Monday, April 21, 2008

Getting Away From God

Have you ever felt lost in your Christian life? You knew who your Father is, but you didn’t seem to have any fellowship with Him, and you couldn’t “see” his working in your life any more?  Has your flesh gotten the upper hand and drawn you away from the Lord?  Have you ever gotten ahead of him and found yourself wandering around with no direction? This can easily happen when we take our eyes off the Lord, even for just a minute!

Recently I lost Emily at Kmart. She doesn’t normally wander away, but when she didn’t see me she thought I had left her. How many times have I told her, “I would NEVER leave you”? But, leaning on her own understanding, Emily went out the door in a hurry!  When I looked up she was GONE. Without a trace! I called her name repeatedly, but she could not hear me!  After tearfully wandering in the parking lot for a bit, Emily actually thought about asking the taxi man to take her home, or maybe she could walk home by herself. But more than she wanted to be home, she really just wanted her mommy! Shortly my daughter was discovered by a K-Mart employee, who took her back inside the store. Emily went along willingly and sorrowfully, knowing she was helpless and in danger of being run over or stolen away, and very sorry for not staying with her mom. We were tearfully but happily reunited a few moments later, and I spent the rest of the afternoon recovering from a near heart attack.

What a picture these circumstances lend us.  If you have wandered from the Lord, there are some things you need to realize.  First of all, God has promised that will never, ever leave you nor forsake you (Hebrews 13:5), so stay right in the place where you were last with him. Keep doing what you know he wants you to do for this moment, and the next, and the next, until he makes himself known to you again. When you don’t “see” him, don’t panic. He is still there. Just trust him and wait on him.

Second, as a wandering Christian, you are not “lost”. You are still saved. Unlike me, our heavenly Father is never an irresponsible parent (*blush*). If you are truly saved, he is holding you in both hands, never to let you go. (“And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand. I and my Father are one." John 10:28,29; “If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.” Psalm 139:10) He knows where you are at every moment, even when you are far away from him! (“Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there." Psalm 139:7,8) He knows that when you are away from him, you are not only helpless, but you are in danger, too. You are in danger of losing your way, as Demas did (2 Timothy 4:10), in danger of wild beasts (“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour,” 1 Peter 5:8), and in danger of living without the blessings of God on your life. Are you aware how precarious your circumstances are?

Next, before you can get help finding the Lord again, you have to be willing to admit that you have left him! That is called confession. Real repentance will make you willing to turn around and go back to him. No one can make you go back to fellowship with Christ if you don’t want to, but aren’t you miserable without him? The Bible says the Lord Jesus calls his sheep by name. Can you hear him calling your name as you wander? He loves you and he left all to win your soul, just as the good shepherd left the ninety and nine to find the one little sheep that had left him. (“How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray?” Matthew 18:12.)  You belong to Jesus Christ!

Finally, what a joyous occasion it will be when you and your Saviour find each other again! He is a good God, a wonderful Saviour! The Bible says there is actually joy in heaven when a sinner repents! (“I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth”, Luke 15:7)  The whole population of heaven is excited about your return. There is nothing better than being restored to fellowship with Jesus, except not losing that fellowship in the first place.  I was SO happy to have my dear child back, and Emily has stayed very close to me ever since.  But we both would have been better off not going through that experience! 

If you have never been saved, the Bible says you are in darkness, and you do not know where you are going.  You may think you know where you are, but you do not know the way Home.  If you have been saved and you are away from God, going Home might be the easy way out, but having your fellowship with Christ restored right now would be so much better! Be warned – getting back to him will take longer than it did to get away from him.  But the results will be worth your trouble.

I hope you have never wandered away from your Father.  But if you have, know that he loves you and he is earnestly seeking you. Turn around. Be willing to be led back to him.  Not only will you have your fellowship with him restored, but you will also find safety, security, and JOY in him!

1 comment:

  1. What a terrible experience for you both. So glad it turned out well. Our Father looks out for our kids even when we cannot. Praise God!


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