THE WALK OF ABANDONMENT
There have been many things on my mind lately and I presume that circumstances that are happening around me have caused me to think about the endless mysteries of life. I have heard the older we become the more clearly we can see, (though I realize that is not necessarily true), but I will pray that in my life it will happen that way. I have spent a great deal of my life writing about things that were actually way over my head spiritually speaking. Even though I may not understand these realities right now, I still have faith in the promise given to me nearly thirty years ago from God that I would “walk out” everything I write. I have been a seeker of truth but again this does not automatically make me (or you) a “doer” of truth. (Can I get a witness?) Just because I am always thinking and pouring out my heart does not mean that I have attained a plateau on the stairwell of enlightenment. I believe in order for us to KNOW truth, it must be “quickened” in our mind from knowledge – into “revelation”, which is why God’s Word is not “activated” in most Christians. This is one of those spiritual mysteries and a very serious subject because number one – I realize that if anything is wrong it is my fault and two – my destiny is directly connected to figuring this out. If you were still wondering why I have titled this article, “The Walk of Abandonment”, I would say a good question would be; exactly what are we abandoning? Well, (I am so glad you asked). It is like panning for gold. If you are really determined to find the hidden treasure of truth and after you sort through all types of materials, you finally find at the bottom of the pan what you are looking for. Sure, there are causes and reasons and tons of excuses that we need to weed through, that are no doubt connected with the answer, nevertheless, if we are serious about examining our own conscience we will see what God sees. “And I say unto you, ask, and it shall be given you; seek and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that ask will receive and he that seeks will find and to him that knocks it shall be opened.” (Luke 1:9-10)
I am beginning to realize within my own heart that the key problem I struggle with is the lack of love. What I need to abandon is associated with laying down what I consider to be the idols of my life – the most important “rulers and kings” that sit on the throne of my heart. This includes anything that I cherish and love MORE than God. I believe it would be safe to say that, until I submit all of my possessions and all of my carnal desires, I am NOT a living sacrifice! In addition, until I become a living sacrifice I cannot walk with God as He has called me to do. Selah. We can try to “squeeze” religion into our hectic lifestyle and live in the deception that lukewarm is good enough, but we are only playing a game within a fabricated delusion. God’s Word is like the Ocean and we love to run around on the beach without getting wet. We might stick our toes in but we will not dive in because it will cost us our “will”. We love our pride, our independence, our success and desire the respect from others way too much to become a fanatic for Jesus. We protect our reputation for living our own way, as it is our most precious asset. This is why people are uncomfortable in God’s presence because they KNOW they have betrayed Him! “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world will pass away, and the lust thereof: but he that does the will of God abides forever.” (I John 15:17) Abandonment lies at the bottom of the pan and is the most important act of obedience for God. Working around the clock for Jesus and praying constantly does not mean that we have abandoned our carnal thinking. There will be multitudes of people that have devoted their time to good works and helpful service but never really abandoned their life to God or loved others as they loved themselves. “My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue (endless talk); but in deed (action) and in truth (pure motives).” (I John 3:18) “He that loves not – does not know God, for God is love. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. If a man say, I love God and hates (does not love) his brother, he is a liar: for he that does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? And this commandment have we from Him, that he who loves God – will love his brother also.” (I John 4: 8, 11, 20-21) Some might ask, just whom does the “brother” include? Well, I believe the idea of brother represents the souls of humanity, as in the same way God is no respecter of persons. Let us turn back to Mathew and take a peek at the words of Jesus, “You have heard that it has been said that you must love your neighbor and hate your enemy. However, I say unto you, LOVE your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you. That you might be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for He makes His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” These next verses are very powerful and are worth spending time thinking about, “For if you love them which love you, what reward do you really have? Do not even the publicans (those who do not regard God’s Word) do the same? And if you salute (respect, acknowledge, act graciously) your brethren (friends, family) only, what exactly are you proving more than the ungodly? Do not even the publicans do the same? Be therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” (Mathew 5: 43-48) Abandonment in this light means that we drop all of our carnal opinions, critical thoughts, judgments, negativity, stereotypes, profiling, racism, and prejudice, no matter how we were raised or what our politics, doctrines or world views may be. Furthermore, just because we can see they are living in sin does not mean that are not to love their souls! Selah. We that claim to walk with God – must not listen to the voices of carnality that we might reach out in love and compassion to the spirits of all people!
Abandonment is where the rubber meets the road! It is what separates the ninety eight percent of professing Christians from the two percent that actually live it. Abandonment is directly connected to HOW MUCH we love God and HOW FAR we are willing to go for Him. You will always find that love is intertwined with abandonment in either a positive way or negative way. When we abandon our will unto God, it is because we LOVE Him as Mathew 22:37 describes, “Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first commandment. And the second is like unto it, thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” However, when we refuse to abandon our old nature and reject His offer to become a disciple, it is because we LOVE making our own decisions and we LOVE our possessions more than we love Him. “No man can serve two masters: for either he will HATE the one, and LOVE the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.” (Mathew 6:24)
Mammon has several different meanings from riches, wealth, possessions, gluttony, prideful attitudes, unjust gain, injustice, selfishness, hoarding, false gods, excessive materialism, and the attitude of covetousness or greed as a negative influence. The idea may also mean an IDOL in which someone puts their TRUST. It seems the idea is not that being wealthy is always a sin but rather the attitudes and temptations that result from the luxuries of abundance. Many people have enjoyed the pleasures of being blessed by God but it takes a very holy, humble individual to be able to handle great wealth – God’s way. I believe that where blessings turn into mammon is when the heart turns from being pure, into a heart filled with carnality. The sensual, self-centered desire for power and control are directly related to financial success and as Mathew 19:23,24 points out, it is very rare to find a truly Godly rich person. “Then said Jesus said unto His disciples, verily I say unto you, that a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven. And again I say unto you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.” In other words it is not the riches in themselves that are evil because many good things need to be financed like medical supplies, food, housing, education and so on. It is the ATTITUDE of how much we LOVE our “things” as the rich, young ruler can testify. It is the ultimate challenge for man to learn how to abandon himself from the earthly and embrace the heavenly. This revelation and the willpower to separate the temporal from the eternal can ONLY be accomplished through the power of God – for the glory of God! “When the disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, who then can be saved? But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, with men this is IMPOSSIBLE; but with God ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE.” (Mathew 19:25-26)
When the disciples dropped their nets, they abandoned their life and picked up a brand new destiny. They did not try to work Jesus in between their busy lifestyle but rather dumped out their life and rearranged everything around serving Jesus in thought, word and deed. Imagine the idea of emptying everything out, discarding what is not important and only putting back in what Father says He wants. Well, that sounds wonderful that a few fishermen had the opportunity to do that but what about us today in our society with our spouses and our responsibilities to work and pay our bills? It does not take but a moment for our “common sense” to start laying ground rules and limitations to our faith. The rules of our culture, our social correctness and our “laws” of how to function as a responsible adult, act as a defense lawyer to argue for our carnality. Have we given Him our “two mites” as Mark chapter 12 records, or have we just given from our abundance?