How many of you know what Jeremiah 29:11 says? You may not be able to recall it immediately but in the next couple of lines as it is revealed you will probably say to yourself, “Oh, yeah.”
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 hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11
Did you say, “Oh, yeah”? I can’t count the number of feel-good sermons I’ve heard on this Scripture and that’s not a bad thing. The only problem I’ve found is that the number of messages I’ve heard on the next 2 verses I can count on one hand…with 3 fingers left over. Now I’ve certainly not heard all the sermons preached throughout history but I think you’ll see my point.
SEEKING AND FINDING THE LORD
Then you will call on 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. Jeremiah 29:12-13
You probably are already catching on but before I expound on these verses let me make 2 quick points…1) These words are not written to individuals, they are written to the nation of Israel (God’s people), and; 2) The best interpretation for us would be that these are words to Christ’s Church (His people) today.
Since The Church is made up of individuals and relationships, then we can certainly pray the promise of v. 11 but we also must personally and collectively follow through with what The Holy Spirit expresses in vv. 12-13.
That brings us back to the focus of this article. All of us desire God’s best plans for our life, family, churches and communities…or at least we should as Christ followers. However, most of us latch onto the declaration made in v. 11 and pay little attention to our responsibility in receiving that promise.
God desires to give us an incredible hope and future, one translation says “an expected end” or one that we believe in by faith and know it will be good. Here are 3 things that we must do in order to receive all He has promised:
- Call out to Him – share your heart, hurts and hang-ups with Him. He already knows. He just wants you to experience His presence, which is ultimately greater than His response to any of your cries.
- Come and pray to Him – find a place and time every day to meet with Him and make your requests known. In the process you’ll come to know Him more and He will reveal who He has created you to be and His plans for you. He hears and responds.
- Seek Him with all your heart – receiving His promises and all He has in store begins with seeking Him. God makes it very clear that the way that we find and know Him is by wholeheartedly seeking Him. Half-hearted attempts won’t work. Doesn’t mean He won’t answer but we simply can’t get to know Who He Is if we’re only giving a partial effort to do so.
The most incredible gift in this is that receiving His promise is AWESOME…but seeking and knowing Him is far better!
GETTING ALL YOU NEED
Jesus summed it up this way in the Sermon on the Mount. After teaching on futility of worry and anxiety in Matthew 6:25-32, He sums it in v. 33, “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”
Our Creator, Savior and Lord knows that we will never be satisfied with anything, even everything, in this world because it is fleeting and superficial. The only way we can be fulfilled is in knowing Him! The awesome news is that He has made Himself known in Jesus and in His Word by His Spirit and He has made Himself available for us to seek, know and love Him and that changes everything! The question is, will you seek Him with all your heart? Will you seek His Kingdom (remember Kingdom always include His Kingship/Lordship) and righteousness first and above everything else?
Oswald Chambers in My Utmost for His Highest, Oct 3, We can ever remain powerless, as were the disciples, by trying to do God’s work not in concentration on His power, but by ideas drawn from our own temperament. We slander God by our very eagerness to work for Him without knowing Him.
You can know Him! Don’t miss out. Spend some time every day in His Word, in prayer and seeking/asking Him to show you Who He Is. But remember you have to do it with all your heart. When you do, He will show up!
Make it a great day and God bless in Christ!
Love and Lordship…Food for Thought – It has been said that you can tell where a person’s heart is by looking at 2 things: checkbook and calendar. What do these 2 items say about your relationship with God?
Love and Lordship…Action Item – Take inventory in your own heart/life and see where you are with God and how you are seeking to know and love Him.