Thursday, February 12, 2009
Shut up! Let God Speak!
Last post was seeing God's purpose in our lives, even when circumstances are not so great. God's purpose prevails. This post we are going to read about God's intervention in our lives.
Again God was telling Jeremiah what to tell the people. Throughout chapters 24 - 28 Jeremiah is warning the people to repent and maybe God will hear them and not be so harsh. When we get to chapter 29 Jeremiah sends a letter to the exiles in Babylon explaining what God wants them to do;
"Build houses and make yourselves at home. Put in gardens and eat what grows in that country. Marry and have chidren. Encourage your children to marry and have children so that you'll thrive in that country and not waste away. Make yourselves at home there and work for the country's welfare. Pray for Babylon's well-being. If things go well for Babylon, things will go well for you." Jer. 29:5-7 The Message
Wherever we are in our lives...if we feel we are not going anywhere...if we feel we are suppose to be doing something other than what we are doing right now...if things just seem to be falling apart...take heart. Listen to what God says, "Make yourselves at home there and work for the country's welfare."v 7 Maybe we are sitting under the leadership of a ministry and we want to be on our own..."work for the country's (ministry's) welfare." God is with us.
Listen to what He wants to teach us. Glean from the ministry. We need to take in all we can, BUT also give our time and energy to help that ministry. Do life well. Allow God to mold us into the person He wants us to be; not what we want to be.
Jeremiah 29:10 tells us that Babylon is going to flourish and be blessed for seventy years...not a day more...not a day less. So the people of Israel had better learn to adjust.
Are we learning to adjust? Are we making it hard on ourselves? God doesn't want us to do that. That is not his plan. His plan is for us to be blessed along with the ministry we are in. Take in all we can. And when the time that God has for us to be in that place is up, and no sooner, we will be free to do what God intended in the beginning.
It is so encouraging; read what He says, "'I'll show up and take care of you as I promised and bring you back home. I know what I'm doing. I have it all planned out - plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for. When you call on me, when you come and pray to me, I'll listen. When you come looking for me, you'll find me. Yes, when you get serious about finding me and want it more than anything else, I'll make sure you won't be disappointed.' God's decree. 'I'll turn things around for you...You can count on it.'"" Jeremiah 29:10-14 The Message
So here is what we get out of all this. Israel did their own thing. Jer. 25:7 They did not care about what God wanted. They listened to the "prophets" that told them what they wanted to hear.
How often do we only listen to what we want to listen to, not what God is truly saying? We get caught up in what we think is God, but the reality is...it is our own desires. It is not wrong to have our own desires and dreams; the key is...have we been in touch with God in our prayer and Bible study? "Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don't try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God's voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he's the one who will keep you on track. Don't assume that you know it all. Run to God!" Pr. 3:5-7 The Message
We see in all these passages God's intervention. He knows what He is doing. We usually don't. In the ministry I am doing at this time I don't have any idea where God is taking me; but, I do know this...He is in control. I am taking one step (day) at a time and as He gives me ideas I plan them, pray over them, do what I can and leave them in His hands to bring things about in His timing.
Here is what we need to do in order for God to be able to intervene in our lives:
1- Change the way we're doing life - if we are not doing life the way He wants.
2- Change our behavior to conform to His, don't be rebellious and "do our own thing."
3- Listen to God's message and what He is telling us, not the message we want to hear.
When we begin doing these things we will see...God's redemption...which will be the next post.