Why Do We Run from God According to the Bible with Commentary


Lord’s Library contributor Jared Helms offers this concise Bible study that answers the question: “why do we run from God?” with commentary. Check out Jared’s YouTube channel and two blogs: A Light in the Darkness and Blind Faith Examples.

Ministry Leaders Series BadgeGod does not call us to comfortable or easy lives. He promises us hatred and persecution from the world. See Matthew 10:22, 24:9, and John 15:18-19:

  • Matthew 10:22: “And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.”
  • Matthew 24:9: “Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.”
  • John 15:18-19: “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.”

The Bible also promises attacks from the Devil and his cadre of demons. See Ephesians 6:12 and 1 Peter 5:8:

  • Ephesians 6:12: “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”
  • 1 Peter 5:8:Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:”

Nor do we see in Scripture any of the saints being delivered from the ordeals of life. Consider Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians 1:8-9: “For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life: But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead:”

The Gospel

Why Do We Run from God?

We can read of many of his troubles in the book of Acts and know that his life, while fruitful, was far from easy. Indeed, in calling Paul to a life of ministry God said in Acts 9:16: “For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake.”

The other apostles and those who came after them also led difficult lives that often-met painful ends. The prophets of the Old Testament likewise had difficult lives. Jesus’ own life was filled with hardships, ending in torture and death on the cross, and it is this life that ours are to resemble. God’s calling often baffles us; defying our sensibilities and understanding.

Consider that He called Jeremiah to preach to a people whom He knew would not listen. See Jeremiah 7:27: “Therefore thou shalt speak all these words unto them; but they will not hearken to thee: thou shalt also call unto them; but they will not answer thee.”

According to 1 Corinthians 1:26-27, God calls the weak to prove His superior strength: “For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;”

So, it is no wonder that we are tempted to abandon God’s call on our lives and go our own way: even less so when our fleshly desires are compounded by the pressures of the world’s constant call to self-determination. We long to have our cake, and eat it too, gaining eternal life without losing our lives. But this can never be for it is written in Matthew 16:25: “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.”

To lay down our lives involves sacrifices both great and small. Some sacrifices appear so small that we think them trivial and ignore them, others seem so great we dare not face them; either way we lose the path by losing faith. And here we encounter a second difficulty; God’s ways are not our ways, His are higher than ours according to Isaiah 55:8-9: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

That God’s ways are higher means that they don’t always make sense to us. We can follow God’s reasoning all the way, but we cannot fully grasp what He is doing and this makes us uncomfortable.

So, we have God’s calling us to a difficult life of doing things that do not always make sense. The appeal of doing what makes sense to us promises to deliver an easier life. We run because it promises to satisfy our desire for ease, comfort, and prosperity. We run because it satisfies our reason. In this we are encouraged and supported by the selfish desires of the flesh, the pressure of the unregenerate world, and the temptations of the Devil. With this chorus of affirmation, it is easy to become convinced that we are on the right path and heading toward a good destination.

Yet, we have been provided with precepts and illustrations that contradict our optimistic appraisal, and show the promises of ease to be false and the reason to be flawed. Let us turn our attention to these examples from God’s word, and see what are the true consequences of leaving the straight and narrow way.

Thankfully God has made the truth known to us through the plain text of scripture, instructing us in the way we should go. Even the righteous are said to fall seven times, but by the grace of Jesus Christ we may get up each time and resume the narrow path towards glory. See Proverbs 24:16 and Romans chapters 5 and 6: “For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief.”

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Jared Helms
Jared Helms

Jared Helms

Jared received his Bachelor of Arts from Bryan College in 2012, and his Masters of Divinity from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in 2017. He has pastored churches in Kentucky and Tennessee. Most importantly, Jared has walked with Christ most of his life. His interests extend from theology to church history, but he is particularly passionate about ecclesiology and homiletics.

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