This post is meant to encourage those who are tempted to leave their current context. Trouble and trials are everywhere, and these trouble may cause us to doubt whether or not it is good for us to remain.
I do want to clarify this up front. This may not be a post that applies to you. Maybe you are in a situation where God is calling you to leave. This takes great discernment, prayer, counsel, and guidance from the Scripture. But this post is not about Christian liberty and making godly decisions between two right choices. Instead, this post is meant to help the believer to stay put in their context when God has clearly called and commanded them to stay faithful.
Maybe you’re tempted to leave your spouse, children, job, or church, and they are reasons that are sinful rather than righteous. Sometimes the easier and more lucrative decision is to leave.
In a portion of his message, Owen Strachan begins to contrast worldly approaches to life with to how Jesus approached His life. He encourages saints to look the the Christ’s model of “staying” versus the worlds promotion of “leaving” when times are hard. (Clip begins at minute 42:17)
“The world tell us to leave whenever we want. Think about the power of staying in the image of Jesus versus how easy it is to leave today. Is anything easier to do than leave? Think about how easy it is for a marriage, twenty years in, to dissolve into thin air. Here one day, gone the next. Think about how easy it for a church to split right in half, down the middle. Those two sides never to see each other speak to each other in the supermarket again. Done. Think about how easy it is and how common it is for a father to decide that he’s had enough, walk out the door, and never come back. How easy is that today? The culture practically applauds you for doing that.
Jesus never left. This is what the incarnation tells us. The only thing that could take Jesus away from his people was death, death on a cross, which is to say, love for his people. Jesus knew there was a ransom to pay and that was all that could take him away from those he loved.
What does this mean?…. You commit yourself to staying, in your marriage, home, church, vocation, neighborhood, and society. You getting an escape plan for America? Cancel it. Stay. Don’t head for the hills. Stay. Be like Jesus. Don’t run out of the city when the plague strikes, run into the city.”
As Jesus died for our sins, he stayed the course until death, and even death could not keep Him from loving us. He left temporarily so that we might stay with Him forever. If you’re tempted to leave, and God has called you to stay, remember Jesus. Our Lord stayed faithful according the power of the Holy Spirit, and God can help us do the same no matter the trial. Look to the incarnation for help and as an example to follow. And if God has called you to remain in your context, then just remember that there is power in staying in the image of Christ.