|I have quoted many, many times the fact that God’s Word tells us He will never leave us or forsake us. We find in the Old Testament “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” We find in the New Testament “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” God’s men should find comfort in these words as they attempt to navigate the murky waters of life. The more important question, and the purpose of this article, is to ask “have you forsaken God?” After all, God has made it very clear that He will not leave or forsake us so shouldn’t God expect the same in return? I know in my own life’s journey there was a period of time when I perceived that God had not only ignored me but had indeed abandoned me. As I tried to understand why God would do such a thing, I discovered that it wasn’t God who had abandoned me at all but in fact, I had abandoned Him. Satan has so many resources at his disposal to create doubt and disappointment and when we fall for his ploy, we somehow want to blame that on God. Yet it is our decision and our disobedience that puts us in this predicament to begin with.
Lincoln Brewster, a Contemporary Christian band, has a wonderful song on their albumToday is the Day entitled “The Power of Your Name.” The second verse says “Surely nations were not made for war or the broken meant to be ignored. Surely this just can’t be what You saw. Let Your Kingdom come here in my heart. The third verse tells us “Surely life wasn’t made to regret and the lost were not made to forget. Surely faith without action is dead. Let Your Kingdom come Lord break this heart. The chorus says “I will live to carry Your compassion, to love a world that’s broken; To be Your hands and feet; I will give with the life that I’ve been given and go beyond religion to see the world be changed by the power of Your name.” The bridge says “Your name is a shelter for the hurting. Jesus Your name is a refuge for the weak. Only Your name can redeem the undeserving; Jesus Your name holds everything I need.”
I love the fact that these lyrics first ask God to let His Kingdom come into our hearts and then asks the Lord to break our hearts. This is where many of us get off track and forsake our Heavenly Father. Once we have God’s Kingdom in our heart all we have to do is look at the world around us and our hearts should be broken by what we see. It is when we find ourselves in this state that we can truly become God’s hands and feet to see the world changed by the incredible power of His name! Satan is very convincing when he whispers in a man’s ear saying he shouldn’t allow himself to achieve this brokenness because it just isn’t “manly.” A “real man” just doesn’t allow himself to depend on anyone, including God, to this degree. It is at this point we start worrying more about our manhood and what people might think instead of following the desires of our Heavenly Father and work to advance His Kingdom. We would do well to remember these words “Let your conduct be without covetousness, and be content with such things that you have, for he has said, ‘I will never leave you, nor forsake you,’ so that we may boldly say, ‘The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do to me.” The Prophet Isaiah tells us “For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.”You see it comes around full circle, God will not forsake us or leave us and He is always there to help us accomplish His assignment for us.
The Old Testament book of Proverbs has so many life lessons. I encourage you, if you haven’t read Proverbs in a while, to spend some time reading it and soaking it in. Proverbs 16 verse 3 tells us to “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.” You see, God wants you to be successful and He will help you. At the same time, God needs you and I to remain focused on Him and live out His plan for our lives rather than our own desires. We can never forget that our spirit leads us away from God and the Holy Spirit draws us closer to God. God’s men cannot measure their success by the world’s standards. The world’s standards are distorted and full of self-indulging, self-serving objectives that can never measure up to what God desires for us. After all, He wants us to have an abundant life full of joy and peace. When we forsake Him, we cannot experience the desires of His heart. Paul tells us “But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him. For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are the smell of death; to the other, the fragrance of life. And who is equal to such a task? Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, like men sent from God.” God’s men must live their lives out loud and we must always remember that our behavior speaks volumes. Speaking God’s Word is only effective if we are living God’s Word. So, are you” the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing” or are you trying to mask the fragrance so you can “fit in” the world around you. So as the chorus of Lincoln Brewster’s song says “I will live to carry Your compassion; to love a world that’s broken. To be Your hands and feet. I will give with the life that I’ve been given and go beyond religion to see the world be changed by the power of Your name.” Just imagine the impact God’s men could have on their families, communities and churches if they committed their lives to“go beyond religion to see the world changed by the power of His name!