Seeking God Day 3
I clicked the home button on my phone the other day after having a nice breakfast with one of my friends and my lock screen looked like it had blown up while I was eating my pumpkin pancakes. 10 messages and 2 missed calls from my daughter in just less than 2 hours?! My throat instantly seized and my stomach became immediately upset. What could she possibly need me for this desperately? What had been happening while I was unaware?
Do you ever feel like that with God? “Um hello….?? Anyone up there? Do you hear me? Do you see me? Do you care?”
Jeremiah 29 has one of the most recognizable verses in the Bible. Do you know it?
Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you.” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.”
But do you know what surrounds this verse from in front and behind? This isn’t jut a feel good verse that Lord gave us but rather, it is a promise that is tied to some specific instructions and in a specific situation.
Jeremiah 29:12-14 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. “I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you.” declares the Lord.
God does have plans for us but he also tells us what to do in order to experience those plans: we must seek Him with all of our heart. What does that even look like? And how could the Israelites be expected to find God while they were in captivity? If they were in captivity didn’t that mean that God had left them? This whole story is backwards.
Let’s back up even further in this chapter to
Jeremiah 29:4-7 This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says to all those I carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: “Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce…Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.”
The Lord had sent the Israelites into exile, that had been His plan. That is hard to accept. How could that be a plan to not to harm them and to prosper them? He had instructed them to settle down, make peace with their situation and to actually pray for those who held them in captivity. In these instructions He was already providing a picture of love for them. These instructions provided a guide for the Israelites to seek God and find peace in a place that seemed void of God and his plan.
I believe that God’s intent was to assure them that He was in control even when it looked as if He wasn’t. He knew everything. He knew where they were, He was going to provide for them in that place and then eventually He was going to move them out of captivity. That was his promise. Their situations were going to change but He never would! He never would! He was the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. His promises would stand true no matter what situation they were in. Situations didn’t change God, nothing changes God. He is the “I AM.”
But how do you seek God when everything around you is wrong? When everything looks or feels or sounds wrong, how do you find Him? His Word says seek Him with all your heart. To me that means you have to sacrifice your will to His. You have to stay quiet when you want to talk. You have to get up when you want to stay in bed. You have to lay down your pride when you just want to prove yourself right. You have to let go when all you want to do is hold on.
“You will find me.” he says. What He is really assuring us of is that He has been with us all along. These days, these times, these situations, they are all of His design. His plan. His future. He is in control.
Are you willing to trust Him? Are you willing to seek him and find Him?
Read the whole passage…you might be surprised by the situation, but you find God stays the same.