August 12, 2022 — Did God Pack up and Leave, or was it You?

“The other day,” Stan began, “a neighbor and I were talking and we got on the subject of his testimony.”

“How he came to faith?” I asked.

“Not so much that,” Stan replied. “More about how he came back to faith.”

“Back to faith? Had he wandered away?”

“That’s his testimony,” Stan said, “and he indicated that what started him on the road back was a single verse from the Old Testament.”

“Which verse was that?” I asked.

“It’s in the Book of Judges,” Stan said. “The story about Samson and Delilah where it says that Samson did not know that the Lord had departed from him.”

“Did your neighbor say that God had departed from him?” I asked.

“No,” he replied. “He said he was struck by the notion that God had not gone anywhere, but it was him who had departed from God.”

“He had departed from God? How?”

“Little by little. A little unconfessed sin here, a little lack of repentance there, and pretty soon what was little grew larger. All of a sudden he looked around and saw that he was no longer close to God. Someone had departed, and it wasn’t God.”

“Then what?”

“He confessed, repented, and began anew his walk with God.”

“And that helped?” I asked.

“Sure did,” Stan replied, “and he does something every morning to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

“What’s that?”

“He comes before God and asks Him for His help in examining every part of his life for any unconfessed sin, any lack of repentance, along with anything else that might interfere with his ongoing, ever-deepening relationship with God.”

“Every morning?” I said. “He must consider it important.”

“He does,” Stan replied. “He realized it was not God who had packed up and left, it was him. And he doesn’t ever want that to happen again!”


Bible verses to consider:

But he did not know that the Lord had departed from him. Judges 16:20.

Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me and know my anxious thoughts; and see if there be any hurtful way in me, and lead me in the everlasting way. Psalm 139:23-24.

Examine me, O Lord, and try me; test my mind and my heart. Psalm 26:2.

Prayer: Thank you, Father, that you want me to walk closely with you. I confess that too often I choose to walk apart from you. I do that because that’s what I want to do. Please forgive that foolish way of living the life you have given me to live with and for you. And please help me follow every step of your lead in allowing you to examine and convict me of any and all unconfessed sin, failed repentance, and anything else that keeps me from walking closely with you. Thank you that I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Think on this: Do you know you will spend eternity in God’s presence when your time here is completed? If no, why? Do you not know it is a free and gracious gift that only needs to be accepted? If you are a Christian with the assurance of salvation and redemption, how are you doing in not wandering away from God on this side of eternity? Is there unconfessed sin or failed repentance that you need to bring before Him? If you sense the need for change in how you pursue an ever-deepening relationship with God so there is no distance between you and Him, how is that going to happen? Is that what you want? Why or why not?

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