Hebrews 13:5 says this about God: ‘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.”‘ But what does that mean? We know that God will never leave us, we’re just not very sure that he’s with us. But the Bible tells us that God isn’t just present, he’s also with us, for us, and planning for the obstacles we’re bound to face along the way. There’s something very profound within this idea about the character God. Let’s dig a little deeper.
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What does I will never leave you nor forsake you really mean?
There’s a big difference between being present with someone and being with someone. Being present is a matter of logistics. It involves having the power and the willingness to put yourself in the same space as someone else. Being with someone, on the other hand, is a matter of the heart. It’s a conscious choice to align with someone not just physically but also mentally, emotionally, and even spiritually.
Unfortunately, we’ve all seen or heard of parents who are physically present with their kids but are not emotionally with them. In those moments, the child is experiencing the parent’s presence, but they don’t feel like they’re with them.
Sometimes, as children of God, we can find ourselves believing the same about God.
Scripture says clearly that God will never leave us nor forsake us.
Deuteronomy 31:6 says, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”
Again, 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.”’
But the Bible also says that God is with us.
In Isaiah 41:10, God says, “fear not, for I am with you.”
Joshua 1:9 says, “the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
Jesus said in Matthew 28:20, “I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Psalm 23:4 says, “I will fear no evil, for you are with me.” There’s something profound about this aspect of God’s character that we sometimes miss…
God will never leave us because we are his home.
1 Corinthians 3:16 tells us that we are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in us. The Greek word Paul uses for “dwell” means to inhabit because it’s one’s residence. It means to make something your home. That kind of dwelling involves a conscious choice to not just be present but to also to be committed to the emotional connection and long-term wellbeing of the home. We are God’s home. For that reason, he is with us and he will never forsake us. Those are two different things that imply two different yet incredible promises.
What does it mean for God to be present with you?
First, you can’t go anywhere we’re God isn’t already there. King David came to this revelation thousands of years ago when he said, “Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.” (Psalm 139:7-8)
This is a fundamental truth of the universe that we can’t fully comprehend. We’re used to people being around in our lives, but not unconditionally. We often think that, while God may be present, maybe he’s just close and not all up in our mix when we’re doing stuff we feel like we shouldn’t be doing. Or maybe we just don’t acknowledge that he’s there in those moments. Either way, the idea that God would even want to remain close to us at all times no matter what is more than a little bit mind-boggling. But that’s who God is. He never leaves us nor forsakes us no matter how bad the situation we’re in may be.
What does it mean for God to never forsake you?
But then there’s another piece of God’s character. He’s not just a God who will always be around, but he’s also a God who is forever on our side.
To be with someone is to be rooting for them, wishing and willing their good in all circumstances. But for some reason, it can be very difficult to see God as someone who is pulling for us to win and willing it to be so in every moment. Of course, we have free will, so we don’t always walk it out perfectly. But how difficult is it to wrap your mind around the fact that God is not just present, but he’s also with you? He wants you to win and he’s constantly giving you ways to do so.
That changes how we approach decision making. That changes our outlook on the future. It changes the hope and the joy we have in our current moment and the love we’re willing to spread to the people around us.
How seeing that God is for you changes everything
When we start to see that God isn’t just present, but he’s also fighting every day for our hearts and rooting us on to win, our perspective on life is forever changed. Seeing that the God of the universe is actually on your side no matter how good or bad you are gives you the confidence to do the good work he’s put in front of you. Because God’s not waiting for you to finally get your act together. He’s waiting for you to realize that all he wants is to call your heart home. And he knows that once you release your heart to him, then the right actions will start to flow from that naturally.
So remember, God really won’t ever forsake you. There are countless stories both in the Bible and in the lives of people who have experienced him to account for that fact. God will also always be with you, and there are just as many stories to account for that as well. So go forward knowing that God will never leave you and he is for you. Because that makes all the difference.