Have you ever thought that you had done what God wanted and had everything turn out badly? This bad time may have followed a tremendous victory against incredible odds. You thought that God is so close that you could never fail at anything again. Then, you have such a failure that you don't think you can ever do anything for God again. You tell God how you can't complete the journey if He can't be depended on. You tell Him that there are those who will laugh at your testimony of God's deliverance when they look at you. You blame God for this tough time. Other innocent people like your family are being adversly affected.
What will you do? God seems to have left you. You trusted Him and now all you can see is doom. You blame Him for the predicament you are in. You can't go forward without Him, yet you can't seem to trust that He will come through for you. So, you gripe at God.
Have you considered that the problem may be within you? It could be that God has required something from you and you have ignored it. It could be that you have forsaken Him.
Often we think that God is so glad to see us coming to church that He will do anything to keep us there. We think we can do anything we want as long as we throw God a bone every once in a while. We think that we can get all the benefits without complete obedience to what He is calling us to do.
But God cares way too much for us to allow us to live like that. He will not simply allow us to live in our disobedience while experiencing His glory. He wants us to know that He does not serve us nor does He expect us to be His gods. He wants us to know that the only way to live fully is to live within complete obedience.
So, let's consider some things that God clearly wants us to do but we may have withheld from Him. These things will be found as things that forsake Him. They will be found in things that prove we never trusted Him in the first place.
Are you tithing? Have you withheld your money from God while expecting Him to provide an abundance for you? God said that we are robbing from Him when this happens. He has challenged us to test Him and see if He will not open up His blessings to us if we will tithe. I can preach on anything else on the church and people will claim I am a man of God. If I talk about tithing people think I am the most money-hungry preacher around. They think I am a con even when I read God's word and tell them that things are not going to go well if they do not tithe. Test Him. That's what He said to do. These are not my words. Check and see what happens if you tithe for a month. See if God is not faithful.
Have you held your tongue when you knew you should have said something about your faith. This is not a story of beating people over the head with a Bible. This is only saying the words that God will give you when He tells you to tell others about who He is. The Bible says that He will forsake us if we forsake Him. Why can't we get this? If we act like we don't know Him, He will act like He doesn't know us. That means He leaves us alone to our own devices. We will not have His strength or leading if we forsake Him.
Have we acted without faith? The Bible says that we should expect to receive nothing from God if we don't have faith. It also says we should expect to move mountains with faith. Faith is something that God wishes to deliver to us. It is taking the first step while believing that He will carry us the rest of the steps. It is putting ourselves in a position where God's actions are necessary. Faith is not being safe from the outside looking in. Faith is being absolutely safe within our obedience to His leading. It is seeing what can't be seen. It doesn't add up in the bank book. It doesn't tally up in numbers. It is the belief that there is help on the other side of the mountain. It is picking up the manna for today and believing He will provide the manna for tomorrow.
Our bad times are not always because we have forsaken God. Some times God uses them as testimonies to others, ways to move us into something we would never have considered or a way show us that His strength can carry us through the bad times. But, sometimes we need to ask ourselves if the reason we have not seen God is because we have left Him.
The solution may be the hardest thing that you have ever done. It involves confessing to God that you have forsaken Him. It means you must make a commitment to God which you don't believe you can make. It means you must take action that proves you mean what you are saying.
It means that things may even look worse before they look better. But I ask you, do you really believe you are going to have the power of God, His provision, His presence and His leading if we forsake Him?
So, take make that very hard decision. He will receive you. I know. I have had to do the same thing.