Sometimes, God calls us to a life of abandonment.
Abandon - Forsaken or deserted.
This entire blog is based on those very feelings.
We have all felt abandoned, at times.
But there is more to this word; to this story.
Abandon - To leave completely and finally.
Or, how about these?
Abandoned - Uninhibited. Unrestricted. To yield without restraint or moderation.
These definitions sound better. Less intimidating.
As a matter of fact, this word seems to describe someone who is disciplined, who sees the big picture, who is willing to sacrifice self for the greater good of others.
I hope to be the type of person who can do this; to live a life of abandonment. Long past the intersections of pride and reputation, of wealth and mandatory schedules controlled by everyone else, there is a road that leads to a life of abandonment.
Perhaps this is what Jesus referred to in Luke 14:26 - "If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters - yes, even his own life - he cannot be my disciple."
Surely, he never meant for us to hate anyone, especially not our brothers and sisters or the same father and mother he instructed us to honor.
No strings attached. That's what he asks of us. In order to fully live our lives for Christ, we must leave behind all that we were before. No holding on to our chains, or dragging them along behind us.
A youth pastor friend of ours says that when he agreed to try to reach teens for Christ, he gave over control of where God sends him to do that. He thought he was headed to Florida, but ended up in Detroit instead. Not because it was best for his family, but because that was where God needed him most.
The most inspirational and effective leaders are those who have learned to do this. To go where God sends them, with no strings attached.
If heaven is our destination, we don't much in this life. The only thing we can take to heaven with us is the people in our lives. Our relationships are what God needs in order to pull others toward him.
And most times, that journey starts alone; with a life of reckless abandon.
A life of freedom.
What has he asked you to leave behind?
This entire site is based on the premise that God uses our times of abandonment to touch us deeply, in intensely personal ways that only we can understand.
And I firmly believe in this truth, after seeing it happen in the lives of many people that I adore.
But I also believe that we must be cautious of those alone times, especially those moments when we feel isolated; and that no one else could possibly understand our circumstances. Because this is also a sign that Satan is near, feeding you lies that keep you from opening up to others, and in the process, weakening you as much as possible. He is always on the lookout for the lost, confused and alone, ready to pounce and fill our pain with indescribable emptiness. His paths lead nowhere. The choices he offers are polished, presented in a way to entice us into thinking we are getting a bargain.
His goal is always the same; to get us to trade in the eternal for the temporary. He breeds further letdowns, meeting us wherever we are and sinking us into a downward spiral; a pit deeper than we ever anticipated.
That is just his way.
Jesus knew this. This is why He shares the parable of the lost lamb, in the books of Matthew and Luke. He asks the question, "If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills, to go look for the one that is lost?"
Jesus knew what happened to sheep who were left alone. They were more vulnerable, weaker, more likely to take the wrong path. Defenseless before they even realized it, so He leaves the others under the protection of each other, and seeks us out when we are isolated by the lies of Satan.
It seems that He can't rest until He knows we are safe, because that's just what Daddies do.
So, beware of isolation, because if you don't fill the quiet time with God, you may soon find it filled with the lies of the devil. God knows we need each other. He told us to bear one another's burdens, and never intended for us to face this life alone. Open up to someone else, allow them to pray for you, and together, you will become stronger.
And the enemy will move on to another target.
I Peter 5:8-9 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.
What about you? Is there a time you fell under attack because you were alone?