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Pointers along the way #399

Will Jesus be with us always?
- Jacob Ninan

Jesus said that the Father never left Him alone because He was always doing what pleased the Father (Jn.8:29). But what about Jesus being with us always? (If we are honest, and looking at our practical life instead of at an imaginary world made up of doctrines, we have to admit we aren't always doing what pleases Him.) Jesus has said that He would be with us till the end (Mt.28:20), and that He would never leave or forsake us (He.13:5ff). But what happens if we fall into sin? Won't that separate us from God (Is.59:2)?

When we think about it we can see that Jesus was really the only one whose presence with the Father could be based on being pleasing to the Father always. But that is not the way it is with us now. No one of us can be accepted that way (Ga.2:16). At any given time, in the eyes of God who is so holy that He cannot look at sin (Hab.1:13), all of us would be practically ungodly people because nothing we do is ever perfect according to God's standards. But God has shown us mercy because we trust in Jesus as our Sin-bearer and He has justified us ungodly people (Ro.4:5;5:8). According to this new arrangement where God's righteousness and mercy meet together, which we call the new covenant, Jesus now promises us that He will never ever leave us. (We can leave, if we want.)

But what happens if we fall? Jesus doesn't leave us, especially at that point, because as our Friend He cannot leave us to ourselves at a time of great need for us. But don't we feel as if He has left us after we have fallen? What has happened is that our fellowship with Him has been affected by our sin (Is.59:2). We need to restore that fellowship by confessing our sin to Him as honestly and immediately as possible and then believe that He has kept His part of the promise (1Jn.1:9).

If we fall into sin, alright, it has happened. Now the best thing to do is to make sure that we get back into fellowship as quickly as we can. It is foolish to lie around, bemoan our condition, wonder how we can ever become perfect, and think that if we feel perfectly humiliated and repentant then perhaps God might take us back! God has said He would take us back, and He would be thoroughly unfaithful to us (which He can't be) if He didn't after we have confessed our sin. What we need to do is to confess our sins, and then believe that God has forgiven and cleansed us.

The devil is not likely to let go so easily. Once he has succeeded in leading us to sin, he starts his second goal of accusing us. We cannot deny that we have fallen, but it is still true that once we have confessed our sin, God can be relied on to forgive us. The best response to the devil's accusation is to ignore him and to go on to thank God for His love and mercy in forgiving us. It will not be a good idea at all to stand there and try to convince the devil that God has forgiven us, because he will keep pointing out that we don't feel forgiven! But feeling or not, we are!


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