Separation from God

corn2I shared yesterday that my lack of obedience causes a division between myself and God.  It was brought to my attention that nothing–absolutely nothing–can separate us from the love of God (Romans 8).  When we accept Him as our Savior, He unites Himself with us by moving in to our hearts on a permanent basis.  He’s just there.  That’s what He promises.  That’s what He does.

If this is true, then why do I feel such a division in my relationship with God when I am not doing what He is calling me to do?  Well, the fact of the matter is that sin does separate me from God.

Wait.  What?

Even though God stays right where He says He’s going to stay, I pull away.  Because of guilt, because of shame, because of a rebellious heart, I create an emotional division between God and myself.  When my sin goes unchecked, I dig my ditch deeper and wider, forsaking the intimacy and protection my Lord offers.  I isolate myself out of pride or regret.  I listen to the voices of discouragement, doubt and defiance whisper in my ear, and I pull further away from my Heavenly Father.

It’s ridiculous, really, because God is still there.  Waiting for me to come to Him in repentance and humility.  He’s ready to hear me pour out my heart and to heal my wounded spirit.  Like the loving daddy He is, He longs for me to crawl up into His holy lap and surrender, once again, to His will.  He is not the One who moved.  I am.

When we feel forsaken by God, it is just that–a feeling.  It is an illusion of our injured imaginations.  The Bible shows us repeatedly that this is something people often feel.  Think of Job.  Think of Jonah.  Think of David.  Our emotions have remarkable power.  They can trick us into believing that almost anything is real.  The truth is, though, that God does not abandon His people.  He may withhold His blessing for one reason or another, but He does not jump ship and leave us to fight through this broken world on our own.  And, for whatever blessing you feel is being withheld, there are literally dozens of blessings that are freely given.  Our problem is our perspective.  We feel the division that we ourselves have created, and we accuse the very One who promises to be our refuge in times of heartache.

That’s like being wet from the rain and blaming the umbrella that got left in the car.

My friends, we have so much at our disposal.  The same Power that created the starry host, fragrant flowers and autumn leaves lives in us.  He is waiting for us to pour out our hearts to Him.  He longs for us to crawl up into His lap.  Regardless of the distance we have created, He is still there.  Waiting to be our safe place.  Our refuge.  Our Prince of Peace.

Maybe it’s time to give Him another chance.  He is waiting for you.

 

Advertisements

Obedience. Blah.

Yeah, the title kinda sums me up.  I love to be obeyed, but I don’t necessarily enjoy obeying.  I like my kids to jump right in and do what I want them to do with Pollyanna-like sunniness, but I can’t say that they’ve always gotten a real solid example from me.

Actually, they kind of have.  I do a pretty decent job of obeying God in pretty much everything that everyone else can see.  Unfortunately, though, there are a few things God wants me to do (or not do) that only He and I know about.  On those things, I often miss the mark.  Big time.

It’s a shame, too, because the things He asks me to do are simple things that have the potential to make a big difference in someone’s day–a card in the mail, an encouraging email, a lunch invitation to a friend, a compliment to a stranger, time in His Word.  Easy stuff.

Then why is it so hard?

I don’t know if I just think I’m too busy with important things to drop what I’m doing and obey or if I feel compelled to know why in the world God would want me to do whatever He’s asking me to do.  The reason for my non-compliance doesn’t really matter.  What matters is that I’m not obeying my God.

Jesus has this still, small voice that He often uses.  It’s actually difficult for me to hear on occasion.  I tend to be the kind of girl who takes a two-by-four on the side of the head.  Subtlety often escapes me.  I’ve learned, though, that practice makes His voice more easily heard.  Because of my habit of disobedience, His whisper has long been easily lost in the loudness of my life.

I want to do better.  I’m committed to doing better.  James 4:17 says, “Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins”. 

Sin keeps me from living the life God has called me to live.  Whether I consider my sin to be big or small, it creates a division between my Savior and myself.

And, to be honest, my kids may not actually see my disobedience, but they do share some of the consequences.  If there is division between Jesus and me, my kids are not getting my best.  I don’t want them to have a broken momma, but a momma who is whole and alive in Christ.  I want them to see me doing little things for Jesus–things that are maybe out of my comfort zone or things that maybe don’t make sense.  I don’t want to model a safe, white-bread sort of faith.  I want them to see the richness of full surrender to the Bread of Life.  I want them to see Him in me.