I can see a lot of us shaking our heads and saying, “No! I have never forsaken God and I never would!” If you’re a Christian, this thought probably seems shocking and unimaginable. When you saw the title of my new book, Forsaken God?: Remembering the Goodness of God Our Culture Has Forgotten, you might have wondered why I wrote it? Who is the audience? Surely, it must be for unbelievers or the worldly culture because you would never forsake God!
The disciple Peter once said the same thing:
Peter replied, “Even if all fall away on account of you, I never will.”
“Truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “this very night, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.” Matt. 26:33-34
We know, that indeed, Peter did forsake his beloved Jesus. If Peter, who loved Jesus and became the rock that Jesus founded his church on, could forsake Him, how much more could we.
Hmmm … let’s pause for a moment to consider if we have ever fallen away or forgotten God, even for just a little time, and then how we can remember to include God in every aspect of our life in the future.
Here are just a few ways we may forsake God. Do any of them hit home with you like they do with me?
- Doubted God’s goodness, faithfulness, or provision during times of difficulty?
- Forgot that God was in control and took matters into our own hands?
- Failed to give God glory or recognition when He answered our prayers?
- Didn’t remember God’s past mighty works or intervention on our behalf?
- Didn’t defend God, when others around us talked disparagingly of Him?
How about in current election and political discussions:
- Do you consider what God would want in a candidate or what you want?
- Have you looked at the candidates through God’s biblical filter or just your own?
- Are you more fearful of economic decline or spiritual decline?
- Is God’s will your focus or personal preferences?
- Are you participating more in political discussions or praying for our country?
- Are you responding as a Christian or trying to be politically correct?
- Are you looking to the Bible–the only source of truth–for answers–or the biased. often inaccurate, media and social media?
If you answered the above questions honestly, I think you have to agree that our human nature initially tends to focus more on what we want rather than considering what God wants. We don’t always base our opinions, discussions, and choices on God’s Word–we do sometimes forsake God, and that should be a wake up call to every believer.
Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. Romans 12:2 NLT
If we’re ever going to have a spiritual revival in our country, not pre-empted by a disaster or crisis, Christians need to disregard the ways of the world, ruled by Satan, and focus on God’s purpose and design for our lives, thoughts, decisions, speech, actions, and country: “We know that we are children of God and that the world around us is under the control of the evil one” (1 John 5:19 NLT).
Last week’s blog post stressed that in Scripture God Does Tell Us How to Vote, and He also tells us how to live as Christians in a fallen world. As Franklin Graham repeatedly says, and his father Billy before him: Only God can heal our land.
But as wise President Reagan once said, “We need God’s help to guide our nation through stormy seas. But we can’t expect Him to protect America in a crisis if we just leave Him over on the shelf in our day-to-day living.”
And as my author friend, Kathy Howard quoted me . . .
True Confession Time
Every author and speaker is motivated to write or speak on topics close to his or her own heart, maybe something he or she has struggled with too. I don’t know about you, but I must admit that sometimes I have forsaken God when I . . .
- Try to solve things myself without consulting Him first.
- Worry over decisions that are only in His control, not my control.
- Forget to pray first, before opening my mouth or taking actions.
- Don’t always look to His Word for guidance.
- And so many more . . .
Yes, even those of us in ministry often forget and forsake God, no one is exempt. So my goal in writing Forsaken God?: Remembering the Goodness of God Our Culture Has Forgotten, is to jog all our memories. Help us recall all God has done in our own life by learning new ways to remember God’s goodness. I hope to motivate us to then share the power of our Great God with a lost and hurting world, especially the next generation . . . especially during this election process.
One generation commends your works to another;
they tell of your mighty acts. Psalm 145:4
Here are just a few of my thoughts from Forsaken God? to help put us on a path of remembering our great God today and every day!
Today’s culture is quickly forgetting the goodness and power of our Great God. If we don’t remember what God has already done, we won’t believe what He is capable of doing in the future. Memory builds faith.
The Bible describes the potential destruction to people who forget and forsake God. The dangers are paramount. We read the Old Testament and lament at how forgetful the Israelites were of God’s goodness. Every time he did something good for them, they started grumbling that they needed something else.
God was only as good as the next miracle or provision. A forsaken God.
We wonder at how the Israelites could be so blind and ungrateful. Why couldn’t they trust that a God who provided and protected them in the past, would do the same in the present and future? But are we any different today?
Our memories tend to be very short. God has done amazing things in our lives, but when the next crisis arises, we panic that He might not show up for us this time. Or when prayers are answered, we might take credit ourselves or offer praise to someone else instead of giving God the glory and recognition he deserves.
We would never intentionally forsake God, but if we’re honest, we do unintentionally forget Him.
We live in a world today that is quickly trying to eliminate God from the public square and even in the private domain. Christians must help a lost world remember God and that starts with remembering him ourselves.
Questions to Prompt Your Memory
Use the following questions to get your memory flowing. Have a journal or notebook ready to record what God brings to mind:
- What has God been doing in your life?
- How did you become a Christian?
- How does God help you through the day?
- How did God answer a prayer request?
Helps to Remember in the Future
Now with some past memories firmly in place, let’s be purposeful in recognizing and remembering the things God will do in the future, and specifically how He wants believers to respond and react in the current political climate.
Here are several of the over 50 ways suggested in Forsaken God? to capture those memories and use them to always remember our Great God:
- Take pictures
- Read our Bibles
- Receive Communion
- Keep an ongoing “thankful list”
- Join a small group
- Share with others
What other ways can you think of to remember and share the goodness of God?
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The most effective encouragement for trusting God in the present is remembering his power in the past. (Quote from Forsaken God?)