Running and Entering (Proverbs 18)
“The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous runs into it and is safe.” (Proverbs 18:10)
One of the most profound statements in the Bible is found in Proverbs 18:10, but it resounds across time and space. It echoes across the globe in every place where beautiful feet have carried the gospel message of Jesus Christ, from the slums of India, to the highlands of Kenya, to the suburbs of the United States. In every place, every single time the good news reaches an ear that believes it, suddenly this verse becomes the hearer’s living reality. The Apostle Peter, soon after the day of Pentecost, was harshly ordered to give a name by which the miraculous power of God’s kingdom had begun to flow through him. He boldly credited, “Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified,” and declared, “there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:10, 12).
Recently, a brother in the Lord testified to me that, at the moment when he confessed, “Jesus, I need help; I’m a sinner,” immediately the Lord began working in his heart and breaking him free from a life of addiction. I was reminded of my own experience, three months prior to my conversion, when I called Jesus, “Lord,” and asked for help in a moment of desperate need. Instantly, His protecting, loving, embracing presence was made known to me. This brother and I both found Jesus’ name to be a strong tower.
Have you ever tried to run in two different directions at once? Or, have you ever attempted to run to a new location without leaving your current location? Since no one has succeeded at this, we infer that running involves commitment. I willfully leave behind my current location and everything that accompanies it, so that I can fully embrace a new location. Jesus demanded this kind of commitment when He said, “whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it” (Matthew 16:25). We must absolutely abandon “our life apart from Jesus” if we want to enter into the eternal life that is available to us in Him!
If I am honest, when I first called on Jesus, I saw the strong tower, I ran in amazement to it and even experienced miraculous relief from my storm as I stood under the awning at the front door. I peered into the windows and found with great joy, “This tower can protect me.” But I had no sense of the need to abandon my life of sin. Proverbs 18:21 states, “death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” Because I still loved lies, because I still believed my lifestyle was no offense to God, I went right back into the elements. The Lord promises cause and effect relationships: when we lend our ears to voices of death, we begin eating the fruit of spiritual death. Secretly, however, I yearned for the love, hope, and joy I had experienced at the strong tower.
Finally, some beautiful feet shared the gospel with me. I heard the message of the Bible, saw the offense of my sin and the great love of this Jesus who had paid the price to forgive me and set me free. Amazed at His patience, I repented and received Jesus as my Lord and Savior. Instead of an emergency shelter, the strong tower became my permanent residence.
Is the name of Jesus your emergency shelter today, or your permanent residence? I encourage you to run to Him today. Enter in with all your heart, and don’t look back. His love is infinitely worth any loss. Let’s be reminded how astonishing this refuge is.
The Rock Church