How Not to Run Ahead of God

Originally published Monday, 21 July 2014.

Because I am a dream chaser and runner, I am constantly learning how not to run ahead of God.

This revelation was given to me while I was contemplating going for a run on Saturday morning. The morning I typically go out for a 5k run.

God said that size doesn't matter.

And if you think about it, it doesn't. Even when you do lose the weight and feel better about yourself, what changed?

Your thoughts.

Your emotions.

Proverbs 4:23, NIV says, "Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it."

When we change our thoughts to line up with God, we win. We lose the negativity and all the toxins that plague us.

We must pray about the root of our weight instead of just assuming that going for a run will solve everything. We must attack the lies that keep us in bondage. Questions like, "Am I eating too much?" "Am I too depressed to eat" or "No one will ever love me if I am a certain size." Those are all questions we must pray about if we are to demolish the lies.

2 Corinthians 10:5, NIV says, "We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought and make it obedient to Christ" (emphasis added).

When our thoughts and emotions come under the rule and reign of Jesus Christ, we are set free from bondage!

I shared last summer why I stopped taking Lexapro. Unfortunately, I had a difficult time and had to go back. I find it interesting that I hurt my foot around that time. God took away my ability to run. I had to learn how to stay put and wait on Him. I had no idea during that time I would also be let go from Harvest House Publishers. I had no idea that God was preparing me to learn the very subject that I had just written on: forgiveness.

Maybe there's a reason why physical exercise isn't enough.

In God's kingdom, size doesn't matter.

Physical ability doesn't matter, but it's the heart (motives or intent) that matters most. God was showing me that the only inches that matter spiritually are the places and territories He has given!

Joshua 1:3, NIV says, "I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses."

Then. This morning when I logged into Facebook, I saw another watch word from Lance Wallnau. It was titled "When Not to Run." I couldn't help but share it because I love it when God speaks on the same subject over and over to confirm that He is speaking.

WATCH WORD - When not to run...

Absalom was in rebellion and took up arms against his own father, David. Still, David was hopeful his son would not be killed in his attack. Joab (David's General) made certain Absalom was indeed put to death in the battle. So begins the strange account of two runners and two messages in 2 Sam 19:19-32. After the battle, Ahimaaz, an eager son of Zadok the priest, said, “Let me run now and take the news to the king, how the Lord has avenged him of his enemies.” (20) And Joab said to him, “You shall not take the news this day, for you shall take the news another day. But today you shall take no news, because the king’s son is dead.” Then Joab sent another runner - a Cushite - and told him to "tell the king what he has seen.” But Ahimaaz the son of Zadok said again to Joab, “Please let me also run after the Cushite.” So Joab said, “Why will you run, my son, since you have no news ready?” “Regardless” he said, “let me run.” So he said to him, “Run.” Then Ahimaaz ran and outran the Cushite and got there first. The king asked, “Is the young man Absalom safe?” Ahimaaz answered, “I saw a great tumult, but I did not know what it was about.” He could not give David the full message. The king said, “Stand here.” So he turned aside and stood still. The Cushite, the second runner was slower but arrived with the full message. …"And the king said to the Cushite, “Is the young man Absalom safe?” The Cushite told him what he needed to know…"Absalom is no more."

Thus ends the tale of two runners.

Sometimes the itch to run and to speak is so strong we don't take the time necessary to get a full message. Indeed, the marketplace is awash with techniques on how to become an overnight expert celebrity.

The danger is that getting to the market first is only an advantage if you are the true master of the message.

People are going to be exposed to more than one runner in your field. And sometimes, like in this story, you may have the message but God may not want you to be the one who delivers it. Sometimes the first person to hit the beach takes the biggest hits for the message. God may be sparing you for a different battle. It's likely that Joab was sparing Ahimaaz, being the priest's son, from being branded as the bearer of a negative report to the king. Joab was sparing him for a better moment. The point is this - it takes thousands of hours to develop real mastery in anything. Don't run so fast that you build an audience or educate a customer only to watch someone else walk off with the sale. Be both the fastest and the 'bestest'. Don't let your marketing smarts get too far ahead of mastery of your message. --LANCE

I appreciate this word because I have been itching to speak the message of forgiveness since Forgiving Others, Forgiving Me released last summer. For whatever reason, God made me me wait. Running ahead of God couldn't force His hand. It was always up to God when and how to open those doors (Revelation 3:7).

Everybody knows this.

But it's one thing to have knowledge and to heed, listen to, or obey that knowledge.

I am so thankful that God's hand has been heavy on my life the past year. He knew that I struggle with people pleasing.

If my forgiveness book did well, I honestly don't think I would have been able to say no to another book contract. I knew this deep down in my heart, but because I assumed that good sales equaled God's blessing, I sunk into depression when my sales were bad.

This wasn't an indication that God had left me.


He was cleaning me, teaching me, and helping me to perfect the message of forgiving others while forgiving myself. I can look back now and comprehend. I am so thankful that God didn't give up on me when I was kicking and screaming this past year. I am so thankful He didn't forget me or stop using me because I was struggling to accept His timing.

Friends, don't be afraid to be different from other people. To wait on God. We must follow God wholeheartedly and relinquish our desire to please other people.

We must resist the urge to run.

Resist the itch to be first, even when we know the message has yet to be perfect.

"The most dramatic changes in your life will come from God's initiative, not yours" (Experiencing God Day by Day).

Let God transform you from the inside out (2 Corinthians 3:17-18).

Question: Has there ever been a time in your life when you have run ahead of God? What happened and what did you learn from it?