A viral meme circulated the internet around last year. It was a scene from an old Nollywood movie Pretty Liars. In that scene, Funke Akindele, who plays Cleo, and her friend Alice (Queen Nwokoye) are walking somewhere and a man who Cleo owes some money pulls up. The problem wasn’t that he pulled up, it was that she already told him she was out of the country. (Lmao. If it was me: if I tell you I’m out of the country and you see me at Iyana-Ipaja, then we are both out of the country- you aff join me in the abroad.).
So when the man asked her “Why are you running”? The answer was simple- guilt. And isn’t that what we may often find ourselves doing with God?
God lives in us. How can we run away from One who lives in us? It is a metaphor for spiritual apathy. The lack of desire to do spiritual things, like prayer, bible study. That is how we run away- we start following the flesh; we stop stirring up the spirit.At the center of spiritual apathy is guilt and self-condemnation- both indicators of a heart that has forgotten God’s grace Click To Tweet
At the center of spiritual apathy is guilt and self-condemnation- both indicators of a heart that has forgotten God’s grace:
8.)For it is by grace you have been saved through faith, and this not from yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9.) not by works, so that no one can boast. 10For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance as our way of life.
Of hearts that have forgotten that God is not moved by our perfection. That His love cannot be won over by our attempts at righteousness; that God’s heart is neither hinged upon our success nor changed by our failures. He who did not spare His own Son but gave Him up for us all, how will He not also, along with Him, freely give us all things? Who will bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is there to condemn us? For Christ Jesus, who died, and more than that was raised to life, is at the right hand of God—and He is interceding for us.
Let me expressly state that God, in Christ, is devoted to you. Come failure or bad days. Even now. God will not condemn you (how will he condemn who he has justified?).
“Running away” is closely associated “falling”. While they are not synonymous, here’s how they are connected:
“Falling” is an action we view as “falling short of God’s standards” (it really is just measuring up to our own). We fail, in some measure, over a period of time, and decide that the action of failure is a place we stand-that is “running away”. Refusing to believe that the same grace that saved us in the gospel is what keeps us after we believe.
The truth is everyone falls. Your pastor has fallen, your sister, friend, dad, mom… “Falling” is normal in the believer’s walk and it is an error to think that the falling is what leads to spiritual apathy.
Apathy comes not from falling but from refusing to let the fall show you how it is only God that keeps you:
Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you unblemished in His glorious presence, with great joy— to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all time, and now, and for all eternity.
It is pride to think that you are enough to do a work that only God can: keep yourself.
I know I have mentioned running so many times now (you are probably asking is it Christian faith, or inter-house sports?), but Paul does tell the believer to run. Not away from God. Not neglecting the place of prayer, scripture study or fellowship. In Hebrews 12, Paul reminds us that we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses, men of faith who have gone before us and with this in mind, we should run our race of faith, keeping our eyes on the glory that is set to come (when Christ appears). The only time Paul says to run, he is teaching diligence, not apathy. So why are you running?
As you read this, you are probably encouraged to take your faith more seriously and that may come closely tied to the “after this fall I will never fall again” mindset. The mindset that tries to make a salvation out of every rising- as though it is your rising that saves you when really it is your salvation that raises you. So after this, you will most likely fall again. And when you do, you will dust off, and continue your race. Because everyone is running but is it towards The Prize or away from it?
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