By Carol Round, Special to ASSIST News Service (www.assistnews.net)
GROVE, OK (ANS – July 31, 2016) — “And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love”— Romans 8:38 (NLT).
In a recent exchange of emails with a friend who lives in Texas, he confessed he had not attended church for years.
He added, “After being on fire when I discovered the teaching of The Word at Calvary Chapel in a converted strip center, several years down the road I watched us grow and move into a large new building and, to me, the church became a stranger to me…a victim of its success you might say. I know The Lord. I crave The Lord. But I have been absence from audience with Him, deceived I’m sure by The Enemy into thinking that I’m doing just fine by my own self-righteous indignation. Perhaps I am, but that has separated me from The Word as well. Psalm 119 tells us to hide God’s Word in our hearts so as to not sin. The characters have faded because of my absence.”
I can relate. I, too, drifted away from my Christian upbringing, which began in Lake Charles, La., where my sister and I grew up walking to a small church just a block away from where we lived. We attended faithfully. After leaving home, my church attendance was sporadic until my sons were born. I wanted them to have the same foundation so I returned only to leave, once again, in my late 30s.
It wasn’t until almost 10 years later that I realized what was missing in my life. It wasn’t just the fellowship of Christian believers but a relationship with my Savior and Lord. So, in 2001, I recommitted my life to Him.
My Texas friend is experiencing the same thing. He added, “The other night I picked up my Bible and it opened to The Epistle of James. So I started reading. I even used all of the footnotes in the Concordance to do my own exegesis. It was like water to a man dying of thirst. Last night I prayed for discipline to once again become a student of The Word.”
However, my friend is haunted by two scriptures. I Samuel 16:14 says, “But the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul…” and in Judges 16:20, speaking of Samson, “the Lord had departed from him.”
He added, “I fear The Lord departing from me because of my apostasy, because I have grieved The Holy Spirit, quenched it in me.”
I shared 10 scriptural references to the promise that God will never forsake or abandon His children. Then, I added, “We may leave God, but He will never leave us. No matter how bleak the situation, no matter how empty the feeling, God will never leave us. His promises are true. His word is above all. We can move forward because He goes before us. And if God be for us, who can be against us?”
Photo captions: 1) Have you drifted away from God? (www.keyword-suggestions.com). 2) Carol Round.
** You may republish this or any of our ANS stories with attribution to the ASSIST News Service (www.assistnews.net). Please also tell your friends that they can receive a complimentary subscription to our news service by going to the above website and signing up there.