At Bay

The more we read Scripture and listen to the Lord. The more it becomes apparent in a deep, visceral kind of way that the flesh, our flesh hates the Holy Spirit. It will do almost anything to sabotage our union with Christ.
We choose our course by deciding whether to follow the Lord, as difficult as that sounds to our minds (and our flesh which is screaming, “No, no, Aaaaaargh!”), or by following the flesh. When you follow the flesh, you may come up with some dandy religious stuff, but nothing really changes. Not one single thing. So even though our flesh knows that it will have to go, and may be trying to bail on us, we must keep moving toward the Lord and listening to Him no matter what the consequences. For if we are at all serious about following the Lord and walking with Him, then there is no other option, the flesh has to go. This short bit is about that struggle. It is not an easy one and we will almost certainly surprise ourselves with our stubbornness, but ultimately, if we always turn back to Him even when we screw up badly, He will pull us through.

At Bay

I was running very fast and very hard, down a path in the thick forest, almost in a panic, gasping for breath, listening behind, rather than looking back. I was being followed, it was bad, nothing I did seemed to shake my pursuer, I zigged, I zagged, I even left the path, and ran through the trees, though I was in danger of losing my way. My level of panic began to rise as I realized that I was becoming exhausted. I started to look for the place where I could make my stand, I saw a clearing ahead, I began to calculate how difficult it would be to defend. Satisfied, I wheeled around and whipped out the large knife I carried for protection. I tried to calm myself, but my effort had been too all out, I could not catch my breath, I was still sobbing great panting breaths when He came into view.
I thought He had been hell bent to catch me, to kill me, what I didn’t understand is that instead, he was walking calmly toward me to relieve me of my hell, to calm my fears, to give me life. I stood gasping and looking at Him, His kindness was shining in His face, I could see it in in His eyes. He held out His arms to me. I took a step toward Him, still wary, and then, I don’t know how, but I caved in, I threw down my weapon, I sank into His arms, crying loudly.
I did not know that He actually cared for me so, I could not know, I had been listening to the lies I grew up with, the lies which I had grown accustomed to. “God is angry with you,” they lied, “He will send sinful little boys to hell.”
As He comforted me, as you would a little child, I could not believe that this was the person who was supposed to be so angry with me.
He held me for a while, and when I had finally caught my breath He held me at arm’s length and said, “David, I pursued you because I love you. I was not going to leave you to your own devices, no, not in this world, no, not ever. I am never going to abandon you, never. You are My son, I will always come after you when you are in trouble, always.”
He brought me to a stream where I was able to wash myself and get a cool refreshing drink, then We walked back to His house, it was much shorter and more pleasant going back than it had been running away. It was much better walking with Him.

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7 Comments on “At Bay”

  1. Mike Says:

    I did not know that He actually cared for me so, I could not know, I had been listening to the lies I grew up with, the lies which I had grown accustomed to. “God is angry with you,”

    Interesting that you write this. I just finished a piece called ‘The Wound’ that is all about this. I’ve not posted and probably won’t. Might email it to you though.

    I believe we have an enemy that is all about destroying us and I believe he starts on us when we are young.

  2. Mike Says:

    PS Just as much as Jesus came that we might have life, satan does all to steal, kill and destroy it.

    One of my favorite thoughts lately; If the greatest truth in the Bible is that God loves us, wouldn’t it make sense that the greatest lie is that He doesn’t. Satan is good at what he does.

  3. Nathan Says:

    Yes Mike,
    So many of us have had so many awful experiences in the institutional church that I sometimes wonder how it still exists. There is always a remnant though, even in the strangest places. I believe He is calling those individuals out and into healthy relationships, with Himself and with others, so that folks can have examples, which they have not had many of, up to now.
    He is calling men and women from the humble and homeless, and others who have been bruised and busted by the pharisees.
    I do know this, if you have been hurt badly it helps you to have sympathy with others who have been hurt. So that you start out understanding how the system can hurt and maim people, instead of just always thinking that the “church” is always right.
    No, Jesus is always right. Even the Spirit led church can stumble, Paul had to correct Peter, about the Judaizers. Therefore we should all walk, with a constant willingness to be corrected by the Lord.

    Hey, I would really like to read your piece “The Wound” my e-mail address is below.
    Yeah, I think the enemy’s strategy has to do with getting us to concentrate on the pains and grudges, and avoid that Jesus guy (after all He wants you to forgive the bad guys).
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts, I look forward to seeing your piece.


  4. Rachel Says:

    Nathan, great post! We run from God because we don’t know Him. We have learned a false image of Him from family, society, church, and friends that keeps us at an arms length. There were a lot of false fears I had to overcome and I did it by spending time with God in His Word. I found a much different God than I had learned about. Knowing leads to truth, which leads to love. We are to love Him with all we have and it starts by getting to know Him as He is.


  5. Nathan Says:

    Thank you Rachel,
    You are so right, when you say “We are to love Him with all we have and it starts by getting to know Him as He is.”

    The God that is preached from too many pulpits in this country does not seem to line up with the one we see in Scripture.
    I desperately want to know the Lord I am seeing in Scripture. But the one proclaimed from so many pulpits is a stranger to me.
    Jesus has found me, and I for my part must proclaim His faithfulness, His desire and His ability to heal me and set me on the right path.
    I am pleased to find that I am in such good company,
    Rachel and Mike.
    We must never cease to direct others to Him.

    Blessings to you guys

  6. pttyann Says:

    Hello Nathan
    I certainly enjoyed the read it’s so “Amazing” the way that God loves and longs for us!!!! And that he will “Never” leave us.I hope you had a good Christmas!

    • Nathan Says:

      Thank you pttyann,
      Yes, I am glad to see that more and more people already know what I am talking about. We nearly always take the wrong path, but He is patient and loving and comes after us. He is faithful, or more likely, He is The Faithful One.
      Bless you during this holiday and after, dear sister.


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