Tuesday, December 7, 2010

For Those Who Want To Leave...

 "None loses you but he who leaves you; and he who leaves you, where does he go..." -St. Augustine

How often do we make the choice to leave something because it doesn't matter to us anymore? How often do we become confused with what we don't understand, and simply walk away? How often do we possess the desire for something, but not the willingness to hang tough under pressure when we're suffering and things aren't going our way? It is these types of questions that the Christians who end up leaving the Christian faith behind fight fierce battles with inside their hearts when everything doesn't make sense anymore. As a follower of Christ and a servant to God's Will for my life, I've come to understand that there will be many times in my life when I have absolutely no earthly idea what is going on around me. Sometimes I don't understand what God wants to work through me. Sometimes I don't really see the place that Jesus is leading me to, or something He's telling me to do. And if it weren't for my solid faith in God's understanding and power, I probably would be in the same boat with the rest of the Christians who, once having becoming lost, just walk away and leave God in the rear-view mirror.

Here Are a List of Some Reasons Why I Honestly Believe Many Christians Leave Their Faith in God Behind:
-God has asked us to do something that doesn't coincide with our desires and interests.
-We receive intense persecution, and it "doesn't seem fair or right" to us.
-Something bad or painful is always going on in our lives and we attribute it to "God not caring".
-We contradict the truth we've found in Scripture for what we learn in life because what we learn "seems better" or "more true for me".

It's Not Easy, But That's the Beauty of It
-There are probably many more reasons for why Christians leave the faith and God behind, but I'm sure you get the gist of it by now. Guys, I'm not going to promise you that following through with what God calls you to do is going to be easy, or appealing, but I can tell you this: recognize that "feeling lost" in the midst of it all is just another reason to trust in Him and in His faithfulness that, when He says He'll give us the strength to make it through, that He really will; because in His good grace that's the kind of God our God is. In writing this I'm here to tell you that there are times when I've felt lost. Sometimes I'm still lost with where it is I feel I'm supposed to go from here. But the very second that my mind starts to drift towards this type of thinking, I take a step back and realize that I'm only a human being, incapable of understanding the divine qualities of God. Just because we're Christians it doesn't mean that we're always supposed to know and understand everything God has called us to do. If we knew everything all the time, then we would try and venture out on our own, using our own knowledge and wisdom to fulfill His Will for our lives. It is because we won't always see everything the way that God sees it is why we have faith. It's one of the biggest reasons why we have trust in God. And so, as is told to us in Scripture in Proverbs 3: 5-6  "Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight". 

He's In Control                                                                                                                                                                           -As Christians, we must know and understand that God has our lives under control, and that, in those times when we have no idea what's going on, when we think He isn't there anymore, and when we're not sure what the next step to take is, that God always has a plan for us. And that plan will never lead us to a point where we're alone, or to where we're of no worth or value to Him. Psalm 136:1 tells us to "Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, His love endures forever". He loves us with a love that is never-ending, and it will never fade away. We are never lost in Him; it's impossible. 

-Take a few minutes and watch this video which discusses the story of Joseph, (found in Genesis Ch's 37-50), a man betrayed by his own family and sold into slavery. This is one of the most famous examples in Scripture of the Steadfast Believer who, through intense persecution and suffering, always remained faithful to God. Even when he probably felt lost through it all, Joseph never left his faith in God behind; surrendering everything that he was going through to the power of God. Let this story paint a clear picture for you of the faithfulness of God and how, in His grace and goodness, He comes through and rewards us, especially when we're suffering and lost. 

Give It Another Chance
-For those of you who are wanting to leave God and the Christian faith behind, I pray that you take another look at your life, think twice about it, and try to really see what's going on. Please believe me when I tell you that I've been in your shoes. I've doubted whether God was present in my life. I've thought about leaving the Christian faith when everything became too hard to handle. I can promise you though that God comes through, and He will never allow us to be lost apart from Him. The truth is WE are the ones who choose to be lost from God, who choose to leave. But it doesn't have to be that way. I implore you to wait it out, to try and pull yourself together, and to give your faith in God another chance. My hope is that, when you feel lost, that you won't let the world try and tell you where to go, or how to respond to God's Will for you. Give that up to God to decide and lay upon your heart. In my own life I've learned that, when it comes to God and his plan for me, exercising patience and obedience to Him go a long way in delivering me from those hard times in which I've felt disconnected from Him. My prayer, for you and me, is that we will remain faithful to God no matter how difficult it is to do so, hand in hand, knowing that we're all in this together.

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