, insecurity and fear within our lives. So Martha was worried and preoccupied with all the wrong things. That is what happens when we “run” from God or are so busy “doing” that we don’t stop to “hear” what He is saying. Our focus shifts away from the cross and becomes clouded by the enemy.
Instead, we are to be like Mary who sought Jesus first: Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you (Mat 6:33) Mary did not worry about or seek even His provisions and blessings ~ she only sought Him.
“Become” Like Paul.
There is a time for everything and to everything there is a season (Ecc. 3:1-15) simply meaning that life is full of both the triumphs and the battles. Life has its ups and downs, but God desires for us to know true contentment in ALL seasons, regardless of the circumstances that surround us or the feelings that inhabit us.
Whether Abased or Abound, I Am Content.
Paul said he learned how to be content whether abased or abound. That means in every situation and in every circumstance he chose to put his complete faith and trust in God. It means that regardless of his circumstances (good or bad) he was content. Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. (1 Tim. 6:6-8) For, there is no greater poverty than the absence of hope nor, are there any greater riches than those of Christ. It is truly amazing and once we learn this, we can find peace, contentment and even joy within any circumstance we may find ourselves in.
The person we are in times of abasement or abundance defines our character.
How We Win
We win when we keep our eyes on Christ: seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness (Mat 6:33). This happens when we choose to surrender and obey ~ when we choose to have faith and trust.
God wants us to have complete faith and trust in Him and only Him which: faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God ( Rom 10:17) as Mary did. He doesn’t want us so busy doing that we miss what He is saying like Martha. Nor does He want us to trust in ourselves, other men or the world to meet any of our needs. And like Paul, we are to believe in His promise: My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness (2 Cor. 12:9) God’s strength and grace in every circumstance can only happen when we quit running, finally surrender and choose to obey Him as we saw with Jonah.
May we remember that our triumphs and battles belong to the Lord, as they are opportunities that the world might serve and glorify Him!