God will never leave you nor forsake you. You ever hear this phrase? Have you ever leaned on that promise during times of trouble? I have. But I was wrong. Believing that God will never leave you is not biblical, it's arrogant and can be a whole lot DEADLY. Want to know why?
Let’s take a look at the verse that Christians have come to find comfort in. Hebrews 13:5 says, “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he [God] hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” These are comforting words, that God will never leave or forsake you. Many Christians have built their faith and lived their lives on the promise contained in that verse. “...for He [God] hath said...” This promise is in reference to many different places in the bible where God has promised to not leave or forsake someone.
Let’s be workmen of the Word, take a deeper look at some of them to gain a greater understanding of what this promise means. Remember how one of the ways that the bible interprets itself is in whom God is speaking to. Let’s see exactly to whom these following verses are referring.
Genesis 28:13-15 (God is speaking to Jacob, soon to be renamed Israel)
13) “…I [am] the LORD God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed;
14) And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed.
15) And, behold, I [am] with thee, and will keep thee in all [places] whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done [that] which I have spoken to thee of.”
This is a specific promise from God to Jacob. God promises that He will not leave Jacob until everything in verse 14 comes to pass.
7) “And Moses called unto Joshua, and said unto him in the sight of all Israel, Be strong and of a good courage: for thou must go with this people unto the land which the LORD hath sworn unto their fathers to give them; and thou shalt cause them to inherit it.
8) And the LORD, he [it is] that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.”
This is a specific promise to Joshua because he had proven himself righteous and worthy to take over for Moses for the rest of his life.
“There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, [so] I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.”
God reminds Joshua of His promise.
1 Chronicles 28:20
“And David said to Solomon his son, Be strong and of good courage, and do [it]: fear not, nor be dismayed: for the LORD God, [even] my God, [will be] with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee, until thou hast finished all the work for the service of the house of the LORD.”
David tells his son Solomon that God will be with him as he works for the house of God.
23) “The steps of a [good] man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way.
24) Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth [him with] his hand.
25) I have been young, and now am old; Yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, Nor his seed (children) begging bread.”
Notice the repeating theme in all the above verses. God vows
to not leave someone if:
- God is in the process of completing a specific promise;
- A person has dedicated his life to God vowing to do God’s work as His agent;
- You are a righteous person, meaning that you walk with God and you obey His commandments.
So as it turns out, Hebrews 13:5 is not a blanket statement that applies to everyone. God says it to select people for a specific reason and it applies only to the righteous. Remember how one of the ways that the bible interprets itself is in whom God is speaking to? If God did not make this promise DIRECTLY to you, or if you are not being righteous, then it does not apply to you.
That’s a tough pill to swallow. Here’s another verse to consider:
Romans 1:28 says,
“And even as they did not like to retain God in [their] knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;” Convenient is better translated as “proper”. To do those things which are not proper or disgraceful and shameful; in other words, not righteous. God “gave them over”; He turned his back on them and let them do what they wanted.
Get Off Your High Horse!
The notion that God will not leave you and promises to follow you around like your BFF side kick is ridiculous! He will not follow you around and clean up your messes as you go about your worldly desires doing your own selfish reprobate will of that which is improper, disgraceful, shameful and anything else that is contrary to the Word of God. God is not your servant to do your bidding as you please.
God has never promised that he will stand by your side no matter what and never leave you or forsake you. Never. No where in the bible does it say that. To think that way is ignorant of scripture at the very least, very arrogant to live by and down right evil at its worse. Thinking that way will get you into so much trouble because you can be out doing your thing thinking that God’s got your back. But when something goes wrong, you look around for Him to come to your rescue and He’s nowhere near you! Then you’ll be angry at God because you think He left you.
Here’s what really happens:
God stays in one place (speaking metaphorically of his
spiritual stance on truth and love) God does not leave you,
you leave Him; and He allows you to.
That’s when things start to go bad in your life. If God tells you to do something, then do it. If you don’t, and things go wrong then know that He has not left you; you have left Him. You walked away, that is your free will choice to do so, and God gave you over to your own reprobate mind honoring your free will. But He will not follow you around and take part in your reprobate actions. He will not; He cannot.
It’s a matter of perspective. God does not follow you around like a puppy promising to never leave you. How freaking ungodly arrogant of Christians to think that God follows them. If you think this way then STOP and REPENT now! God leads, you follow.
Will God Ever Forsake You?
God will not forsake you just because you walked away from Him. God is graceful and yes, rest assured that He will never forsake you. If you wander off on your own, then He will take you back when you come looking for Him with a meek heart.
Unless you commit the unpardonable sin of accepting Satan as your lord. Then you are done for. God can’t help you then, He can’t take you back even if He wanted to and God will be forced to forsake you because by changing your allegiance that makes you no longer one of His people. God will not take something that is not His. Remember that God is always righteous and will respect your free will choice to leave Him and His people forever.
But anything you do short of that, God will take you back. And sometimes it takes some crawling and begging on your part to prove your sincerity, and prove that you have truly humbled your heart toward Him. Yes, God will sometimes make you work for it.
How do I know this to be true?
Because I have done it all myself. I’ve been there. I’ve shaken my fist at God during times of adversity and screamed “Why are you doing this to me?” I’ll confess my faults to you. I’m only human, I’m not perfect.
It comes down to meekness, being humble and taking a chance
on looking at the possibility that it might be YOU that is wrong, not God.
It might be YOU who left God, not God leaving you.
When things go wrong for me, I trace my steps backwards to find the cause of the problem. Find out where it all began. Guess what I’ve found 100% of the time? God was NOT the cause of my problem. I was; every single time. Sure I can blame others for my problems. I can say this went wrong because he didn’t do such and such or it her fault because of this and that. Or maybe its nature’s fault that it rained too much and my property flooded.
But in the end I have to take FULL RESPONSIBILITY for my own actions. Period. So what if someone did something wrong to me? If I trace my steps back a little farther I usually find that God told me not to be involved with that person or situation to begin with. That was the moment I walked away from God and went off on my own in that area of my life. Maybe God told me to not buy that house because it’s in a flood zone but I didn’t listen.
Contrary to popular belief, God does not have ultimate control over everything that happens in the physical world that we live in.
God gave people, angels and the devil free will choice. One person’s choices can affect another’s realm. And you know what? Sometimes the devil will out right attack you. It’s nobody’s fault. You don’t see it coming... and do you want to know a secret? Sometimes neither does God. Sometimes it’s a surprise attack. It happens. Just deal with it.
When you are walking with God, He will find a way to turn your loss into a victory. God loves doing that. It shows His true power and it shows who is ultimately in charge. But He can’t work for you like that, turning bad things into good if you are off on your own somewhere not listening.
Here’s a quick check up for you: Consider your choices and your actions of the past few days. Are you being righteous and living by every word of the bible? If you are then you are following God, if you are not then you are on the wrong path!
Back up and find God. Get yourself on the right path and He will guide you so you don’t stumble, He will protect you from harm and He will keep you safe.
Here’s the Bottom Line:
Allow God to lead you. Don’t think that you can lead and God will follow you. It does not work that way. Get off your high arrogant horse! God will never leave you when you are righteous, this much is true… but you certainly can leave Him, He will let you go giving you up to your own reprobate mind; but He will not follow. God will never forsake you when you belong to Him; this much is true as well. God does not forsake His people even when they sin. He is always ready to take you back into His arms when you come to Him in love and meekness seeking forgiveness in all sincerity and in truth.
God bless you!
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About Your Teacher:
Daniel Sweet is the founder and President of God's Word First and is a leading expert on the Gift of Holy Spirit. As an ordained minister, biblical scholar, humble follower and faithful teacher, he and his wife Debbra Sweet have been instrumental in helping many people come to the knowledge and truth of God’s Word. Affectionately known as the "Rock and Roll Pastor" due to his previous vocation as a pro musician, he is widely known for his lively sense of humor, his fun loving attitude and openly candid opinions. Daniel Sweet is also a published author on the subject of Leadership, an investor and an entrepreneur owning several small businesses.