Thursday, April 28, 2016

Fearing abandonment?



I’ve only one recurring nightmare and seldom experience it, but early this morning I woke shaking with emotion. This vivid dream is about being abandoned and mocked because of my dismay.

Again, I asked God to show me what this is about and He surprised me with Chambers’ devotional. It is about being abandoned to God. The verse is the same as yesterday, but the focus is on the last part, the promise made along with the warning not to selfishly seek great things.

And do you seek great things for yourself? Seek them not, for behold, I am bringing disaster upon all flesh, declares the Lord. But I will give you your life as a prize of war in all places to which you may go.” (Jeremiah 45:5)

A previous verse says the same thing, adding a reason for that gift: “’For I will surely save you, and you shall not fall by the sword, but you shall have your life as a prize of war, because you have put your trust in me,’ declares the Lord.” (Jeremiah 39:18)

The psalmist also declares the same prescription for those who fear evil: “The Lord helps them and delivers them; he delivers them from the wicked and saves them, because they take refuge in him.” (Psalm 37:40)

Chambers says this is the Lord’s unshakable secret for those who trust Him. In the context in Jeremiah, this was a literal promise to protect the listener from dying in a war, but the key is trusting Him.

For me, I take it as a personal promise — God will enable me to be a survivor in my war against the world, the flesh, and that old liar — the devil. Again, the key to surviving any battle and even the fear of loss is trusting God. It is giving all that I am and all that I do into His hands, but also trusting Him with all that comes against me.

Romans 8:28-29 makes a promise that goes with these other verses: “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.” (Romans 8:28–29)

Some Christians say we need to: “Let go and let God.” This way of life has been put down as abdicating personal responsibility to obey, but in many cases that response is a misunderstanding. Letting go isn’t about abdicating obedience; it is letting go of control. 

I’ve tried to control life in many ways with manipulation being the worst. Equally serious is telling God what to do all the time, as if I know more than He does about my concerns.

However, abandoning myself to God also means letting go of the ‘great things’ that my ambition may claw after and letting go of the things that I fear. He is sovereign over both. He will not allow anything into my life that He cannot use to transform it, nor will He give me any ‘great thing’ if I will use it to rob Him of His glory. He is sovereign.

Regardless of what I might face or struggle with, God promises to give me my life as a prize of war. That life is not ‘my’ life in the sense of the old flesh, but in the sense of the life I have hidden with Christ in God. It is true life, eternal life, abundant life. It is the freedom of recognizing that Jesus Christ is Lord of all without badgering Him with questions and suggestions or any demands at all. It is accepting with the simplicity of a child who totally trusts her father. It is also discovering that the abandoned life isn’t a nightmare but a glorious journey that may include trials, but also includes a deep and often playful joy.


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