Let’s face it, Satan is the very best at what he does—keeping lost people lost and making Christians ineffective. One of the ways he seeks to make believers ineffective is by isolating them and making them feel alone.
We’ve all had the thoughts and feelings at some point in our lives where we think we are alone and no one could possibly understand what we’re going through. Dwelling on these thoughts can easily lead to deeper issues of depression and isolation.
This is far from God’s plan for us as his children. He not only wants to be an active participant in our lives, he lets us know right up front that we are never far from him.
David, the man after God’s own heart, understands this and sings of it in Psalm 139. No matter the circumstances, he knew God was there with him. David goes so far as to say that even if he were to go down to Sheol, God still is there. The word “Sheol” literally means into the depths of the earth or the grave, and a place that is the farthest from every living thing. And yet, God would be there too with you.
How about this—it’s literally impossible for you to be alone as a Christian. Think about it, God says he goes before you, comes behind you, is all around you and is even inside you. You couldn’t get away from him even if you tried. God’s the ultimate stalker. But why then are there still times when we feel alone? Because it’s just that—a feeling. Not real, but certainly presents itself as reality. What we lack at times is the awareness of God’s presence.
This feeling of being left alone or forgotten isn’t something new to our time in history. Throughout the Bible we see God himself and Jesus continually assuring and reassuring people they would not be left alone. God’s promise of never leaving you or forsaking you is repeated time and time again. He goes so far as to even place himself within you. You become his house or temple which means he’s not going anywhere because he is at home.
Don’t you hate it when a person, especially someone special to you, forgets an important date or event about you like a birthday? It’s a terrible thing to be forgotten or ignored. Want to truly insult someone and get under their skin? Ignore them; don’t even acknowledge their existence. People want to be remembered.
God wants to be remembered as well, and numerous times throughout Scripture, we see God calling his people to remember who he is and what he has done. It’s not just for his sake but for ours, because when we remember his faithfulness in the past, we are more likely and ready to rest in his faithfulness for the future.
God calling his people to remember his faithfulness when the entire nation of Israel was wandering around the desert for 40 years is a common theme. My two sons, who are 7 and 9, go through clothes like crazy because of the abuse only a 7- and 9-year-old can dish out. Now look in verse 4 of Deuteronomy 8 where it says that even though they were walking around for 40 years, their clothes never wore out and their feet never swelled from all that walking. Amazing.
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Sometimes we forget the little things in our lives where God is trying to make himself known to us in a big way but doing so in the smaller details. The question and challenge for us is whether or not we will take the time to remember.
Not satisfied with not having a personal relationship with his people, God, who knew this was part of his plan all along, goes a step further and sends his Son to establish and begin a personal relationship with the entirety of his people, individually.
Can you imagine heaven’s excitement and anticipation until the time was just right for Jesus to come to earth to establish a new covenant? Jesus goes from being the all-powerful creator to being human, like one of his own creations. He who could make anything (planets, stars, trees, flowers, caterpillars, etc.) with just a thought or desire, makes himself nothing and humbles himself so his people could relate to him.
Here’s the kicker in verse 5 of Philippians 2, we are expected to do the same. In a world that says you should look out for No. 1 and brag about yourself because if you don’t know one else will, we are called to do the opposite and serve others, making their success our goal. And if we are to be put on a pedestal in the eyes of others, God is the one who will do that for us.
In the meantime, we are to live lives of obedience and find ways to connect with those around us in order to connect them with a God who loves them unconditionally. Jesus prepared the way for us and gave us his example to do just that.