Summary: Departing from God does not necessarily mean a physical departing in which a person goes fully back into the world from which he was redeemed – while this is true of some for many others it is a spiritual departing.
Many Christians depart from God; Why? What’s God’s remedy?
Jo 6:66 From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him (with Jesus) no more.
What are some of the direct causes for Christians to no longer actively walk with God?
Love of a sin more than of God Remaining un-forgiven of sin by God due to pride
Love of money more than of God Refusing to forgive someone else - due to pride
Love of a person more than of God Inability to deny self due to a lack of God’s power
Love of self more than of God Neglect, a drifting away from so great a salvation
Want of man’s approval more than God’s A hardened heart willing to believe lies about God
And departing from God does not necessarily mean a physical departing in which a person goes fully back into the world from which he was redeemed – while this is true of some for many others it is a spiritual departing. This means that they physically show up at some Christian gatherings but their hearts are no longer engaged in what’s going on:
Isa 29:13 And the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near Me with their
(AMP) mouth and honor Me with their lips but remove their hearts and minds far from Me, and their fear and reverence for Me are a commandment of men that is learned by repetition, without any thought as to the meaning.
The above lists the direct causes why many depart from God– but what’s the real cause?
Rom 3:18 (Concerning those who sin) "There is no fear of God before their eyes."
Prov 1:29 Because they hated knowledge And did not choose the fear of the LORD
Jer 2:19 “…It is an evil and bitter thing That you have forsaken the LORD your God, And the fear of Me is not in you," Says the Lord GOD of hosts.
In these three example scriptures the one common cause that lurks behind and is the prime reason why Christians in large numbers get separated from God – is that they do not have or they have lost “The fear of God”. It is quite probable that for many of such Christians their relationship with God never grew to the point where they actually knew what “The fear of God” means. Just from the above three scriptures we can learn that “The fear of God” is something I may choose or reject, it is something that needs to be in my heart and it is something that must be kept constantly before my spiritual eyes. Without “The fear of God” it is basically impossible to not become separated from God.
A most remarkable and beautiful promise God makes to every Christian:
Jer 32:40 And I (God speaking) will make an everlasting covenant with them (the New Covenant) that I will not turn away from doing them good...I will put My fear (fear of me) in their hearts so that they will not depart from Me.
This has to be one of the most wonderful promises in the whole Bible. It is the center
piece and core truth of the New Covenant. Consider for a moment the Old Covenant, under that Covenant God was on one side, as the Law giver, and man was on the other side and required to keep the righteous requirements of the Law. As we know all too well while God kept His part man did not keep his part of the Covenant, and so it was broken.
But let’s look closely at the above promise by God concerning the New Covenant. First of all God says He will keep His part of the Covenant and “not turn away from doing His people good” but then He says He will “put His fear in our hearts” (if we will let Him) “so that we will not depart from Him”! In other words God says He will be on both sides of this Covenant thereby guaranteeing that the Covenant remains unbroken and therefore an everlasting Covenant. And specifically how does this guarantee work – it works when we allow God to put His fear in us, because when we do we will then never depart from Him no matter what the world, our own flesh and the devil throw at us. Wow, what is this “Fear of the Lord” that will keep me always connected to God and ready for His service?
What “The fear of God” is not – and what “The fear of God” is:
The fear of God has nothing to do with being afraid of God. Those who truly know God, know that He is love, He is kind, merciful and good to all, how can you be afraid of that?