It’s time to shine some light on a word Satan uses as a debilitating weapon to prey on Christians: ABANDONMENT. The timing is right because we are halfway through this month’s exploration of how to LISTEN for God’s voice and a sense of abandonment is one of the most common barriers between a believer and God.
The issue is not whether we will ever feel abandoned. All believers, to one degree or another and at one time or another, will have that thought cruise through the cinema of their mind. The question is how we respond. What we think. And how quickly we go to God.
So, let’s start right there, at the end…and going to God quickly when we feel abandoned by him. Here’s his promise:
“I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5
Once again, God declares in the most powerful and unambiguous way his commitment to never abandon us. Never. Ever.
What gives? How does a Christian’s sense of abandonment square with God’s promise to never forsake us?
Finding our way to that answer starts with understanding what abandonment looks like to a Christian: “I am convinced God is NOT here. It’s blank. I pray and receive nothing. I cannot feel his presence and power.”
If we accept God’s promise to never forsake us, we are left with this explanation of abandonment: “God feels far away.”
The counter to that can be found with the Apostle Paul’s teaching to the Romans:
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?” Romans 8:35
That’s the unchangeable TRUTH.
Here’s how I want to look at ABANDONMENT:
When feelings of abandonment hit my beach, I want to avoid concluding that God is ABSENT and, instead, question whether I am PRESENT.
If God says he is always near (Matthew 28:20) and will never forsake me (Hebrews 13:5), then any feelings of abandonment are on me to sort out. We do that by going to his WORD and then PRAYING for understanding. And remember that one possible answer is that God is building us through the quiet.
I ask God for strength to turn to him IMMEDIATELY when I feel a sense of abandonment. To know that he will never forsake me.
WHAT ABOUT YOU?
What will you do the next time you feel ABANDONED by God?
“I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:20