Tag Archives: running from God

Knowing Which Way to Run

Story of the Day for Thursday June 21, 2012

Knowing Which Way to Run

                   Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, with hearts cleansed from a guilty conscience. 

                                                                                   Hebrews 10:22

“Oh, look at that horse! I want it.”

We were driving in the Black Hills a few miles from Mount Rushmore and my daughter, Elly, spotted a ranch that hosted trail rides.

“Which one?” I asked.

“The pinto. Can we buy it?”

“No, we can’t afford to buy another horse. We’re going to have to steal it.”

“How?”

“Easy,” I told her. “We slip into the stable around midnight when no one’s around.”

“But how will we get her home?”

“We’ll tie her halter to the back of our van and she can trot behind us back to Montana.”

When we reached Mount Rushmore I walked into the visitor center to ask if there were any open campgrounds in the area. The man behind the counter said, “Yes, just a few miles west of here is a campground I think you’ll like. It’s called Horsethief Lake.”

Later on our trip, we spent a night in Medora in the Theodore Roosevelt National Park. I started reading an account Roosevelt wrote in 1886 about chasing thieves who stole his boat. The men they chased, Roosevelt wrote, were also suspected of the “worst of frontier crimes, horse-stealing.”

Even though we were only joking about stealing a horse, reminders of our imaginary crime began popping up everywhere. If this happens in an innocuous situation, how much more ominous is it when we have a guilty conscience?

Guilt is a good emotion — just as pain is a good sensation. Neither are pleasant, of course. But if you accidentally lay your hand on a hot stove, pain screams “Hey! That’s not such a good idea!” Pain watches over you to protect you from serious damage.

In the same way, guilt sets off alarms to warn us when our soul is in danger.

My natural impulse when I have a guilty conscience, however, is to run in the wrong direction. When I do wrong, I know God disapproves. So, instead of moving away from the guilt, I move away from God.

But when we’ve messed up, the Bible urges us to draw closer to God. We can’t erase our guilt, but our heavenly Father can. If we see him carrying a bucket, it’s not because he intends to slap us on the side of the head with it. The bucket’s full of water because he intends to wash us clean. He wants to forgive our sin and remove the guilt.

The secret to being a would-be horse thief is knowing which way to run.

                                                        (copyright by climbinghigher.org and by Marty Kaarre) 
 

The War is Over

Story of the Day for Saturday October 15, 2011

The War is Over

                     “If, when we were enemies of God, we were reconciled to him by the death of His Son, how much more, having been reconciled, will we be saved through his life.”  

                                                                           Romans 5:10

 What? Enemies of God?  It makes perfect sense once you think about it.  Ask yourself: Who has opposed God’s plan to create a beautiful world without sin and evil?  Who has marred this perfect world He wanted and filled it with sin?  Who has abused and polluted it?  Who has become the obstacle to God’s desire for this world?

We’re all guilty, aren’t we?  We are the ones defeating God’s good plans for this world.

The beauty of this passage for today is that we have been reconciled to God.  To “be reconciled” means to become friends again. Once Jesus offered up His life for our sins, that sacrifice brought an end to the war.

In 1944, a Japanese man, Shoichi Yokoi, began living in a jungle cave on the island of Guam.  For 28 years he lived on rats, frogs, snails, nuts, and mangoes.   Do you know why he lived like this?  He was a Japanese soldier and he didn’t know that World War II was over!

All those long years he was running and hiding from an enemy that didn’t exist.  The United States and Japan were at peace.   Even when he did hear the war had ended, he said he was afraid to surrender.  He feared execution.

Not many people openly defy God and think that this is a battle they can win.  But there are throngs of people who are running from God.  They are afraid.  If God ever finds them, they think, they are in deep, dark trouble.

Are you running from God?

If you’re running from God because you think he’s out to get you, then you’ll find it’s very hard to pray (how can you talk to someone you fear?)  Reading the Bible is like pulling teeth.  You won’t read long before you have to face Him.

It really stinks to eat rats and frogs to survive, simply because you are at war.  But when the war is over, and you don’t realize it, such a lifestyle is just tragic.

Jesus has negotiated a permanent truce.  God is on our side – or, better yet, we are now on His side.

Harry Houdini was one of the greatest magicians of all time.  On one of his European tours he boasted that he could be handcuffed and locked in any prison cell, and free himself.   Amazingly, he always managed to do so.

But, one day, as he was locked up in a jail in Scotland, things went wrong.  He hid lock picks in his belt and even under his scalp.  It took no time at all to get out of his handcuffs.  But, though he was a master at picking locks, he simply could not unlock his prison cell door.  Frantically, he worked the lock for two hours.  Finally, he admitted defeat and collapsed against the cell door.

The door swung open.  The reason he could not unlock it is because it was not locked in the first place!  The jail keeper had forgotten to lock him in.

If you feel like God’s prisoner – trapped and confined – maybe it’s time to try to prison door.  You will find that, all this time, it was never locked at all.

The war is over.

                                                                (copyright by climbinghigher.org and by Marty Kaarre)