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If we don't run after God
- Jacob Ninan
So many things are against us. Even after we have become children of God we still carry with us the flesh (Gk. sarx. our old sinful nature, the seat of sinful desires). We are tempted day and night to do our own will irrespective of what God wants us to do (Jas.1:14). We are still in this world which draws us with its fame, glory, thrill, excitement, pleasures, wealth, etc. (1Jn.2:15,16). The devil and his demons are after us to make us fall into sin or to draw us away from God (1Pe.5:8). Many people are out there trying to outwit us, use us, harm us or even to finish us off if we get in their way. In spite of all this God has given us a desire to walk with Him and to be pleasing to Him (Ge.17:1). Isn't it a great struggle to just survive? How about if we really want to be counted as someone useful for God?
The plain fact is that it is not going to happen naturally or automatically. Some of us think that once we have become children of God He will take care of us and we don't have to worry. That's not true. If it was true, wouldn't all Christians be becoming epitomes of virtue rather quickly? On the other hand we find the Bible full of warnings for us to take care, not to allow ourselves to be deceived, and to be alert, sober and vigilant? Doesn't the Bible tell us to do many things from our side so that God can accomplish what He has begun in us? Remember Jesus warning us not to just hear His words but also to act on them (Mt.7:26)?
The only way, I can't emphasise this enough, to remain with God and to survive all the attacks against us is to keep running closer towards God! If we think we can relax (lower our watchfulness, lower our standards, neglect the things of God--for a while), we will begin backsliding. Think of the devil waiting to catch us at just such moments! What a luxurious treat we would be giving to him if we continue in this state of spiritual stupor! Don't forget that the devil has become an expert in fooling people with thousands of years of experience, and his demons have been studying us over our lifetime to identify our blind or weak spots. He knows how to lull us to sleep, catch us when we are tired, attack us when we least expect it, etc. Above all, don't ever make the mistake of assuming that we know how to handle him!
Many have become too lazy to spend personal time with God reading and meditating on His word. They want only fast food, in the form of some preacher dishing out his own ideas. Unfortunately what we hear is usually not from the word of God (even though there would be occasional quotations), but smattered with pop psychology, self help ideas, motivational phrases, feel good messages, false hope and even heretical teaching. We can imagine what would happen to us if fast food is the only food we eat. Others depend on daily readings (ready to eat processed food) which eliminates the need for us to feed directly on the word of God (1Pe.2:2). No. Run, personally, after God.