When You Feel Like Running

Updated: Nov 18


"The name of the Lord is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe."

(Proverbs 18:10)


We’ve heard of runaway brides, and no-show grooms. On their wedding day a sense of panic sets in, and they want to run! Sometimes couples, long after their wedding day, deep into their marriage, don’t feel like working through their struggles, but instead, they want to run.


Often, they will run into the arms of another person, not their spouse, and ultimately make their already difficult situation much worse. If you think the grass is greener on the other side, it’s probably Astroturf. It’s fake. It’s fool’s gold.


In general, times of panic or uncertainty in our lives stir up within us a desire to run. We want a quick escape.

We say, “I don’t want this surgery. I don’t want this situation. I want to run!”


Unfortunately, in those moments, people often run to a vice. Street drugs, prescription drugs, and beverage alcohol seem to temporarily numb the pain, but then quickly the side effects set in and ultimately add to the pain of the situation through headaches, additional heartaches and debilitating addiction. Vices always have severe consequences.


In other situations, people run to secular psychologists, worldly counselors, then tying their situation to some tentacle of Freudianism. As a result, the emptiness of earthly wisdom is realized and people are left still struggling.


Instead of running to carnal places, when you feel like running, consider the name, the tower, the activity, and the security, of Proverbs 18:10.



1. The Name


"The name of the LORD is..." (Proverbs 18:10a). Before we consider the benefits of the strong tower described in this verse, we must consider the majestic name of the LORD.


Remember that a name reflects a reputation. Saying a name brings to your mind not just a person, but a personality or a character.


For most of us, saying the name “Jezebel” brings thoughts of what we know about her character and reputation.


Hopefully, when I say the name “Rahab” you think of her story of redemption, not just her harlotry. She is included in the Hall of Faith in Hebrews 11 as well as Jesus’ genealogy in Matthew 1.


A name invokes a reputation and a character.


As we think about this opening phrase in Proverbs 18:10, “the name of the Lord,” consider Exodus 3:13-14. “Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them? And God said unto Moses, I Am That I Am: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, “I Am” hath sent me unto you.”


In the New Testament we read that Jesus is the great I AM.


Consider 7 “I AM” statements of John’s Gospel. Jesus’ name as the, “I AM” describes His character and bits about His personality.


“I am the bread of life.” (John 6:35, 48)

“I am the light of the world.” (John 8:12)

“I am the door of the sheep.” (John 10:7)

“I am the good shepherd.” (John 10:11, 14)

“I am the resurrection and the life.” (John 11:25)

“I am the way, the truth, and the life.” (John 14:6)

“I am the true vine.” (John 15:1, 5)


Jesus is the great “I AM” and there is power and protection in that name!


Interestingly in Acts 3:6, what does Peter say just before the lame man is healed? “Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.”


John 14:13-14 explains that “whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.”


Philippians 2:8-11 describes Jesus as “…being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

Are you persuaded that there’s power in that name?

2. The Tower


Proverbs 18:10 metaphorically describes the name of the Lord as a “tower” but not just any tower, a “strong tower.”


In order for a tower to stand strong against the high-speed wind gusts, it must have a proper foundation.


Solomon, the human penman of Proverbs 18:10, knows that a strong, well-built tower must withstand the unpredictable storms of life and therefore must have a solid foundation and a sure cornerstone. Any structure is only as strong as its foundation.

In the midst of your struggles, you might say, “You want me to run up there? You want me to run to that tower?” Yep! Heights can be intimidating, but let me assure you of the quality of the strong tower. Its foundation is Jesus Christ.


1 Corinthians 3:11 says, “For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.”


Isaiah 28:16 records that God said, “Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.”


The New Testament writer quotes that passage when Peter says, “Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.” (1 Peter 2:6)


This tower is strong because its foundation is sure and its cornerstone is solid. The metaphorical bricks built upon this foundation, that form this tower, must be the many attributes of God’s character. Remember, a name invokes a character.

He is God only wise. He is the God of all comfort. He is holy, holy, holy. He is love. He is all-knowing. He is everywhere. He is all powerful. He is the “Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.” He is all of these things, and so much more. He is our strong tower.


But why a tower? Safety? Yes! But also perspective.


When you run to this strong tower, you remove yourself from your micro perspective and you gain the macro advantage.


When you run to this strong tower, you gain a superior vantage point. Instead of being bogged down by the various complications of your situation, you can see your situation from all directions. You can see the enemies coming from the north, south, east, and west.


The key to overcoming most difficulties in life is to see your situation from a big-picture perspective, to zoom out. This is a major benefit of the strong tower, a superior perspective.

3. The Activity


This verse explains to us that “the righteous runneth into it.” The activity is running but notice that it is the “righteous” who run to this strong tower.


The atheist doesn’t run to the strong tower.


The Christ-rejecting world does not run to “the name of the Lord (that) is a strong tower.”


After all, the tower is built upon the stone which “the builders disallowed.” (1 Peter 2:7-8)

That passage makes a distinction between those who have accepted Christ and those who have rejected Him. “Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: (the righteous), but unto them which be disobedient,… (He is) “a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence…”


Acts 4:11 explains that He is the “stone which was set at naught.”


In spite of His rejectors, the righteous run to Him; our strong tower.


Further, as Christians we must remember that we are righteous, but not because of our righteousness, but because of His! 2 Corinthians 5:21 explains, “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”


We have access to run into this strong tower because of Christ. We can “come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” all because of Christ. (Hebrews 4:16)


The preceding chapters in Hebrews remind us that we have access to Him, not because of anything the angels did, or anything Moses did, but because of what Jesus did.

The righteous run to Him because He is our strong tower.

4. The Security


When we do run to Him, we enjoy safety and security. There is protection in that strong tower. There is comfort in the midst of uncomfortable situations. There is calm and peace there. In that strong tower, while the world around you rages, you are able to take deep, slow breaths.


In verse 11 of Proverbs 18, Solomon cautions the reader not to run to riches. He is essentially saying, “There’s no safety in the rich man’s wealth. Any sense of security you have in earthly wealth is flawed.”


In verse 12, he explains, “there’s no safety or security in the haughty heart.” Solomon instructs us to humble ourselves enough to run to the strong tower. There’s honor in that kind of humility.


By the way, Solomon knows all of this firsthand. He often made the mistake of running to the wrong place. He tried to find security in his wealth, and security in a variety of other places, but it all led to vanity and destruction.


If Solomon could be here in person, I believe he would testify to the safety that’s found in the strong tower.


If Daniel could give his testimony personally to you, I believe He would say, “I ran to the strong tower when they put me in the lion’s den, and I found safety.”


The three Hebrew children might say, “We ran to the strong tower when we faced the fiery furnace, and He was personally with us through the entire situation.

Joseph could say, “I ran to the strong tower when Potipher’s wife was after me, and ultimately, He put me in a prominent place.”


What about Nehemiah? “I ran to the strong tower when Sanballat, Tobiah and Geshem, the unholy trinity, were bearing down on me, and I found safety there.”


Even the great Apostle Paul could say, “I ran to the strong tower when I had a thorn in my flesh. And I can tell you, His grace was more than sufficient for me.”

By way of conclusion, please know that there is salvation in that strong tower. No sinner has to face the consequences of their sin. There is redemption offered through that strong tower.


“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.” (Acts 16:31)


When you feel like running, run to Christ!

 

The above article was written by James C. Johnson and he is the Pastor of NorthStone Baptist Church in Pensacola. To offer him your feedback, comment below or email him at pastor@northstonebaptist.org.


Every Tuesday, SFL publishes relevant Bible-based content. Check back next Tuesday to read the next SFL article.

 

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"When You Feel Like Running" - Pastor James C. Johnson


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