Sunday, August 4, 2013

The Secret Keeper

“Thus says the Lord who made it, the Lord who formed it to establish it (the Lord is His name):  ‘Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.’” – Jeremiah 33:2-3

If there’s one thing my 49.989 years on this earth has taught me it’s that if you want to accomplish anything with the time you are here, you have to set goals.  Without goals, short term and long term, your path through life is much like a kite on a string, pulled by every strong wind that blows, taking you off course.  Setting goals assigns guidelines that help you achieve your dreams.

Now here’s the kicker.  There is ONE who knows your dreams before your mind conceives it into being.  He knows the direct path to get you there.  He also knows the obstacles you have to face to build in you what is needed to accomplish them.  He also knows the timing, which is not up to you, but only in His hands. 

Knowing those things, setting goals seems like a failing attempt.  How should we set goals for what we don’t understand?  How can we achieve a dream that we don’t fully comprehend?  Would it not be best to have all the facts, the details, the map of the goal itself lined out in front of us?  I don’t know about you, but I find it very frustrating to go anywhere I’ve not been without directions.  I don’t like wasting my time wandering around.  Life is just too short for that!

There was a time in the prophet Jeremiah’s life that he needed to hear God’s plan.  He had been put into prison by King Zedekiah because he foretold that Jerusalem would be taken captive by Babylon, and burned, and King Zedekiah would die in battle.  Yet, while in prison, Jeremiah’s nephew came to see him and asked him to buy a piece of land that belonged to his uncle.  Knowing that the nation would soon be owned by Babylon, why would Jeremiah want to spend money buying land that would soon be taken over by the enemy?

But God came to Jeremiah, and told him to buy the land.  God said in Jeremiah 32:15 “Houses and fields and vineyards shall be possessed again in this land”, because He would soon show mercy once again on the idolatrous Israelites, and redeem Jerusalem for them again.  So Jeremiah bought the land, and had the deed sealed up and put in a clay jar so it would last through the destruction to come when Babylon was taken captive.  Jeremiah took God at His word, and trusted God to know his future.

God is the great secret keeper of things to come.  Jeremiah had positioned himself with God so closely that God spoke to him about His upcoming plans, and used Jeremiah as His mouthpiece to tell others.  In time, all that God had told Jeremiah came to pass.  Babylon was taken captive.  King Zedekiah died.  And the land that Jeremiah purchased was his. 

But first Jeremiah went through tough times in prison, being thrown into a dungeon, hated by the king that had put him there. The road of Jeremiah’s life was not paved with smooth stones, and ours may not be either.  But because He listened to God, God’s favor was upon him. 

When Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, invaded and took Jerusalem captive, this idolatrous King knew not to harm Jeremiah.  He instructed the guards in Jeremiah 39:12 to “Take him and look after him, and do him no harm; but do to him just as he says to you.”  One of the guards took Jeremiah home, and looked after and cared for him.  Yes, Jeremiah, one who found favor with God, was taken care of by the enemy!  And in time, he took possession of the land that he had purchased.

But how differently Jeremiah’s life may have turned out had he not purchased the land, and been in constant communication with God.  He could have come out of the war with Babylon having nothing, been maimed or killed in prison, or worse!  But because of his faithful relationship with God, he stayed on the path that God had appointed him.

Today is Sunday, and the last weekend of summer before many of us will go back to school, college, new careers, and possibly new homes.  Many of us will go to church.  But as we all go to church, let’s not do it out of duty or habit, as we often do, and just occupy a pew.  Let’s go seeking God’s great secrets.  Let’s ask Him to reveal the hidden things of our lives.   He knows our own dreams, and where we will find contentment and success.  Having seen our past, present, and future, He is the only guidance counselor, financial advisor, friend, and mentor we should hear.  He invites us in Jeremiah 33:3, saying, “Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.’

Lord, help us individually to seek you today.  Find us where we are Lord, and reveal to us the secrets to our own successful relationships with you.  Give us answers to the decisions we face.  Show us the obstacles, the trials, and the way to pass through the fires to come.  Show us where you will take us in life, and spare us from the pitfalls we push ourselves into.  We seek your will in our lives, knowing that only your will can bring you the glory you deserve, which is our purpose.

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