Casting Crowns ΓÇô ΓÇ£Even When You’re RunningΓÇ¥ (Devotional)

Even When You’re Running – Matt 4; Luke 15: 11-32

One of the big discoveries in my walk with Jesus was realizing that Jesus was tempted too. He was just like us in that he was tempted in every way, but He was nothing like us in that he never sinned. The idea of Jesus being tempted by the enemy, that’s a story IΓÇÖve read most of my life and itΓÇÖs been read to me. IΓÇÖm trying to picture Satan tempting Jesus, like how does that even work? I mean, how could Jesus be tempted?

The more I spend time in God’s word, the more I fall down, and He gets me back up, IΓÇÖm seeing the temptation wasnΓÇÖt in what was offered, the temptation was in the timing.

When Satan does tempt Jesus, he tempts Him with scripture and says, ΓÇ£Well this is what the Word says so if youΓÇÖre hungry you could just command these stones to be bread and you could fall off this tower and the angels would save you.ΓÇ¥ These are all things written in the word. He says, ΓÇ£Well if you just worship me, then IΓÇÖll give you all these things you see.ΓÇ¥ What hit me as strange is the things Satan was offering Jesus were things that already belonged to Jesus. They were things that were already His. For me, I guess I didnΓÇÖt understand how that was temptation, but the more I spend time in God’s word, the more I fall down, and He gets me back up, IΓÇÖm seeing the temptation wasnΓÇÖt in what was offered, the temptation was in the timing.

The enemy was offering Jesus things that are going to be yours, but Satan says you can have them now. You donΓÇÖt have to go to the cross, you donΓÇÖt have to suffer, you donΓÇÖt have to pay a price – you can have it now.

That’s how the enemy gets all of us. He takes the needs that are natural, our God given needs, and he offers us a way to have it without God. He offers us a way to have it now and that has hit me and has hit you.

When I read the story of the prodigal son, I can feel everything the son had to be feeling out there in those fields. He knew his dad had all of this, and one day it was all going to be his. The son was out there working, sweating, and toiling over the fields and could hear the parties down the road – he felt the breeze from other towns and the smells from other towns. He thinks – ΓÇ£I could have all of this nowΓÇ¥ – and that’s a lie the prodigal son fell for. He wanted it now and he went out and got what he wanted and he found his end. The son found where an earthly dream and an earthly way ends. It ends with the pigs. It ends in the mud.

You can try to run him away, you can try to drink him away, party him way, sex him away, and do as many things as you can, but as soon as the noise quiets down, there you are with the truth of God’s love.

Mark Hall
The most ironic thing about the song ΓÇ£Even When YouΓÇÖre RunningΓÇ¥ is that the true prodigals will probably never hear it, because you donΓÇÖt want anything about Jesus in your ears when youΓÇÖre running.

I stand in front of teenagers every week at church. IΓÇÖve been a youth pastor half my life, and I talk to prodigals. I can see them running in their chair. I can see everything about them jittering as IΓÇÖm speaking the truth of God’s love because theyΓÇÖre trying their best not to hear it. The most ironic thing about the song ΓÇ£Even When YouΓÇÖre RunningΓÇ¥ is that the true prodigals will probably never hear it, because you donΓÇÖt want anything about Jesus in your ears when youΓÇÖre running. YouΓÇÖre trying to keep your life and everything around you as loud as you can get it because every time it gets quiet youΓÇÖre reminded. Not reminded that youΓÇÖre in trouble. YouΓÇÖre reminded that God’s love is still there. IΓÇÖve looked into the eyes of high schoolers, college students, and even adults – and IΓÇÖve said this to them, ΓÇ£You can try to run him away, you can try to drink him away, party him way, sex him away, and do as many things as you can, but as soon as the noise quiets down, there you are with the truth of God’s love.ΓÇ¥

The Father made the way for you, the Son killed the grave for you, let His spirit come alive in you. Are you tired from the running?

God’s love is inescapable. In ΓÇ£Even When YouΓÇÖre Running,” I tried to create a song where the music itself is running. When youΓÇÖre listening to this song, I want you to feel the leaves and the limbs slapping you in the face as youΓÇÖre getting as far away from whatever it is as you can. But wherever you stop, there He is. The Father made the way for you, the Son killed the grave for you, let His spirit come alive in you. Are you tired from the running?

Where are you running from God? Ask the Lord to open your eyes to His will, so that you may run to Him.

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