Saturday, August 20, 2011

The Running Man (2)

Running Changes Your Prayer Life

1 Kings 18:36 - At the time of the sacrifice, the prophet Elijah stepped forward and prayed: O Lord, God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, let it be known today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant and have done all these things at your command.

1 Kings 19:4 - He came to a broom tree, sat down under it and prayed that he might die.

A. His first prayer was God focused. It was all about God. But notice the second prayer it was self centered, very narrowly focused- it was all about him.

B. When you run from God, your prayers will shift from being God centered and others-focused, to being self-centered and focused.

C. When you are serving God and obeying God your prayers will generally be God centered or others centered but from the moment you start running from your heavenly Father your prayers become self-centered.


Usually The Reason We're Running Is Not The Reason We're Running

Vs 3-Elijah was afraid and ran for his life.
Vs 4- I have had enough, Lord he said.

A. In verse 3, we get the impression that he is running because of Jezebel. He runs from Jezreel to a day’s journey past Beersheba maybe about 70 miles in total; it is there we discover the real reason for his running.

B. He felt God had put too much on his plate. His real problem was not with Jezebel. It was with God. “I have had enough, Lord.”
 
C. I tend to believe  that there are a multitude of superficial problems out there that we start running from…but the real problem is between God and self!


God Is There,...If You Listen

Look, here’s some good news, even when you run and let’s face it sometimes a Christian can’t think of anything else to do. You should but you just don’t. Even when you run, and wherever you run to, God is there!  You think you’re experienced with life’s agonizing wastelands? God has spent centuries in men’s wildernesses! You think you’ve experienced the lonely solitude of the wilderness? God has spent untold lonely ages there pleading for his children to listen to Him! Don’t you find it true that if you aren’t listening to a person, it’s the same as if their not there. Illus. “What was that you said?” God is there!,.. if you listen.

 Vs 5- All at once an angel touched him and said, “Get up and eat”.

Vs 9- And the word of the Lord came to him: What are you doing here, Elijah?”

A. At first, Elijah is a day’s journey into the wilderness south of Beersheba and God is there to minister to him through his angels.

B. He then sets out on a 40-day journey to Mount Sinai and when he gets there, God is waiting for him.

C. God was making the point that no matter how far or where you run to –you cannot run away from God. God is saying. “I will be there when you get there.”

D. Then God tells him “go back the way you came”. It was at least a forty-day journey and now he has to repeat it going in the other direction. God was making the point it would have been better if you to run toward me instead of away from me.

Conclusion


Today you may realize that you’ve been running away from God. Or perhaps you haven’t started running yet but you’ve got your running shoes on and you’re warming up to run. I urge you to run to Christ. He is waiting for you.

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