Monday, January 25, 2016

He Spoke This to Me--Jeremiah

O Jerusalem, wash thine heart from wickedness, that thou may be saved.  How long shall thy vain thoughts lodge within thee?  Jeremiah 4:14

Jeremiah is quite possibly my favorite book in the bible.  Why?  Well, this is the book in which I first truly understood the grace of God.  As i was growing up and hearing conversations around me, the phrase i heard the most was "God is so quick to judge."  For some time that stuck with me until i read through the book of Jeremiah and saw how his story unfolded and what happened as a result.  The people had it all wrong.  God is patient.  God is not quick to judge.  Read the book.  Haha.

Jeremiah 17:9 "the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?
In a word or two--God can. 

God is calling for the nation of Israel to repent and return to Him.  "Put away your abominations out of My sight, then you shall not be moved."
As i read this i notice that i too am backsliding.  At some point my heart had become hardened and the things of God started to be replaced by synicism, anger, bitterness and coldness.  Outwardly, my actions and my words falsely reflected the true me (at the time.)  Inwardly, my spirit was crying out for God to come and save me.  
Several words stick out to me in Israel's current state.  
Fallow ground.       
The future does not look so rosey. 

Repentance is the only way to cleanse ourselves.  I've struggled greatly these last few years with transitions in my life.  Is it my fault?  To an extent yes.  Sometimes change is hard for me to accept and going from knowing to not knowing is never easy. 
As i read and read and read, transitions are a part of our christianity.  Never have i read anywhere in the bible where a follower of Jesus is comfortable.  We are to be uncomfortable and not settle in any aspect.  To do so would lead to complacency.  When the Spirit called me to change, I fought against Him and rebelled.  God is continually moving forward and we as well must go with Him.  
I've used this scripture before and it was brought to my remembrance as i recall the Israelites being at the Red sea and the Egyptian army fast approaching them. 
Exodus 14:15 And the LORD said to Moses, "Wherefore criest thou unto Me?  speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward."   
I was looking at my current comfortable situation and was settled into its daily routine.  Truth be told, with all of my struggles I should have seen the writing on the wall.  But I was stubborn.  I wanted what i wanted.  Israel is in that place and God has said to them through the prophet Jeremiah "come back to me."  Gods cry for Israel to repent of her sins and return to Him went unheeded. 

Jeremiah 17:10 concludes this post.  "I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings."
Needless to say, spiritual captivity turned their hearts from God, the physical captivity took them from their homeland and Jerusalem was destroyed.
If we give ourselves over to another god spiritually, the body will soon follow and where does our salvation come from?  Surely not the god we have rejected?  Is it the god we have now chosen?  
The heart truly is deceitful and wicked. However, the heart that is set towards God can overcome the such battles simply by remembering that God knows all things and is a rewarder of all who seek Him and draw close to Him.