There are times in life when everything just seems to be going our way. We might have a good income, more than enough food on the table, we feel healthy, and maybe we are getting some long-overdue recognition at work or at home. And there are times in life when things don’t seem to be going very well. Maybe we are struggling financially, in our relationships, or in our health. And we get questioning if what we are doing is right because life shouldn’t be this hard. So what does the Word of God say about this today?
Scripture: “We will certainly do everything we said we would: We will burn incense to the Queen of Heaven and will pour out drink offerings to her just as we and our ancestors, our kings and our officials did in the towns of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem. At that time we had plenty of food and were well off and suffered no harm. But ever since we stopped burning incense to the Queen of Heaven and pouring out drink offerings to her, we have had nothing and have been perishing by sword and famine.” – Jeremiah 22:17-18
Well certainly there is much more that God’s Word says about this than what I am going to journal about today. But in today’s verse, Jeremiah is talking to the people of Judah about the Word of the Lord that came to him. The people of Judah knew enough to know that they needed to obey the Lord, so they asked Jeremiah to inquire of the Lord to see what they should do. They also promised Jeremiah that they would do whatever God asked them to do as revealed through Jeremiah. Unfortunately, when Jeremiah told them that they couldn’t go to Egypt, and should stop worshiping other Gods, the people didn’t like the answer and did not obey the Lord. And as a result, they were all doomed to death and destruction, even if at the moment everything seemed to be going just fine for them.
The problem the people of Judah had was that on the surface everything looked good. The problem that the people of Judah had was that under the surface, everything was a mess. Their paint might have been a pretty color, but their foundation was a mess and the house was about to come tumbling down. And that’s how it is with God and our lives. Even when on the surface things might seem to be going our way, it’s what happening at the foundational level that really matters. It’s what is happening at our foundation that is going to determine if our house is going to stand strong or crumble over the long term.
And like the people of Judah, let us not be so short-sighted and so high on ourselves to think that it is any different with us. Our God is a loving God, and He does want to bless us. And there will be times when we will get tempted to use some pretty paint on our walls because the guy down the street has pretty paint. There will be times when we will be tempted to follow a path that might look like we are being blessed in the short-term but in the long-term we are falling apart at our foundation. So what are we to do?
The key is to inquire of God, and be obedient to His Will. What God calls us to do isn’t always going to match what we want to do in the flesh. Quite frankly, sometimes it might be a tough pill to swallow if it is something like getting that car that we always wanted to have, or that new home that we worked so hard for. And it is absolutely awesome that God does bless us with these things, but what we truly must discern is if this is what God wants for us.
There have been times when I believed that I was doing something for God, but things didn’t work out. There have been times where I really didn’t seem to get it right and I even questioned was I doing this because God was asking me to, or because I really wanted to. And I’ll be the first to admit when I don’t get it right. But just because things didn’t work out the way that we thought doesn’t mean that it was not God’s Will. Sometimes when we are obedient to God, we don’t know until much later why God asked us to do something.
It’s all good. the key is to seek God first through prayer and meditation in the Word. The key is love God with all our heart and all our mind and all our strength, so that we don’t get in our own way. The key is to forgive ourselves when we mess up. The key is to be empowered by the power of God that is the Holy Spirit in us, and to experience the amazing life that He has planned for each of us. The key is do our best to obey God, not because he requires it of us, but because we love Him and we want to. The key is knowing God so well that we want nothing more than to be close to Him. And this is in spite of what is going on around us. The key is to stand on the Word of God, which may or may not contradict what we see going on all around us. For God’s ways are not our ways – they are much greater. – (Isaiah 55:8-9)
Dear heavenly Father, thank you for your Word today. Let it refresh us, restore us, and make us new. Let us hear your calling Lord, and give us wisdom to discern when we are getting in our own way. Give us strength and courage to do what you ask us to do. Let us stand on your Word Lord, even when everything around us seems to be the opposite. Let us be so close to you that we are crystal clear on what to do. Fill us with all of your goodness. Let your Holy Spirit overflow in us. Guide our every thought, our every step, our every word. Let us rejoice in your goodness, in Jesus mighty name. Amen.
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