It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness – Lamentations 3:22-23
A while back I wrote about loneliness in Christ on my job, and I continued to wonder why I was here and how long I would have to stay in this condition. Around the same time one of my (adult) children was facing a similar circumstance of isolation and separation but on a different scale. The irony was, neither of us was able to help the other, encourage the other or do anything other than try to depend solely on God. During this period of separateness, other people, and/or things, attempted to take the place of the one we needed most – God. How blind I was; at different times I have literally cried to God regarding my condition, not realizing I had created my own barriers, my own separateness, my own isolation. I had replaced the one who had guided me, supported me and often times carried me through the roughest times in my life with….other gods.
Please do not take that to mean I embraced idols or made other items or people the focus of my worship. Instead, I took my eyes off of the Lord, as Peter did, and in doing so, I began to sink. I sank into despair, despondency and dependence on self, all of which are sins because they caused me to lose focus on my faith. I have always been a faith walker, even through our peiods of homelessness I knew God was there. When we did not have food, or lights, or the electric went out because we couldn’t pay it, I was the first one saying, “for we know all things work together for good to those who love God and who are called according to His purpose”. Yet, lately the enemy had me at a point where I believed God did not hear me, that the “gifts” that I’ve known He’s given me and I embraced long ago were gone. Satan had me doubting my very salvation. Which is his job. The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: (John 10:10), and he did; he stole the joy of my salvation, he tried to kill my desire to reach souls for Christ (which I love more than anything), and he tried to destroy my witness. In these situations we have to look beyond the colon in verse ten, I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
It should not be easy to forget Jesus is the living water that sustains us, He will never leave us nor forsake us, and even through the roughest periods in our lives He is there. God told Jeremiah, For I know the plans I have for you,…plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope (29:11, ESV). These are the type of promises the devil wants us to forget, because if he can accomplish what he almost accomplished with me, without realizing it he will make us become self-reliant, prideful, and ultimately self-serving. Can you see it? Our situation seemingly becomes so dire that we begin to depend on ourselves and our skills, and when it works we get puffed up believing we no longer need God for everything. We can still go to church. We can still sing praise and worship songs, we can even pray over our food and with others, but….but….but….we are self-serving and no longer servants of the most high God. Tricked. By the devil.
But when we continually say, “Lord I trust you”, “Lord please guide my footsteps, “Lord even though this walk is painful, lonely, and so so hard to bear I know you are with me” then God can give you the victory. When we continually dip into the well of living water, which is abundant we can be like the blind man who walks by faith and not by sight, and always get to our destination.
Salvation Island? That place is behind me. I kept the faith…barely hanging on. God never fails. I was able to finish the course. I was able to walk away with my Christian witness intact. Satan tried every avenue he could to tempt me, but through tears and heartache, pain and heartbreak God delivered me. I felt victorious walking away, and you will too! My son? He has the victory as well; God delivered him simultaneously and miraculously at the same time. We have a lot to thank Him for! So to you dear reader: Trust Him. Trust God. He is real and He really loves us. Thank you and God bless you for reading and patiently following this blog.
Thanks to Mr. Howard for the use of his graphic!