May 22, 2023 — Who Left?

As we were enjoying our breakfast one morning, Stan commented, “The other day I was visiting with a neighbor and we got on the subject of his personal 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, in the Book of Judges.”

“What’s that about?”

“It’s in the story of Samson and Delilah,” Stan replied, “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. “My neighbor said that as he read about what had happened to Samson, he was struck by the notion that maybe God hadn’t gone anywhere. It caused him to think about how we leave God. And that was especially true with him.”

“He had left God? How’s that happen?”

“It was the same with him as it can be with all of us,” Stan replied. “It’s usually a little by little. A little unconfessed sin here, a little lack of repentance there, and pretty soon what may be little becomes big. All of a sudden we look around and see that we are no longer as close to God as we were. Someone has left, and it wasn’t God.”

“Then what?”

“It’s like my neighbor’s testimony,” Stan replied. “He said he confessed, repented, and began anew his walk with God.”

“And that helped?” I asked.

“It sure did,” Stan said, “and my neighbor told me that he does something every morning to help make sure he doesn’t move away from God 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 the foolishness of that. Please help me follow every step of your lead in asking 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? 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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