Moses ran from his heritage, not wanting to accept responsibility. Elijah ran, fearing for his life and forgetting God. Jonah ran from God, fearful of what was being asked of him. David ran, quite frequently, from other men, forgetting to ask the Lord for guidance. Jeremiah protested his appointment as a prophet. Esther hid, scared to publicly acknowledge who and what she was. Andrew, Bartholomew (Nathanael), James, James, John, Jude (Thaddeus), Matthew (Levi), Philip, Simon, and Thomas all ran in fear the night Jesus was arrested. And Peter denied Christ, three times! Saul persecuted those who stood for Christ.
The Bible is filled with examples of men, and a few women, who, in some way, shape, or form, ran from God, His instructions, or His identity with them. We are certainly not immune from running! Can you honestly look back on the choices you have made in life and say that there is not a time when you ran from God? Are you running now? There are many different ways to run, some of which do not even seem like running!
The people recorded in the Bible are remembered not because they ran, but for their actions when they weren’t running. Moses, David, and Esther are remembered for being great leaders. Elijah, Jonah, and Jeremiah are remembered as influential prophets. The disciples and Saul are remembered for all they did for the early church. But how? How did they go from running from God, to influential, inspirational, remembered individuals? The same way you can! Stop running, and start rebuilding!
And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet. And bring the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate. For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to celebrate. (Luke 15:20-24, ESV)
Jesus knew the lives of those to whom He was speaking. He knew the lives of the people who would one day read His teachings. He knew that they were not perfect and that many had turned from the Lord. So He told a story, a parable, of a young man who thought he knew best. The young man took his inheritance and left home to enjoy his life, but it did not last. Eventually, he ran out of money and had to return to his father as nothing more than a beggar. His father welcomed him home with open arms, throwing a great feast in his honor!
Too often, we are like that young man, thinking we know best, living our life as we see fit. Then, for one reason or another, we are forced to stop and examine what our lives have really become. We can continue with our charade or begin rebuilding our life and find our purpose. And when we chose to begin rebuilding, our Father will be there with opening arms, ready to welcome us and throw a feast for our return.
This month, the month of June, is National Rebuilding Month! Are you like the young man? Are you still running? Or are you ready to rebuild?
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