Does it Seem That God has Forsaken You?
By Rhonda Jones
There are times in the life of every believer that we feel alone
and distanced from God. During these times we contemplate
whether there is sin in our lives or may even think God is upset
with us. Our prayers appear to go unanswered. God seems as far
away as the distant galaxies of Milky Way. Yet, even when we
feel as alone a child who has wandered out of the reach of his
parents, we can rest assured that we have never lingered from
God's sight or concern. God's word tells us "he will never leave
us or forsake us."
So if God has not forsaken us, then why do I feel so alone? Where is His help when we feel we need Him most? Our physical journeys and growth through life often parallel our spiritual walk. You can take almost any spiritual truth in the Bible and find that it relates somehow to our natural world. I believe this is God's way of relating his word to our everyday experiences. The same holds true in the area spiritual and physical maturity.
We're born into this world helpless and needy. Our parents take on the sole responsibility of meeting our needs from feeding us to keeping us safe. With each stage of our physical growth, we take on more and more responsibility. Two-year-olds now want to feed themselves. Four-year-olds want to pick out their own clothes to wear. Six-year-olds want to learn to read as well as be read to. With each stage of development, children learn to grow and venture out into the world. When parents do their job correctly, their children grow into successful adulthood. Little by little they release their parental reins. With persistent guidance they encourage and sometimes nudge their offspring into taking on greater roles and risks. These children move on to establish their own lives and start their own families.
But what happens when this development is thwarted in some way? Sometimes children refuse to let go of the reins or their parents don't allow them to grow steadily through these stages? Many parents shower their children with everything they want and quell their desire to do for themselves. Parents will
often step in and defend their children instead of allowing them to be accountable for their own actions. We, as parents, are also notorious for giving into our kid's demands, even against our better judgment, because of our own fears or whining. Some parents do so much for their kids that they enable them and interfere with path to adulthood.
When we don't allow our children to progress through the various stages of maturity by weaning them from our direct influence, we may be actually crippling them for live. Thus is the state of many children
today. The reality is that our children are afraid to step out unto the unknown because they never developed the life skills they needed while growing up. Instead they want to rely on Mom or Dad to continue to meet their needs when they should be old enough to do for themselves.
Our spiritual walk with God is no different. Yet unlike us, God is the perfect parent. He knows exactly what we need, when we need it. He's not deterred by our crying and begging. We can ask all day long for something that He's already said "no" to, and He's not eventually going to give in. Instead of God changing, He requires us to change. Instead of God adapting our wants, we must adapt to His will.
When we became born-again as newborn babies in Christ, He nurtured and protected us. God's love, peace, joy, and presence bubbled over from our lives into the lives of others. Our simplest prayers were answered like, "God please give that parking space." Our every need was met almost miraculously. We thoroughly believed that knowing and serving God was the best decision we had ever made. God literally was our refugee and our strength. Momentarily we lived in a time of bliss. As babies in the kingdom of heaven, God protected and isolated us from the harmful effects of sin and the world and our every need was met.
But just as we must grow-up physically, we must also grow up spiritually. As time progressed, it appeared that God would do less and require us to do more. Jesus told the disciples in Luke 14:27 and 9:23 to pick up your (own) cross and follow Him. He commands us to "put on the whole armor of God and to use the sword of the spirit to fight our enemy (Ephesians 6). He tells us that greater works we will do in "His Name." In the book of John chapter 5 verse 8, Jesus told the man that laid for years by the pool of Bethesda, its now time for you to "pick up your mat and walk!" David fought Goliath with his own sling and rock but in the courage, faith, and power of God.
I can remember on many occasions telling God "I don't want to fight. I can't fight. It's too hard. God you do it, please help me, and if you don't do something fast I just can't go on. I'm going to fall apart." But effective parents don't keep their children dependent on them. Successful parenting equips us and gives us the tools we need to do for ourselves and be successful. 2 Peter 1:3 declares that "God has given us everything we need to live a godly life." He's given us His Word, the Holy Spirit, and the powerful of His Name. A "Name" that is above every name. In his "Name" (the name of Jesus), we can cast out devils and have power over the enemy. In his "Name", we can ask for whatever we want according to his will and it will be give unto us. In his "Name" we can heal the sick. And in his "Name" we can move mountains.
God never forsakes us. He never leaves us alone. But because we've been conditioned to get what we want, when we want it, when God doesn't answer our prayers immediately or at all, we think we've been abandoned or God is mad at us. Instead, he begins to push us out of the nest as a mother bird does her babies. She knows that if she allows that baby bird to stay in the nest too long, it will never know that it can fly on its own. It will never know all that nature has equipped it with to flourish and succeed apart from its mother.
Of course God wants us to rely on him. But why run to Daddy God when he's given you the power and authority to do it yourself. Run to God for the things you "can't" do or accomplish on your own. Otherwise, use all the resources that God has given you. Ask Him for the wisdom that you need. Speak in the authority of his word over your circumstances. Stand in the faith He has given you. He's your cosigner. He's your back up. He's your guide and strength. God doesn't want us to be so dependent on Him for everything that we refuse to act. How many people do you know just waiting on God to do this or that? Instead, He wants our dependence to be in the power of his Name and the authority of his Word.
So many Christians are afraid to act. They are spiritually disabled. They're afraid to take risk and step out of their comfort zone. Jesus told his disciples, don't worry about what you're going to say when you stand in front of the magistrates. The Holy Spirit will tell you what you need to say when you need to say it. God doesn't need to equip us with his power until were ready to use it. It's a step of faith to believe that God will provide the provisions we need, when we need them. It's not until we step out in faith that we need the "move of God" in that situation. There are many instances in scripture where "the spirit of God came upon" certain individuals as they stepped out into the will of God. As we mature in Christ and step out in faith, we will see a greater manifestation of his power in our lives. God will begin to work through us to accomplish His will and fulfill our dreams or endeavors.
In the book of Genesis 3:1, as the serpent deceived Eve, he said to her "Did God really say that if you eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil that you will surely die?" Our enemy uses this same line on us day after day as he challenges every principle of God's word and prohibits us from ever moving out of the baby stage and stepping out into our true calling as a representative of Christ, who can bring wonderful changes in our world. Yes, "God really did say it. Will you believe it and act
accordingly by getting out of that wheelchair and start to walk? For we can do all things through Christ Jesus who gives us strength!
Rhonda Jones is the author of a series of Christian meditation and relaxation cds that encourages listeners to relax, spend more quality time with God, and learn to live more consciously and in the present.
Please visit her website at http://www.thechristianmeditator.com.