Think About It: You Are Not Alone

AloneHave you ever found yourself surrounded by people and still felt alone? There were times in my life when I felt like everyone around me did not have a clue to what was going on in my life or what I was going through. My thoughts were consumed with the intent of others around me as well as the condition of my own heart towards God. There was a missing or should I say distant feeling that overcame me. I felt distant from God and therefore distant from those around me. I also felt close to God but at the same time distant from those around me. Does it sound strange to experience both feelings? Yes and no. The distant feeling between God and others is something that we need to stay aware of.

When I felt distant from God I automatically felt distant from others. God created communion so when there is a disconnect with God all other relationships are affected. The distant feeling between God and I is not because God has forgotten me but because I am fighting the proper communion call of God. The distance is usually due to my sin. The sin is disobedience to God. Many people think sin is minor. People today think that if I lie a little or if I am not kind to others who have wronged me then I am justified, I am exempt by God. They still parade the belief that God still loves me in spite of my knowing and willing sin. This is true God does still love us, but it is never a good excuse to disregard God’s requirements. Ok folks, Am I being too difficult with the standards of God? I often ask myself, “Does God ask impossible demands of me?”

The facts are sin separates, but obedience in Christ brings us into communion with God. So, back to the separation.

tumblr_mb0bu037lz1qhmhdfo1_500Jesus is the connection that brings us back to our communion with God the Father. Jesus met all the requirements. Jesus being the unique and one of a kind God-man fits the requirement for connecting man back to God. Man has fallen short of God’s standard (perfect obedience); therefore the communion has been hindered. Mankind’s sin against God (Genesis 3) has set in motion a distance between the unholy/unclean (man) and the Holy/Clean (God). The cleansing/removal of man’s sin requires blood (death). Simple, right? No! What is the problem? If mankind dies for his own sin he will be separated from God for eternity. So that plan will not work. If one man dies for another that could work but the issue is that the one who dies needs to be sin free. This plan will not work because without being sin free, the sacrifice (death of one man dying for another) counts only for the man dying, thus they both die and are forever separated from God. By the way, one other issue with a man dying for another man is the bloodline issue. The sin of mankind is carried through his bloodline so a man would have to be born free of the sinful bloodline and live a life of perfect obedience to God. That is why God had to have a plan. And indeed God had the plan to fix what man messed up (communion with God Genesis 1-3). Jesus.

First the man. Jesus was born of a virgin, thus the sin bloodline was eliminated. God’s Spirit overshadowed Mary whom became pregnant with the man for the plan. How did God do this? I don’t know, I am not God. I reckon since God created the world by speaking it into existence, He was able to bring forth a man in His image, in the image of the first man, Adam. So now we have the man part. Remember that Jesus was from God thus He was/is God’s Son. We now have the God-Man Jesus unified in the hypo-static union. It is a fancy word that describes when God and man are one (Philippians 2:6-8). There is no separation. Remember we are talking about the separation of God and man and now we have the oneness of God and man through Jesus. Now to the sacrifice to place mankind back in communion with God

We spoke about how Jesus is the God-Man and how Jesus is the only One who can place God and man back in the right relationship by being both in one. Remember that sin’s payment is death (Romans 6:23)? Remember the man had to live a perfect life (Hebrews 4:15)? Now death had to occur. The righteous paid the price for the unrighteous, the clean for the unclean (2 Corinthians 5:21). Jesus died on the cross for the penalty for sin. It was part of the Penal code (sin = death penalty). When Jesus died the separation of man and God was almost back to where it needed to be. If Jesus remained dead then our hope/sacrifice/substitute would be lost and we would be without the strength or ability to resist the continual pull of our bloodline/original sin (Romans 5:12). So Jesus was raised back to life and with that came the completed necessary work and payment for the sin of mankind to God the Father. What was left to bring man into a communion with God and to live a life worthy of God? Nothing! Jesus did it all and now man only has to believe and live in obedience to Jesus. Now we have the process of accepting God’s payment for sin. Separation issue solved? Yes and no.

Yes Jesus has paid the price and He lives with and in all who accept Him as Lord and Savior. But the separation remains for those who attempt to just ask forgiveness and live their life the same way as if they never accepted God’s forgiveness (Jesus). This may explain the separation that is felt when around people and you feel distant from all. This is one thought. When we feel separated from God, understand that God doesn’t move away from us we usually move away from Him with our sin/disobedience. Where is this feeling from? I believe that sometimes, the feeling comes when God speaks to us about the current wrong situation and we never mind His voice. When we know what His word says and when we know that our intent in a current situation is wrong, and we continue to justify our stands, it is disobedience. Here is when the feelings start to flare up. Our conscience may become anxious because of our known disobedience. Listen, all the folks around us are not aware of God speaking to us, but we are and that is where the feeling of separation can come from. When we know the right thing to do according to God and we don’t do it, it is sin. At the time we are in rebellion against God we are separated from God, so we don’t feel close to those around us either. The connection? Separation from God affects our connection with mankind. The word tells us to love the Lord our God with all our heart, mind, and strength and our neighbor as ourselves (Mark 12:30-31) but when we don’t love God our love and connection with our neighbor is hindered. When we do not love our neighbors as ourselves our relationship with God is hindered also because we are in violation of our Lord’s command.

God-epiphanyHow is it possible to be in communion with God yet separated from mankind? Many times in life we will face peer pressure. Folks around us will do things that we know we should not do because of God’s command and we don’t. This is a separation permitted by God. We are in the world but not of the world (Romans 12:1-3). We are to live a life that is faithful to our Lord. So when you are in a crowd and the crowd is going against God then you know what you must do. You must remain faithful to God. This part may seem hard. The struggle is the bloodline of sin, which continues to pull at our sinful desires to communion with our fellow mankind in an improper way. Listen, there are times when God expects us to separate ourselves from the way others process/think and act. What is the answer to our feelings? Check our connection with God. He is still available for us. What about your feelings? They are emotional connections communicating our perceived position with God and mankind. They can be wrong but we have a solution for our emotions and thoughts. We are to look to Jesus and act according to His word, not our feelings because we are not alone. Think about it.

 

Miller Eichelberger
Disclaimer: The thoughts and views published on the Veterans to Christ blog are those of Miller Eichelberger are meant to represent the United States Army or the Armed Forces.

Miller Eichelberger “Ike” is a chaplain in the United States Army. He has served for over 25 years of combined time as an enlisted Soldier and chaplain. He has deployed three times to Iraq from Desert Storm to Operation New Dawn. Chaplain Eichelberger holds a Bachelors of General Studies degree with concentrations in Psychology and Religion from William Carey University, and a Master of Divinity degree in Leadership from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. He is endorsed by the South Baptist Convention’s (SBC) North American Missions Board (NAMB). He has been married to Leslie Eichelberger 19 years and they have three children.