Some days when everything is in a shambles, you just don’t know where to begin. Your heart is tugging you to do this or that, but circumstances prevent you from doing that or anything. So what do you do when you are directionless? It is kind of like being in exile…
But the point is just because you don’t know what is going on doesn’t mean there is something going on. The best example of this is the account of the Israelites when they were taken into Babylonian captivity for 70 years. And just when you think that God would provide them some words of comfort, instead He told them…get used to it. You are going to be here for a while. At face value…that makes no sense, unless you know that God has a plan for everything.
If you read the story found in Jeremiah 29, God basically tells the the people pray for blessing in the situation that you are in. (Portions are highlighted for emphasis)
Jeremiah 29:4-7 – 4“Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, to all the exiles whom I have sent into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon, 5‘Build houses and live in them; and plant gardens and eat their produce. 6‘Take wives and become the fathers of sons and daughters, and take wives for your sons and give your daughters to husbands, that they may bear sons and daughters; and multiply there and do not decrease. 7‘Seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the LORD on its behalf; for in its welfare you will have welfare.’ (NASB)
Lets face it…it still sounds strange. But later in chapter 29, God tells them exactly how long they are going to be there, and that He will come back to rescue them.
Jeremiah 29:10-13 – 10This is what the Lord says: “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my gracious promise to bring you back to this place. 11For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. (NIV)
In the world’s eyes…it still doesn’t make sense. But check out verse 13 again. “You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.” How are we doing on that one. Do we really seek Him…or do we just cry out when thing aren’t like we think they “should” be. I probably do the latter most of the time….because I want things that way that I want them.
How do you seek Him and call on Him? Pray. Short and simple…pray. Over and over again, God just shows us that He wants us to want Him. To desire to know Him. To depend on Him. And our flesh resists…always has, and always will…or at least since the Garden of Eden.
So be encouraged…regardless of how we see the situation…God has plans to prosper us and not harm us.
I think that I have used this a lot…but there are two verses that just hit it right on the head. Frankly, I am glad they are there…because it reminds me how simple the concept is….there is a God…and I am not Him.
Psalm 115:3 – But our God is in the heavens; He does whatever He pleases.
Isaiah 55:8-9 – 8“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. 9“As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
Grace and Peace, Dan