Have You Walked Away From God?
by David Brenneman
Many in life either have walked away from God or gave up on "the Church".
Many only see their version of their own worth and can't see beyond that to how God could ever love or use such a person.
Many think they are indeed living for Jesus yet they are not because the god of this world has blinded them to the truth. Lover's of self are what they have become.
What kind of person can God use? What kind of person ought you and I be in order to be useful?
The first question is easy...God can and does use anyone willing to obey who indeed has already come to Christ for salvation.
What kind of person ought you and I be in order to be useful to His purpose and call?
Willing. Trusting. Faithful. Obedient.
This picture often circulates on social media.
The truth is being willing to follow Jesus, being obedient to His Word and purpose will inevitably draw enemy fire. The Bible says "Indeed, all who want to live in a godly way in Christ Jesus will be persecuted." 2 Timothy 3:12 NASB.
It's when things get rough we often want to bail out. It takes quite a bit to stick it out. You're not going to be popular. You aren't going to rise up to what the world calls success.
Was rather interesting that in recent weeks that passage in Romans 11:29 NASB "for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable." stands out. We read: "But now God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body, just as He desired." 1 Corinthians 12:18 NASB.
In the body of Christ YOU and I have a purpose. We have an irrevocable calling that is for us to be doing. We hurt the body of Christ when we aren't doing what we were called to be and do. We hurt the body when other's aren't doing what they were called to be and do, adding to our own responsibilities.
Responsibilities. There is that word.
Calling. There's that one too.
Jonah stands out as a runner from God.
He knew, fully understood, exactly what Jesus wanted him to go and do. He went the other way. You can read his story in the Bible. He was still bitter as his book ended but I have to believe by now his point of view has been corrected.
We will get hurt at times following Jesus.
He told us that's not a reason to stop serving. That's not a reason to not fulfill your calling. People will criticize your life. They will question your choices. The onus is on you to be firmly rooted in Christ Jesus. Give them nothing to stand on in their actions against you.
Truth is life isn't going to necessarily easier. Truth is a person not a set of ideals. Truth says that all who desire to live Godly in Christ Jesus will suffer. Truth says that those who are weak and heavy laiden are to take His yoke upon them for His burden is easy and His load is light. Truth says that we are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works that we might walk in them. Truth says that once I am saved I am always saved. Truth says that I am a Child of God. Truth says He can love me no less nor love me more than His perfect love does in this moment. Truth says that He has a purpose for you and I in this here, this now. Truth says that we have been called in Christ Jesus. Truth says to live lives in such a way that people see our good works and glorify our Father in Heaven. Truth says to put nothing in our lives that is elevated above our relationship with Jesus. Truth says that Jesus is returning soon. Truth says that there's a 7 year Great Tribulation coming. Truth says there's therefore no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
Truth is a person, Jesus Christ.
Truth is no matter what you see in you, no matter what you see happening in your world, God can still use you. You need to heed the words of Isaiah. "Here am I! Send me!".
"Available" by Passion Conferences ought to be the cry of the professing Church.
Are you putting a hand up to God saying "Oh no! That's not for me. I can't possibly do that!" Or are you ignoring what you see and still say to Him "I'm available!".
It's the saddest of things that grieves my heart the worst to see people blinded by the god of this world. Satan's sold them a bill of goods and they don't see it. "FOR THE HEART OF THIS PEOPLE HAS BECOME DULL, WITH THEIR EARS THEY SCARCELY HEAR, AND THEY HAVE CLOSED THEIR EYES, OTHERWISE THEY WOULD SEE WITH THEIR EYES, HEAR WITH THEIR EARS, AND UNDERSTAND WITH THEIR HEART AND RETURN, AND I WOULD HEAL THEM.’ Matthew 13:15 NASB.
Perhaps the thing to meditate on, if your going through some stuff, if life is indeed difficult for you is Psalm 51 NASB.
"Be gracious to me, God, according to Your faithfulness According to the greatness of Your compassion, wipe out my wrongdoings. Wash me thoroughly from my guilt And cleanse me from my sin.
For I know my wrongdoings,
And my sin is constantly before me.
Against You, You only, I have sinned
And done what is evil in Your sight,
So that You are justified when You speak And blameless when You judge.
Behold, I was brought forth in guilt,
And in sin my mother conceived me.
Behold, You desire truth in the innermost being, And in secret You will make wisdom known to me.
Purify me with hyssop, and I will be clean; Cleanse me, and I will be whiter than snow. Let me hear joy and gladness,
Let the bones You have broken rejoice.
Hide Your face from my sins
And wipe out all my guilty deeds.
Create in me a clean heart, God,
And renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me away from Your presence, And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, And sustain me with a willing spirit.
Then I will teach wrongdoers Your ways,
And sinners will be converted to You.
Save me from the guilt of bloodshed, God, the God of my salvation;
Then my tongue will joyfully sing of Your righteousness.
Lord, open my lips,
So that my mouth may declare Your praise.
For You do not delight in sacrifice, otherwise I would give it;
You do not take pleasure in burnt offering.
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; A broken and a contrite heart, God, You will not despise.
By Your favor do good to Zion; Build the walls of Jerusalem.
Then You will delight in righteous sacrifices,
In burnt offering and whole burnt offering;
Then bulls will be offered on Your altar."
A rough ride isn't a good reason to walk away from God. A rough time of things is when you should wrap your mind around the idea that you need more time with Jesus than less. Jesus will lead you THROUGH the night, through the darkness, through the valley of the shadow of death. Not leaving you there. If you think He has, my Dear Reader, it's you who let go of Him. It's you who insisted on staying. Jesus has never ever left you, but like the Prodigal Son, you may have left Him. Turn around and cry out to God. Ask Him to forgive you, to indeed cleanse you from all unrighteousness. To restore in you a clean heart. To help you in your weakness. To be that Child of God that you really are in Christ Jesus. Let today be the day you come home to the arms of Jesus who is still waiting for you.
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