RSS Feed

The Difference Between ‘Running after’ and ‘Receiving’

“For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well,” Matthew 6:33- 34.

We are children of God, and because God is a good Father, it is His desire and plan to meet our needs. All our needs. There are times we are able to trust Him to meet our needs, and then there are times we try to help Him. We find ourselves weary and frustrated. I found myself in that place, where my soul was extremely weary. I could not understand what I was doing wrong- I was praying and stepping out in faith in what I knew to be the right direction. Yet, there was undeniable fatigue in my soul that spread into every area of my life.

Several years in salvation have taught me that the Lord’s leading does not cause soul weariness, no matter how challenging the situation. When our souls are weary, it is time to sit back and ask ourselves: are we running after things instead of receiving from the Giver? Which is exactly what I was doing. What is the difference, you ask.

Signs you may be running after instead of receiving

  1.  Soul weariness. This comes about because you are running after what you think you need in your own strength, and in your own wisdom. You probably  think the Lord is backing you all the way, but the weariness in your soul is an indication that you are doing it in your own strength. The Lord calls us to His rest, not to burdens. Matt 11:28 ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.’
  2. In spite of your best efforts, and fervent prayers, you are not really getting what you want. It could be anything. A promotion at work, that girl, that man, that job, that deal. All your best laid plans are not bringing the results you desire and this too is wearing you down.
  3. You are getting what you are chasing after, but it is at the expense of your soul. You have lost your joy, your peace and can’t rid yourself of that nagging feeling in your heart. You pray it away but it won’t go. Beloved, your soul is too important to be compromised. That is the voice of the Holy Spirit telling you something is wrong. What the Lord gives you, He will sustain, even during the challenging seasons. What the Lord gives will not rob you of peace. Prov 10:22 ‘The blessing of the LORD makes rich, and he adds no sorrow with it.’

Receiving from God

Jesus tells us that the pagans who don’t know God run after things. But for us who know the Lord, we simply need to seek Him and He will give us what we need. As we follow Jesus, all our needs are met in Him. And the Bible says God already knows  our needs (Matthew 6:8). Regardless of the need, God desires to meet it.

Sometimes, the thing we are chasing after is actually part of God’s will for our lives, only we need to allow Him to give it to us, not go after it in our fleshly energy. If you have been running after things instead of receiving, repent and allow the Lord to give you what He has been desiring to give you all along.

In Isaiah 30:15, the Lord tells Israel, who at this point are under attack from their enemies: ‘Thus said the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel, “In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.’ But Israel was unwilling to rest, or wait quietly for the Lord’s salvation. They said in Isa 30:16: “No! We will flee upon horses”; And the rest of verse 16 says that the Lord responded to them: ‘therefore you shall flee away; and, “We will ride upon swift steeds”; therefore your pursuers shall be swift.’

Because they would not trust the Lord’s counsel, their enemies would pursue and overtake them. The Lord’s way is always best, even when it doesn’t make sense. What do you need to stop running after, and simply receive as you abide in Christ?

Prayer: Lord, teach us to trust you to meet our needs. Show us where we have been ‘running after’ instead of seeking your kingdom, abiding in you and ‘receiving’. Thank you for you are the Father who gives good gifts, who cannot give a stone to a son when he asks for bread, who cannot give a scorpion to a son who has asked for a fish (Matt 7: 9-11). As we rest in you, thank you for meeting every need.

Psalm 46:10 ‘Cease striving and know that I am God’ NASB

Isaiah 48:17-18 ‘This is what the Lord says, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am the Lord your God,  who teaches you what is best for you,  who directs you in the way you should go. If only you had paid attention to my commands, your peace would have been like a river,  your well-being like the waves of the sea.’


About Esther Berakah Ouma

A disciple of Jesus Christ. Married to the love of my life, Eddy.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: