by Ronnie Mutina
I asked my Sunday school class if they had every felt like they had been abandoned by God. I was surprised to find out that they all felt like HE had left them at one time or another. There are times that I think we all probably feel like we are handling situations by ourselves, but fact is God never leaves us holding the bag, so to speak.
There are several scriptures we could find, but there are 3 that stand out to me, which prove God is there. We just choose to handle situations ourselves. We need to realize that there are 3 kinds of people; those who are saved and try to serve God, those who are saved and choose to try to straddle the fence and those who are lost and serve only self. God has addressed all three of these types of people in HIS WORD.
HIS CHILDREN CAN FIND REFUGE
The first scripture that came to me is found in Matthew 11:28 Ė 30. We can find that Jesus directs this passage to one of the type of people mentioned in this devotional. It is those who are in the middle of laboring for the Master. They are trying desperately to serve God, but feels like he/she is loosing control. The scripture says, "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."
There are many Christians who chose to serve God with all they have. There are many preachers, deacons, and laymen who have the desire to do things for the Lord, but because of tragedies in their family life, or in their personal life, they arenít allowed by people to do what God wants them too. However, this shouldnít stop a child of God from doing what God wants them to do. There are many people who serve HIM daily in the fields of a white harvest who feel burdened down and eventually burn themselves out. Jesus is addressing these people. COME UNTO ME. HE directed it at a specific type of people. HE addressed, "ALL YE THAT LABOR AND ARE HEAVY LADEN."
We need to realize that we are to be about Godís Business and sometimes serving God is tough. There are times I feel like throwing my hands up and asking, "Why do I even bother?" The answer is simple; it is all about doing what Christ directed us to do. He told us that it is our responsibility to make sure that people were preached the gospel. If we did that, then HE would deal with them. They then would either choose to accept HIS free gift or reject it. Seeing people reject it in emotionally tough. You spend hours preparing to preach or witness just to find out the lost person doesnít desire to find Christ. Youíve put in long hours preparing to talk to a certain person or a certain congregation and nobody listens. Men have a tendency to ask, why Lord?
It is a simple answer. Not every man you witness to, will accept Christ then and there. Some may never choose to accept HIM, but we need to keep plowing the fields. A yoke is what keeps us in line with Christ. If you look at the yoke, it was put around two oxenís necks. This kept them going in the same direction, and neither could go the opposite direction. They worked together instead of separately. Jesus desires to use us, but we must work together with HIM. After all, it is all about HIM anyway. Preach the Word, pray and allow God to do what HE wants too. HE will deal with the lost. It is just our job to do what HE told us to.
Daily problems can be solved also. We need to understand that HE said, "I will never leave nor forsake you," and hold on to it. We need to remember that when we pray for a situation in our prayer closet, that we need not reach back into that closet and pull that problem out to try and solve ourselves. LET GOD HANDLE IT! Itís HIS desire for us to depend on HIM. It is guaranteed that man will fail to solve problems without Christ.
HIS WAYWARD CHILDREN CAN REPENT AND COME BACK
I have been meditating on a scripture in 2 Chronicles for about 2 weeks. The scripture is found in chapter 7:14. The LORD said, "If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and heal their land."
We often wonder why God has put judgment upon this earth, and I have an opinion about that. I feel that the children of God have turned their backs on HIM, and chosen to do what they want too. This passage is directed at a certain group of people, it is ĎTHE PEOPLE WHO ARE CALLED BY HIS NAME.í The saved people are the ones called by HIS NAME. There are saved people who choose not to be obedient to Christ, but to serve the things of this world. We have this saying, "If it feels good do it!" However, we are told over and over to be separate from the ways of the world. John addressed it in 1 John 2:15, "Love not the world neither the things of the world; for if ye love the world the love of the Father is not in you." Paul addressed it by telling us to "Be ye separate." Jesus addressed it also, by telling us that the world hates us for standing up against sin.
We see that there are even more scriptures that teach us to serve God and not this world, but yet we choose to serve idols. You then have a hard time understanding why God has allowed certain things to happen in your life, and for a short period of time, you turn back to HIM. If HE takes care of the problem, a lot of times, those people choose to go back to doing what they want.
What is wrong with this picture? It is called sin! You cannot serve God and this world at the same time. As a lady, whom I consider a friend, told me one time, "There is no gray area with God. It is black and white. We canít stand in the middle and serve God the way HE wants us too." Sheís right! Godís Word teaches us that principle too. It is up to you wayward child of God to seek HIM and repent, "turn from your wicked ways." This comes with humility, which means turning yourself away from your proud ways. This does not mean the man is lost again, because salvation is eternal. You canít loose you salvation, but you can loose your testimony.
Itís not easy to turn from pride, because you think your right, and you donít have to change. This is the same ideas that lost men have. I CAN DO IT MYSELF, WHO NEEDS GOD? Fact is we all need God. He addresses the proud and the humble. He loves a humble heart, but HE hates pride, (Proverbs 6.)
If you feel Godís wrath is upon you, I challenge you to do what we are told to do in 2 Chronicles 7:14. If you do, I can promise you God will honor it.
HE DESIRES THAT ALL MEN SHOULD BE SAVED.
A lost man is one who depends totally on self. I often used the analogy, "The difference between a saved man and a lost man is simple. A saved man has a Savior to pick him up when he falls, dusts his backside off, and gets him headed down the right road again. However, a lost man only has himself to pick himself up." He usually doesnít find the right path to go down either. How do I know that? A lost man will never find the right path without Christ. You are a sinner. "For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). You are condemned by your sin. "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life, through Jesus Christ our LORD." A man is condemned to hell should he choose to die in his sin. Eternal separation from Christ is what you win, should that happen.
However, there is a way out. We are told in John 3:16, "For God so love the world that HE gave HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON, that whosoever believeth in HIM should not perish, but have everlasting life." Christ made the way! Your penalty has been paid for in full. However you must choose HIM.
You might ask, "How can I be saved?" It is not easy to do, but you can do it. Why is it not easy, you might ask. Because, you have to put you pride to the side and ADMIT that God is right and you are wrong. You must admit you are a sinner and headed for hell. However, many say that they arenít a bad person. I must tell you that hell is full of what we consider, Ďgood people.í Paul said there is none good, no not one. Second you must BELIEVE that Christ is the Only Begotten Son of God. You must believe that Christ died on the cross for your sins according to the scriptures and that HE was buried and rose again on the third day according to the scriptures." Then last of all, you must CONFESS. You must confess your sins and repent (change your mind about the way you are). The scripture tells us in Romans 10:10 and 13 Ė "For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." Verse 13 says, "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."
Do you believe that? He paid your for you sins in full and made a way for all men to be saved. Itís your choice. Do you choose Christ or do you choose self? The decision is yours.
We all have a purpose on this earth, but we need to realize that the purpose is to serve Christ. May we all choose to serve HIM with all that we have.