Jennifer did a phenomenal job on her message yesterday at Graystone. It was funny when the first 4-5 people joked with me about losing my job and needing to put together my resume. But then when the number of people making this joke reached the 20-30 mark, I started getting a little insecure. My buddy, Josh Whitehead, called Monday morning and said, “It’s about time ya’ll got a good preacher at Graystone Church.” Well, Jennifer did a great job, and I’m super proud of her.
There were so many things about yesterday’s message that resonate with me, but the thing that I keep thinking about is the choice we have to turn to God or to turn from God. Jennifer shared this is in the context of going through difficult times in life…when life throws us a curve ball. And I believe that the storms of life are definitely the major milestones for us to choose if we are going to trust God or not. And I thought she made a great point that sometimes God allows us to go through difficult times to test our hearts and see the genuineness of our faith (1 Peter 1:6-7). If we turn from God during the difficult times and never return, then we never had real faith in the first place. Unfortunately, I’ve seen this all too many times over the last 25+ years of ministry. It’s one of the saddest things I’ve witnessed sitting on “the front row” of church leadership.
I woke up this morning thinking about the choice we have to turn to God or to turn from God. I think this applies not only to the tough times of life (i.e. major tragedies and disappointments), but also to the major successes of life. When we experience a major victory in life, do we run to God? Are we quick to give the glory to God or do we accept it for ourselves? We have a choice in the good times and the bad times to run to God or run from God.
In fact, I think it gets even more practical than simply in the high times or the low times of life. (BTW, I love the running on two tracks analogy…the joy and the sorrow track. It is so true. I experience joy and sorrow daily.) I believe “run to God or run from God” applies to our everyday lives.
For example, if we go on an out of town business trip, it is an opportunity to run to God or run from God. Are we going to use the extra time away to run to God (spend more time in prayer, the Word, personal spiritual growth, etc.) or are we going to run away from God and allow ourselves to do things that we normally would not do? No examples are needed here. We have a choice.
Not only do we have a choice during our business week, but we have a choice every weekend. We can run to God and make church a priority. Or we can run away from God and make lesser things a priority (hunting, the lake, kid sports). We have a choice.
In fact, we have a choice every single day. We can run to God. Or we can run away from God. Let’s choose TODAY to run to God.
As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?” Psalm 42:1-2