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Walking Away from God

Before I start, I promise I don’t intend to be critical or judgmental. This really is just something I’ve pondered in my heart and I do not have an answer for it. So what is it?

How can people completely walk away from God?

Not people who have never known Him, but those who have experienced His peace and presence, tasted of divine forgiveness, and seen transformation in themselves and others.  The type of person I’m currently thinking of didn’t even have some major catastrophe, they just stopped.

It feels as nonchalant as if they watched a movie and it was over so they walked out of the building and forgot all about it.

I will admit I’ve had my fair share of doubt. I’ve been through some hard things (though not as hard as others).  I’ve been mistreated by people who were supposed to be better than that.  I’ve dealt with long term issues with no real answers (like my wife’s infertility).  In processing this and more, I’ve failed over and over again.

I’m not special. I’m just saying these are common reasons people give up. At the end of the day, I cannot deny what I have experienced.

When I think of people’s lives I’ve got to be a part of and places I’ve been, I remember God’s mercy and love.  I think of times I had peace when everything pointed to chaos, joy when everything pointed to despair, and life when everything registered death. I remember God’s faithfulness.

I hear His voice in my spirit.  I see His work in the everyday.  I sense His hand on my life, guiding me into destiny.  I can’t stop. If I stopped, I would have to say all this is a lie and I simply can’t do that.

The more I consider, I see an answer in my spirit, sort of like the psalmist who asks God questions and by the end has greater clarity. I may not like it, but how can people completely walk away from God?

Little by little.

Step by step.

We know (but too often forget), life appears to be made up of big decisions, but really it’s a thousand small ones leading to bigger events.

Tiredness, disappointment, confusion, lack, limitation, emotional instability, indifference, apathy–there’s grace enough for all of it, but we have to choose it.  Our weakness doesn’t disqualify us. It’s just the opposite because His power is perfected in that weakness.

God doesn’t force His grace on us like a mother trying to get her child to take medicine.  He offers it freely; we receive or deny.  It’s like crying out to God to just do something, and He replies, “I’ve already done it, already given it, already solved it.”

Maybe you notice you’re not as close to God as you have been in the past.  Maybe you’ve given up in one or more areas.  As cliche as it may sound, you may have walked a thousand miles away from Him but it only takes one step back.

For me, I’m going to pray,

Lord, I stand amazed at the things I’ve been privileged to experience. I marvel at the relationship You’ve offered to me and I’ve been able to walk in.  I accept more grace for this day.  Where I’ve turned aside or walked away in any area, I come back to You.  I trust You and believe that the promises You’ve made will not return to You empty-handed.  I know deep in my spirit where Your Spirit cries out, there is more. I embrace it today in Jesus’ name–amen.

What are your thoughts? Why or how do people walk away from God?

4 Comments

  1. I understand where you are coming from Jason. As a pastor I don’t know how many times I have asked that very same question. Until last year and early this year, I had no real answer. Then I had not one, but two bicycle accidents. The second woke me up. I realized how much I had allowed my relationship with God to drift. I didn’t turn my back but I said and did things I am not proud of. (Nothing grossly immoral or addictive unless you count cycling both). But then as I took stock after doing a face plant, splitting my helmet in 3 places and breaking some bones, I realized what had happened. I had done the slow drift. it took radical action on God’s part to open my eyes and call me to Himself. Fortunately, I listened. I’m keenly aware now of what happened and don’t ever want that to happen again.
    bill (cycleguy) recently posted..NoelMy Profile

    • Wow, Bill. That’s an incredible story. Reminds me of something I heard once, that the worst form of hatred is indifference. We may not be openly or flagrantly abandoning God but our relationship can go cold and we lose sight of the most important. Great reminder, my friend. Thanks so much.

  2. Sadly, I knew a man who was once a Methodist minister, but walked away from that call to become a teacher. He didn’t simply quit being a pastor, he left God behind, too. As a fairly new Christian at the time, I couldn’t understand how he could do this. I knew that I’d be nowhere without God and His love for me. I’ve always felt so sorry for him . . .
    Blessings, Jason!

    • Yeah, that is so sad! I wonder if someone told him that walking away from ministry meant he walked away from God and he believed them. Who knows what happened or what others did to contribute. All I know is that I may struggle, but I always have to return to the truth of what I’ve experienced. Thank you, Martha!

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