My son and I were waiting in front of a restaurant and we saw this dad desperately trying to keep his impatient two-year-old occupied. Good luck! What’s that word we sometimes use to describe the “two-year-olds”? “Terrible twos”? Yeah, well, there’s something in a little child that wants freedom, and will go for it at the first opportunity. This kid was no exception. As soon as his dad let go for a moment, he started chugging down the sidewalk. Dad started after him, of course, pretending he was having a hard time catching the little guy. Well, you knew he wasn’t. My son just watched in amusement and he said to me, “It’s so funny watching a kid trying to get away from his father. You know he’s going to lose.”

I’m Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about “The High Cost of Running.”

In our word for today from the Word of God, we’re in Jonah 1. Speaking of running, it’s about a child of God trying to run away from his Father. Jonah didn’t like the assignment God had given him, so he tried to run away. It says, “Jonah ran away from the Lord and headed for Tarshish. He went down to Joppa where he found a ship bound for that port. After paying the fare, he went aboard and sailed for Tarshish to flee from the Lord.”

The Lord sends a violent storm that’s about to destroy Jonah’s getaway ship. Meanwhile, Jonah is sleeping down below. The captain rouses him and “Then the sailors said to each other, ‘Come, let us cast lots to find out who is responsible for this calamity.’ They cast lots and the lot fell on Jonah.” Well, now, the terrified sailors then find out Jonah belongs to Jehovah God and it says “…they asked, ‘What have you done?’ (They knew he was running away from the Lord because he had already told them so.)”

So God’s child, Jonah, is running from God. And just like that little boy we saw trying to get away from his Dad, you know his Father is going to catch him. Could it be that God brought us together today and asked me to talk about this because He knows you’re running; running from your family’s faith, or running from letting Him be the Lord of your life, or from something you know He’s calling you to do?

Consider the cost of running from God. It cost Jonah his money, his sleep, his prayer line to God, his testimony to the people he was with, and it cost him the welfare of those close to him. I’ll tell you, when you’re running from God, you are a destabilizing, destructive force on everything and everyone around you. People you care about are getting hurt by your rebellion. Not to mention how much you’re being hurt, or you’re going to be hurt.

But like the loving Father He is, God has just kept on pursuing you, right to this moment. It’s a good thing that parents do catch the child who’s running away, isn’t it, or they would eventually run into disaster or death. That’s the only possible outcome when you’re a fugitive from God.

Isn’t it time to stop running and turn and face your Father, to let Him have you and to hold you? You have nothing to fear from going with your Heavenly Father. You have everything to fear from going against Him, from resisting Almighty God.

It could be that God has come to you on numerous occasions, tugging on your heart, saying, “Give Me your life…give your soul to My Son.” His Son who died in your place to pay for every wrong thing, every selfish thing, every angry thing, every hurting thing you’ve ever done, He is the one you were made for. And He’s coming to you and He’s saying, “Open your heart to My Son.” It’s time to stop running, because ultimately you’re going to run into an awful eternity.

Today it’s time to run into God’s arms. If you’re ready to open your heart to Jesus Christ, you’ve been running so long. He gave His life for you. Would you tell Him, “I want you now, Jesus. I need you. I’m pinning all my hopes on you to have my sin forgiven and to go to heaven someday.”

Our website is for you at a moment like this. And I want to encourage you to run there today. It’s, because your new story could begin with the information there.

Please, stop running from your Heavenly Father today before you run into a lot more pain.