“My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” Ps. 22:1
After twenty-five years as a Christian, Blake’s life seemed to be listless and ordinary. Sitting in his den one evening, he mentally scanned back over the years, looking for reminders of a time when his life with Christ was more vital, more compelling. Finally he settled in on a period when his faith was vital, alive and compelling. It was a time when he trusted God for most of his decisions and actions; a time when just the thought of the Lord brought a smile and energy. Unfortunately, it was a time in the past; too many years in the past.
With a shudder, Blake realized he had become lukewarm. Surprisingly, his first response was a challenge to God which took the form of Jesus’ words on the cross, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” (Mark 14:34). Like a shot in the dark, Blake felt the presence of the Holy Spirit reminding him that he never been abandoned. Tears began to flow as Blake confronted his diminished faith and lethargic life in Christ. He realized, with a shudder, that he had become like the Laodicean Church in Revelation 3:16, lukewarm. In his self-pity, Blake was actually blaming God for his weakened faith.
Rev. 3:14-19 “Write to the angel of the church in Laodicea:
“The Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Originator of God’s creation says: 15 I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish that you were cold or hot. 16 So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I am going to vomit you out of My mouth. 17 Because you say, ‘I’m rich; I have become wealthy and need nothing,’ and you don’t know that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked, 18 I advise you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire so that you may be rich, white clothes so that you may be dressed and your shameful nakedness not be exposed, and ointment to spread on your eyes so that you may see. 19 As many as I love, I rebuke and discipline. So be committed and repent.
Hope was surging again as the Holy Spirit took Blake to another Scripture of assurance.
Heb. 12:4-6 For in your struggle against sin you have not yet had to resist to the point of being killed. 5 Have you forgotten the encouraging words which God speaks to you as his children? “My child, pay attention when the Lord corrects you, and do not be discouraged when he rebukes you. 6 Because the Lord corrects everyone he loves, and punishes everyone he accepts as a child.
Over the years, God had become commonplace to Blake, a friendly and distant connection to the promise of eternal life. His daily worries and plans had edged God aside from first place to second, then third, and so on. Instead of being the cause of joy and peace in his life, Blake’s diminished faith eventually placed God as the reason for his confusion and feelings of abandonment. “God, why have you forsaken me?”
1 Thess. 5:23-24 Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely. And may your spirit, soul, and body be kept sound and blameless for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it.
On his knees, Bible in hand, Blake’s faith was being transformed again, renewed by God’s Holy Spirit as Scripture after Scripture invigorated his soul.
Rom. 8:28, 31 We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God; those who are called according to His purpose. . .What then are we to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us?
Heb. 13:5-6 Keep your lives free from the love of money, and be satisfied with what you have. For God has said, “I will never leave you; I will never abandon you.” 6 Let us be bold, then, and say, The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid. What can anyone do to me?
James 4:6-10 You are like unfaithful wives, flirting with the glamour of this world, and never realising that to be the world’s lover means becoming the enemy of God! Anyone who deliberately chooses to love the world is thereby making himself God’s enemy. Do you think what the scriptures have to say about this is a mere formality? Or do you imagine that this spirit of passionate jealousy is the Spirit he has caused to live in us? No, he gives us grace potent enough to meet this and every other evil spirit, if we are humble enough to receive it. That is why he says: ‘God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.
Like a hot shower on a cold day, God’s word flooded over Blakes mind, soothing his soul and strengthening his spirit. Taking in God’s words and walking in his forgiveness, Blake was back on the narrow path which leads to eternal life.