Jeremiah 8:4-11:23 (NIV)
Michelle Turner, Director of Nursery Ministries
This passage in Jeremiah is full of examples of what to avoid in our daily lives. The people of Israel had been walking away from God for so long. They had been following after the ways of the nations around them. God waited for repentance from His people. The priests and prophets at that time were not even following God. God saw how they were placating the people: “They dress the wounds of my people as though it were not serious. ‘Peace, peace,’ they say, when there is no peace. Are they ashamed of their loathsome conduct? No, they have no shame at all; they do not even know how to blush.” (Jeremiah 8:11-12) How many times do we want to take the easy way out and not have the hard conversation with someone? God doesn’t call us to just smooth things over and not cause any ripples. If those around us are walking in sin, shouldn’t we be finding ways to help them walk out of that sin? Yes, at times it feels much easier to avoid the conversation. But if we choose to say nothing or to sweep it under the rug and say all is fine, we are not doing right by them. We are not giving them the chance of repentance. Also, when you placate those who do wrong, you are in essence saying that it is not wrong and therefore you are setting yourself up to fall. Don’t put yourself in a position to be going against God’s word.
The best place for us to be is hiding under the shadow of God’s wings and not feeling secure in our own understanding and power. What do you claim for yourself? In Jeremiah 9:23 God states, “Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches, but let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight.” How often do we spend time feeling strong and wise, and forgetting who God is? Don’t let the true nature of who God is slip away from you. Take the time be with Him and in His Word daily. Only in spending time with God can we begin to claim that we know Him. Remember daily as Jeremiah did, “I know, O Lord, that a man’s life is not his own; it is not for man to direct his steps.” (Jeremiah 10:23) When we fully surrender to the fact that God is guiding our steps and all for His glory–what a heart that produces! We can let go and know that we are following after God and letting Him lead. We also have assurances that we are not alone in this. While the walk will not always be easy, we can cling to the fact that God carries us through and that He “exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth.”
My prayer today is that we would find ourselves stepping out in those God-guided steps, knowing that the Creator of the universe has our backs! This includes stepping into a conversation about sin and accountability. God, give us your insight and wisdom into all
situations, and help us to rest on the fact that you are with us and calling us forward.