Isaiah 58:6-9 (NLT)
“No, this is the kind of fasting I want: Free those who are wrongly imprisoned; lighten the burden of those who work for you. Let the oppressed go free and remove the chains that bind people. Share your food with the hungry and give shelter to the homeless. Give clothes to those who need them and do not hide from relatives who need your help. Then your salvation will come like the dawn and your wounds will quickly heal. Your godliness will lead you forward and the glory of the LORD will protect you from behind. Then when you call, the LORD will answer. ‘Yes, I am here,’ he will quickly reply.”
The word “abandon” has a negative connotation. It is an image of loneliness and desperation that the enemy uses to strike fear in the heart of the godly and his tactic to cause them to stray off course. There are many people in this world whose absolute terror of being left all alone causes them to compromise for abusive relationships giving more than one should ever have to give for acceptance, approval and affirmation that is not love at all but allowed to be a crutch. I recently read an article of a young mother who allowed the father of her twin infants to abuse them severely even unto death. I was horrified. I cannot imagine watching anyone harm one of my children without giving my life to save them. During her interrogation, the officer who was a parent asked her one simple question – “Why?” Her answer was “because I was afraid he would leave me and I would be all alone.” My heart is broken for a generation of people who are desperate for a connection deeper than the lust of this world. I understand what this girl did was horrific no less than the abuser. Yet, it is shattering to think of someone so desperate for love that they would resort to such measures to have something so shallow. This is the world in which we live. Compromised trust has broken the heart of mankind to the point that people will do anything not be alone rather than allowing the unfailing love and overwhelming compassion of Jesus Christ to set them free. Fear of being forsaken has left love lacking. They are unfulfilled and don’t know contentment. They are not content. They are bound in their sin and tied up in weakness. I cannot judge her. I cannot even be mad at this twenty-year-old mother, all I feel is profound sorrow that she ever felt so alone.
The word abandon as a verb means to leave completely, to give up, to discontinue, or to withdraw from. The Lord has promised never to leave us, forsake us or abandon us. However, we can abandon God’s Way. We can leave Him, give up on Him, stop following Him and even withdraw from Him. But the Lord cannot and will not leave us. He is bound by His Word. It is His Oath. (Hebrews 6:17) He cannot lie or change His Mind. (Numbers 23:19) I wonder if God ever regrets His Decision. Surely, He must. He has pledged His Love and total commitment to mankind even allowing His Only Son to die for our sins, yet we abandon the Lord to chase after idols, give our life to lesser things and choose darkness over the Light of His Amazing Love. The word “abandon” is not in God’s Vocabulary other than as yet another promise for His Rebellious Children. The word “abandon” can also be used as a noun. This is the one that I am after. I want to live in abandonment to the Lord. As a noun, abandon means to give up control, to yield without restraint, and live with a lack of moderation. Abandonment in this form means holding nothing back but giving it everything that you’ve got! I want to live like this in my relationship with the Lord. I want all of His Love. I want all of His Promises. I will stop at nothing to have them.
Colossians 2:6-10 (NLT)
And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness. Don’t let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers of this world, rather than from Christ. For in Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body. So you also are complete through your union with Christ, who is the head over every ruler and authority.
Abandonment to God is our freedom in Christ. We do not only accept Jesus Christ as Savior but we must accept Him as Lord. This is to “give up control” of our life as an offering of allegiance to Christ. To accept Jesus Christ as the Way, the Truth and the Life which is the ONLY WAY to make it back to God. (John 14:6) There is only one God and One Mediator who is Jesus Christ. A life given to Him should now be in pursuit of godliness in all things especially love. (1 Timothy 2:1-5) You cannot abandon your life to the Lord your way. That is ridiculous. In every relationship in life there must be a yielding or there will be opposition and resistance leading to division. I have been married fifteen years because somewhere along the line we both decided to yield. It was a bit rocky in the beginning as two distinctly different individuals who often had opposition opinions tried to find middle ground (which does not exist). Someone had to relent. Someone had to give up their way. Over the years, the resistance has been reduced to seldom and opposition not so often because we have learned to walk together with respect and honor. As we have given more of our life to Jesus Christ, we have learned that love covers a multitude of sins. In marriage, there are two imperfect people trying to build a better life. But with the Lord, there is only one way – His Way. It is perfect. Faith allows us to give up our life to accept all that He offers us by following Him. As we strive to strengthen our union to Jesus Christ by faith, we learn to live an abandoned life – yet we will never again feel alone.
Romans 6:13-14 (NLT)
Do not let any part of your body become an instrument of evil to serve sin. Instead, give yourselves completely to God, for you were dead, but now you have new life. So use your whole body as an instrument to do what is right for the glory of God. Sin is no longer your master, for you no longer live under the requirements of the law. Instead, you live under the freedom of God’s grace.
There is freedom in God’s Grace. Freedom to live with abandon or in surrender. Such a life is free from inhibitions, restraint, concern or worry as we are given many precious promises that it is not our job to make happen but simply experience. How do we have God’s Promises? When we abandon our way to walk in godliness, they are right there for our taking. You can have His Promises by letting go of your idols. There are many things we hold on to for a sense of tangible security that offer no real support just make us feel better. When all hell breaks loose in our life (which it does from time to time) they are worthless but by then it is too late. God does not leave us or forsake us. He does not abandon His Covenant. We do. (Deuteronomy 4:28-31) And then blame the Lord for it. God will never leave us or forsake us because it would discredit and dishonor His Name making the Lord just like everyone else. (I Samuel 12:21-22) Even in the darkest night when you cannot see your hand in front of your face figuratively or literally, He is with you. He will never fail you. (Deuteronomy 31:5-6) We are the ones who choose to abandon God and withdraw our faith to give to lesser things. He is right there to take us back the moment that we change our mind and turn around (repent) calling on His Name.
Psalm 37:25-29 (NLT)
Once I was young, and now I am old. Yet I have never seen the godly abandoned or their children begging for bread. The godly always give generous loans to others and their children are a blessing. Turn from evil and do good and you will live in the land forever. For the LORD loves justice and he will never abandon the godly. He will keep them safe forever, but the children of the wicked will die. The godly will possess the land and will live there forever.
The Lord warned us that love would grow cold and it has. Successful relationships beginning with marriage are few and far between maybe because most people take the word “obey” out of their wedding vows. Submission is the only way to experience true love. Don’t get your knickers in a twist. If you are huffing and puffing about the word “submission”, I would venture to say that your trust has been compromised in the past and you are afraid to let go because everything might fall apart. You are not alone. It has taken me years to deal with these issues and God’s not finished with me yet. Relax! Nobody’s making you submit, bow down or give in. But those who do to pursue godliness will experience the Blessing of God in their life. You can have all that He has promised by simply giving up your way to pursue His Way. It is that simple – or maybe not so much. You must trust Jesus to be your Savior AND Lord. You must have faith that He knows exactly what He is doing in your life. Confident that He is good and working out every single detail for your good. He is perfecting that which concerns you. All you have to do is turn from evil and pursue His Goodness. Godliness is true freedom in Jesus Christ and the power of possession in His Kingdom! It guards us in this life from those things the enemy is using to destroy us. (Proverbs 13:6) It pleases God when we decide to be more like Him. (Proverbs 15:9) Such a decision will offer all the approval, acceptance and affirmation that one person can handle, so much so that it will overflow into the lives of those around you changing them forever, too. The best use of our life is to be abandoned to the pursuit of godliness. (Proverbs 16:7-9)
I Timothy 4:8-9 (NLT)
”Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come.” This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it.
When we abandon this life to accept our new life in Jesus Christ, we are free to live in freedom. We are free from inhibitions that cause us to settle for lesser things than God’s Very Best. Free from restraint that makes us make substitutions and settlements rather than waiting patiently, peacefully and passionately for His Promise to come true. Free from concern that He may never come. Let me in on a little secret. He is with you. He has been with you since you called on His Name. He lives on the inside of you ready to renew, restore and revive you from the inside out. (2 Corinthians 3:16-18) He is God’s Guarantee of everything He has promised you. He is represents your freedom and right to have it. All that you have to do is pursue godliness which is to accept God’s Very Best as your way of life. This is abandonment to God. Don’t listen to the lie of the enemy. He wants to take your blessings and inheritance from you by persuading you that you are alone, forsaken and left behind. Tell the devil to “shut up” and step out in faith. Choose to give your life to the Lord and reach out for His Love. Godliness is true wealth. (1 Timothy 6:6) All we ever really wanted is to love and be loved. God is love. We want to be happy. Well, God does one better giving us inexpressible joy not dependent on our circumstances or other people. Peace. The greatest thing that I have found in my personal pursuit of godliness is peace. Even when I feel completely isolated, all alone, and even forsaken, He reminds me that I am never alone and surrounds me with His Peace. I am free to love because I am loved.
2 Peter 1:5-8 (NLT)
In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone. The more you grow like this, the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
I encourage you today to live in complete abandon to the Lord. Give up your way completely to pursue His Way. I find that the more of my life I give to Him, the more I have to give. It requires all my effort to live for Jesus. It must be reflected in every relationship and every encounter to be successful. I must learn to love like Jesus did. Love in this world is cold. But the Light of His Love is shining through my broken heart now made whole by His Great Love. (2 Corinthians 4:7-9) Lord, make me aware of those around me and conscious always of their need for you. The remedy for the great tragedies we see in the world today is the Love of God that lives in us as believers. We must make every effort to respond to God’s Promises which will promote and produce godly character and god-like tendencies in our life which will change our world. The more we grow like this – the more productive and useful our faith in God becomes as we learn to trust Him more and live in the freedom of His Great Love. It’s time to live abandoned lives free from inhibition, restraint, worry or concern but free to love and be loved!
Psalm 119:38-45 (NLT)
Reassure me of your promise, made to those who fear you. Help me abandon my shameful ways; for your regulations are good. I long to obey your commandments! Renew my life with your goodness. LORD, give me your unfailing love, the salvation that you promised me. Then I can answer those who taunt me, for I trust in your word. Do not snatch your word of truth from me, for your regulations are my only hope. I will keep on obeying your instructions forever and ever. I will walk in freedom, for I have devoted myself to your commandments.