As we will be concluding this devotional on loneliness tomorrow, I want to remind you that this isn’t a cure-all. This study reveals truths that are aimed at empowering us to look at loneliness for what it is and remove the facades masking the false dependencies that have ultimately failed or will fail us. In that process, we can choose to submit to God and godly authority to pursue adjustment and correction thereby becoming equipped to allow God to fill the vacancies left by the dissipation, unreliability, and abandonment of those things we have leaned on instead of Him. There will be ups and downs. There will be bumps but the measure of our success is not in our own ability, but instead a continued willingness to seek God. We will never lose God in this journey; in it, we are never truly alone, not even for a second. Thinking we are alone is an illusion dictated by perspective. A fallacy is at play. We have honed in our view on such a small aspect of God that when it is gone, we can mistakenly feel God Himself is gone. Rather than showing us a lack of God’s presence, the void of loneliness forces our eyes to redirect. Expanding our gaze, it can lead us to reconnect with God once the gift in His hand is gone. Thereby it has the ability to offer us a loving truth about God’s presence in our lives. He is with us, always and forever; without fail or faltering.
God spoke to the Israelites in Deuteronomy 31:6 and commanded them, “Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” These words of promise were given to the people, by God through Moses, during a time of great opposition and transition. Not only were they once again facing strong adversaries but Moses was also passing on his mantle of leadership to Joshua. God was beckoning and urging them to find their stability in Him. He was reminding them of His constant presence despite the circumstances around them. This comfort and reassurance wasn’t given to them because of anything the Israelites did correctly. In fact, they were coming out of a 40-year punishment! After disobeying God multiple times, as well as grumbling and complaining against Him. God pronounces this judgment in Numbers 14:22-23, “none of the men who have seen my glory and my signs that I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and yet have put me to the test these ten times and have not obeyed my voice, shall see the land that I swore to give to their fathers. And none of those who despised me shall see it.” Numbers chapters 13 and 14 references the full account, even so, the point is this, God remained with them in their unfaithfulness, fickleness, and forgetfulness.
The promise given to the Israelites is echoed in the New Testament, encompassing all of God’s children under that guarantee. Hebrews 13:5 says, “Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” While this verse specifically references the love of money, the warning can be applied to any and all dependencies we are tempted with. We aren’t to love them, but rather be content. The “why” behind this caution is that we have genuine security in God and God alone. He is our ever-present companion waiting to be brought into every part, every area, of our lives. “I will not leave you as orphans,” Jesus says in John 14:18 after describing that the Holy Spirit would be sent to dwell in hearts of every believer. There is nothing we can do that will push Him away from us. Even when we, in our weakness, focus on deficient, substandard gods, we aren’t without the Lord God Almighty.
“For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39
God is love (1 John 4:8). Therefore, if we can never be separated from God’s love we can never be separated from God Himself. Let’s take a moment to really unpack what that means for us. We aren’t alone in loneliness. Not ever. When we fall, God isn’t aloof. He isn’t standing far off waiting for us to muster the strength to stand up and crawl back to Him. He is right there. In the deepest pit of loneliness, when we have ignored His guidance and placed all our trust in something or someone other than Him. When it buckles under the weight we have placed on it and causes us to come crashing down harder than we thought was possible. When we are shaken to the core and we are surrounded by brokenness and debris. God is with us through it all. No matter how the enemy would like to distort or disguise this truth, it remains true that God is ever-present with us because of the Holy Spirit which He placed inside of us. We are never alone.
“Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!” Psalm 139:7-8
“Lord, I thank you that you are with me at all times. King David called you his ever-present help in the time of trouble. I thank You that I can depend on You in times of struggles as well as times of joy. In times of disobedience or in times of surrender, You are here. As I have determined to surrender the things I have erroneously clung to instead of You, I ask that by Your Spirit, You continue to remind me that I am never alone. Please help me press into that truth when I desire to take control and make things happen on my own. You are truly my sufficiency and it’s on You I want to place the weight of my dependence. Thank You for transforming my heart so I can do so. In Jesus’ name, I pray, Amen.”