“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:” Ecc. 3:1
It was indescribably hard when the Lord led me to step back from a loved one. It was not the first time He had led me to step back from a loved one, nor likely the last. The last thing we may want to do is to step back, to step away, to remove ourselves from someone we love dearly, whether for a season, or permanently. But our relationship with the Lord must come above all our other relationships because He is LORD. And if we truly love the Lord more than anyone and anything, and truly love others as ourselves as God commands, His will for our role in other people’s lives is more important than any dreams, hopes, wishes, wants, desires, plans, etc., we have for our relationships. It’s not enough to call Jesus Lord. We need to live accordingly, submitting ourselves daily to His lordship in all things, including in our relationships.
There are times when God in His infinite wisdom leads us to step back from people so He can step in to address with them whatever He desires however He desires. He might lead them to repentance and to an everlasting relationship with Him, draw those who already follow Him into a deeper relationship with Him, call them into the “wilderness” to be alone with Him for a season, speak to them without our interference, convict and chasten them for un-repented sin for the purpose of repentance, teach them His ways, refine them, send His messengers and ministers to help them, give them a season of rest, etc. Or, in some cases, He might even step back Himself and let those in open rebellion against Him suffer the consequences of their sin to see their need for Christ. He might also want us to step back to protect us from how they might be harming us, or distracting us from Him, or influencing us with ungodliness, and give us our own season of rest or refining, draw us closer to Himself, lead us elsewhere, including to new relationships, etc.
When we see our loved ones hurting, wounded, broken, struggling, sinning, needing healing, repentance, fixing, etc., the last thing we may want to or feel we should do is step away. Shouldn’t we stick around and help? Sometimes in pride and fear, we believe we’re the only ones who can help. Or, selfishly, we don’t want to step away and miss them. If we follow Christ, it’s not about what we want. It’s about loving, trusting, and obeying God, and knowing He has a plan and purpose when He leads us to step away from a loved one. When should we step away? Only when and as the Lord leads us – for His purpose for His glory in His love.
Remember to check what you believe you hear from the Lord with the Bible. He will always and only speak in line with His Word!