For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8: 38-39
I recite this scripture and am encouraged to continue to pursue Jesus. As with most of my post, this post stems from a conversation I had with a friend about being saved and how we know we’re saved. We talked about experiences we had with God and what we heard in church and what we read in the Bible, all of these serving as evidence that God lives in us. This discussion made me realize how protective I am of my relationship with Christ. I never want to be separated from His love.
Growing up in church all of my life, I’ve seen mighty leaders “fall” both inside and outside of my church’s organization. Some of them did not have titles or a huge following, but I sensed their love for God in the way they talked and how they lived their lives. But as much as they may have loved God, it wasn’t enough to keep them from sinning against Him, thereby separating themselves from Him. So surely, if it could happen to them, it could happen to me. And it did happen to me.
When we think of being separated from God, often times we think of this “big” sin we committed. We think we have to be Saul who called himself the chief of sinners or David who had a man killed after getting said man’s wife pregnant. Too many of us are the rich, young ruler. When told what it cost to be close to Jesus, we say it’s too expensive and we walk away. We separate ourselves.
Having to see God as good after my father passed, was too high a cost for me. I went to church and said the Lord’s prayer. That’s it. That’s as much of a relationship as I wanted with God. His love felt so far from me and I was uninterested in receiving it. I was at my lowest low and unwilling to talk to the only person who could do anything about it. I look back and realize I allowed death and things present to separate me from the love of God. Thankfully, before it was too late I found my way back (through the prayers of others and therapy) but because of that experience I became very sensitive of my proximity to God.
Most parents can remember a time when their children became quite clingy, usually within the first year or so. People who their children were familiar with and would willingly go to, they all of a sudden treat them like strangers, only wanting mommy or daddy. At first, this appeared to be a healthy way to be in relationship with God. Only wanting Him, nobody else would do. But I realized, this relationship was driven out of fear that He would leave me. I already knew what it felt like to feel far away from God. I literally need Him for everything, how could I make it if He left me?
After sitting here writing this post, I realize He will never leave me. Never. There is nothing to be scared of. Sure, dry seasons will come but I have the power to speak to dry bones. People around me may fail to love me properly and consistently but God won’t. Those who I look up to may falter along the way but it doesn’t change how good God is. My identity in Christ is not rooted in what happens or doesn’t happen or how I feel or don’t feel, it’s rooted in who He is and He is love. While I do believe a healthy dose of separation anxiety is normal, it shouldn’t be the driving force in your relationship with Christ.
So even when the devil tries to remind me how much it hurts for my father not to be here, I’ll speak Romans 8:38-39 over my life and won’t live in fear of being separated from God.
Deuteronomy 31:6 Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.