We singles don't realize how much of our life is spent running from Jesus.
Part of our problem--and this is one of the traits of all people--is that we're independent types. We like to do our own thing.
Subconsciously, we don't want anybody telling us what to do, including Jesus.
If you're not a Christian, maybe you don't see any need for Jesus Christ. Let's face it, he lived 2,000 years ago and seems irrelevant to you today. Or you may see Jesus as only a wise man but not the Son of God. All that divine stuff sounds pretty weird to you.
But here's the irritating part: If you're completely honest, you have this deep-down, nagging feeling something's wrong with your life, but you can't put your finger on it. It's always there. No matter what you try, something's still missing. Deliberately or subconsciously, you're running from Jesus.
If that sounds like you, reading this article will take some guts. You'll have to be genuinely open-minded. You'll also have to consider you might have been mistaken. That's not easy.
Got the guts to go on? Then let's jump in.
Something changed on earth with the Industrial Revolution: the rise of
materialism. Before that, when all products were handmade by craftsmen,
merchandise was rare and expensive. When the production line and
interchangeable parts were invented, manufactured goods rolled out in
huge quantities—with much cheaper prices.
But how could businesses sell all this stuff? Advertising, of course. At first there were only newspapers to run ads. Magazines and journals came later, followed by radio and television. When the Internet went mainstream in the 1990s, shopping really exploded.
What does this have to do with running from Jesus? It all ties in with culture, profit, and advertising's greatest lie:
This will make you happy.
In one form or another, that's the promise behind every piece of advertising. If you buy our product, you will be:
Who doesn't want to be all those? It seems to work for other people so we assume it will work for us, too. Eventually everyone on the planet was buying things because they thought, in some way, it would make them happy.
Eventually, two problems arose. First, some things that promised happiness were very expensive. Very, like cars and jewelry. Second, when one thing we bought didn't deliver the promised happiness, we had to buy the Next Big Thing.
Almost magically, two solutions came out: loans and credit cards. Both let us buy, buy, buy, whether we had saved any money or not.
What happened next? Mountains of debt, and still no deep-down happiness.
How does all this buying relate to running from Jesus? When we're busy
trying to fill that hole in our soul with things, we don't have to deal
with the problem of Jesus. Buying stuff keeps us from answering life's
most important question:
What will I do with Jesus?
Note there are only two possible answers to that question. We either acknowledge Jesus as God and worship him as the most important thing in life, or we push him aside and worship other things: our stuff, our career, our human relationships, our entertainment, and even our self.
Most people, even some Christians, choose the second option. We're influenced by the world around us. We tend to imitate what other people are doing. Or, if our culture says money or career is all-important, that's what we chase to gain acceptance.
These distractions do a good job of keeping us occupied. Thousands of years ago, God knew that would happen. He foresaw all the little gods we would choose instead of his Son. That's why God said in the First Commandment:
“I am the Lord your God…You shall have no other gods before me."
What does that mean? Simply this: When we put anything in first place in our life instead of Jesus, that thing becomes our god. Whatever monopolizes our thought-life, our desires, and our energy is our god. But what a puny god it is! Does it stand by us when we're sick or lonely or depressed? Can it forgive our sins? Can it give us eternal life?
Now this is getting really uncomfortable, isn't it? If you've never thought about this before, you may be seeing yourself as a pawn, and you'd be right.
I'm not saying clothes or music or a career are evil. They're all good things. What I am saying is nothing can take the place of Jesus. Nothing else can satisfy you. Nothing else has the power to make your life right. Only Jesus can do that.
Where is this heading? Once you find out you've been running in the
wrong direction, there's only one thing to do. Turn around and go in the
right direction: toward Jesus.
No, that doesn't mean sitting in church all the time or turning into an annoying religious fanatic. If you're not a Christian now, here's how to get started.
If you are a Christian, admit that you've been running from Jesus and repent. Jesus didn't abandon you. His love for you never changed. He wants you back. He wants to be your first love again. Grab your Bible and remind yourself of all he's done for you.
Most people avoid Jesus because they think he's going to spoil their fun
or impose a lot of rules on their life. The truth is that Jesus Christ
makes you freer than you've ever been. For the first time in your life, you'll be the authentic, real you that you were meant to be!
Running from Jesus will never get you what you want in life because God implanted an inescapable desire for himself in every person's heart. He gives you the free will to choose; he doesn't force anybody to come to him.
People who have Jesus see the world as it really is. They understand what's most important. God gives them the rare ability to cut through the smoke and mirrors and know the truth. That truth is Jesus.