Published February 2, 2016

Paul's Epistle
"Where You Left Him"

In last week's newsletter, I wrote about God being "disinvited" from schools and other public functions across the land, as referenced in Wilburn & Wilburn's current song, "You Asked Him To Leave." It was all about secular society's efforts to erase God from public consciousness, from public discourse, and certainly to suppress any thoughts at all about God.

I received a lot of good and insightful comments about that. In fact, one writer said the wording of "You Asked..." is too polite. They actually "kicked God out of schools."

One very interesting response that builds on all of that came from songwriter Gary Gillispie: "It is so true. We have, as a society, kicked God out... I wrote a song in 2004, similar to the Wilburn & Wilburn song. It was titled ‘God Is Right Where You Left Him.'"

This song is a bit different because it takes the issue to a new level, challenging each individual, not just society at large, to return to God. Here are some of the lyrics:

     I've heard people stand and say,
     Where was God on that day,
     When my loved-one was suddenly called away;
     But I think you will find,
     He wasn't even on your mind.
     It was you who chose to walk away.

And the chorus offers the needed encouragement:

     He is right where you left Him, waiting patiently for you,
     To see what you're going to do.
     Will you come back home or leave Him far behind?
     If you left Him down at the church, you're going to be in a world of hurt.
     What if it's you He calls the next time?
     It'll be too late for you to find...
     He's right where you left Him.

That reminds me of the old saying, "If God doesn't seem as close to you as He once did, who moved?"

Gary writes that many of his preacher friends have been "burned-out" by fighting the good fight. So many who used to be preachers are no longer interested in a pastorate – at the very time churches need them the most. "They used to pastor, but now are tired, discouraged and disheartened."

Gary says the solution is the same as it's always been: "We as ministers need to get back to the old-time preaching. It's still heaven or hell, right or wrong, no in-between. Have we gotten so concerned about hurting feelings and offending folks that we allow them to die lost? It's time to seek out the old paths and walk therein. What are we waiting for?"

That's a very good question. What are we waiting for?

The "old paths" (Jeremiah 6:16) are certainly still available to us. The Bible hasn't changed. Truth hasn't changed. God, who "is the same yesterday, today and forever" (Heb. 13:8) certainly hasn't changed. His immutable Word "endures forever" (1 Peter 1:25).

Many today, even in churches, say this is a time for compromise. "Go along to get along." But, by definition, anything that's not the truth is false. So compromising is, at least in part, accepting a lie. You cannot compromise the truth. The truth is....the truth!  And God is, and always has been and always will be, the final arbiter of truth.

Resolve today to stand firm in God's truth. And if you're feeling a little more distant from God than you once did, today would be a very good day to move back closer to Him. Pray. You'll find Him. "He's right where you left Him."

- Paul

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