O, the burden to be a prophet!
Can you imagine? The Lord comes to you... tells you what to speak. And then, emphasizes, "Do not omit a word." Because, of course, all that God says is important, and you don't get editing rights.
And if you're Jeremiah, you don't get happy news to speak, either. It's all talk of disaster and destruction because the people have been far from God for so long.
Then God follows up with, "Perhaps they will listen and each will turn from their evil ways." (v.3) Now that's not the most encouraging way to be sent off on mission, but Jeremiah goes anyway. After all, he's been at this for 23 years.
Let us never complain about our jobs, if we take into consideration the calling of a prophet like Jeremiah. This is truly a heart of compassion... truly a faithful, persistent and patient calling that is steadfast and true to God. Even in the threat of death.
God has a message
to be spoken throughout the world. He speaks it in many ways. Through nature, through circumstance, and through people. And it could be possible that He is desiring to speak through you.
It need not be fancy
or complicated to be from God. In fact, He will give you whatever you need to speak it We not only hear this through Jeremiah, but it was also Jesus' message to His disciples. At that time you will be given what to say, for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. Matthew 10:20
We need only be willing
Because of the grace of God, who first sought out our hearts, who saved us by His grace, we too should want others to know the same... simply out of our gratefulness. This is His touch on our lives.
Will you open your mouth today?
Even just to speak an encouraging word to another... even just to tell someone that you are praying for them... that God is on their side? God tells us not to be afraid. He will rescue us from the fear of whatever holds us back. Will you trust Him in this?
God does not desire for us to be alone.
Nor does He want us to get lost in a crowd, always longing for companionship to keep us happy. Rather He longs that we keep balance in all things; knowing that people cannot help us solve our problems... but He can.
Even when we get to reasoning, planning, and manipulating... when we try to wiggle and squirm, thinking our way out of things, we are still relying on a person to solve our problem. But God always has a better way. He tells us that we need to stop trusting in 'mere humans,' knowing that we don't have the eternal perspective He does.
The prophet Jeremiah also writes...
This is what the Lord says:
Cursed is the one who trusts in man,
who draws strength from mere flesh
and whose heart turns away from the Lord.
That person will be like a bush in the wastelands;
they will not see prosperity when it comes.
They will dwell in the parched places of the desert,
in a salt land where no one lives.
But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,
whose confidence is in him.
They will be like a tree planted by the water
that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
and never fails to bear fruit.
Jeremiah 17:5-8 NIV
And the Psalmist agrees...
Do not put your trust in princes,
in human beings, who cannot save.
When their spirit departs, they return to the ground;
on that very day their plans come to nothing.
Blessed are those whose help is the God of Jacob,
whose hope is in the Lord their God.
He is the Maker of heaven and earth,
the sea, and everything in them...
he remains faithful forever.
Psalm 146:3-6 NIV
There is not much I could add to this.
For then we would be relying on a person.
I will simply trust in the Lord.
His words are better than any I could write.
And He is faithful in all things.
The Lord is on our side.
Just as He was the Israelites.
Even when they were in captivity.
Even when they felt oppressed.
Even when they saw no way out.
Yahweh of Hosts is His name.
The Lord who commands the angel armies.
And He fervently pleads our case.
Which means, He is like our attorney.
Even though the sins we committed
offended His heart, still He pleads our case.
So that He might bring rest to the earth.
God does not desire that we live
in a world of offense and upheaval.
God does not desire that we just survive
day to day in the chaotic scramble
of To-Do lists and errands...
constantly stressed and overwhelmed.
God does not desire that we barely get by
overrun by debt and debt collectors.
God does not desire that we hide from
the shame of our past or the secrets
we hope no one hears or discovers.
Our God desires to BRING REST
not just to us, but to the whole earth.
let the Lord fight our battles.
cry out to the Lord of Hosts
who has an army ready to defend us.
trust that God is on our side.
accept the forgiveness He offers
and live in the peace He provides.
For He is Our Fervent Advocate!
Have you ever taken a test and had no clue of the answer? Or lost your keys, tearing the house upside down looking for them? Of course you have... we all have.
And during those times, have you ever considered that someone knows the answer to that question.... if they could only give you a hint.
Because I've thought that about my keys. Like... God, I believe You KNOW where they are. Could You just give me a hint? Like, say if I'm getting cold or hot?
And that's in fact what Jeremiah is telling us today. That the Lord, who created all things... who formed and established the world, putting everything and everyone in it's place, will in fact answer our questions. But it seems that we are simply not asking them.
Because He has all the answers to all the test questions. And He does in fact know where your keys are. But consider how much more He wants to tell you. What greater wealth of knowledge He wants to share with you.
Let us ask Him.
Let us seek Him.
Let us spend time wondering today.
For He is Our Ever-Ready Answer!
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