Archive for April 2nd, 2009

Subtle Distraction

Jeremiah 11-15


Our minds can sometimes get like a back lashed reel – a tangled mess.  With a reel it happens instantly; in our minds it comes on a little more gradually but nevertheless, just as tangled.


Jeremiah found himself in one of these mental messes.  Since he had felt the Lord’s hand on him, he had separated himself.  God’s word was his joy and delight.  Yet, in light of all this, it didn’t seem to be paying off.  He had hoped to make a difference.  He had hoped to turn people’s hearts back to God.  He was hoping to repeat what Moses had done.


Wasn’t happening.  Instead, the faithless remained at ease.  Some even opposed him.  To say the least, he was discouraged.  Had he made a mistake?  Had God been to him ‘Like a deceptive brook? Like a spring that fails?’  Had God just strung him along intending all along to wipe him out with everyone else?  He was really struggling here. 


When I first read 15:19 ‘If you repent, I will restore you’, it did not make sense to me.  There were a couple of things that didn’t make sense.  Sometimes I just move on.  Here I couldn’t.  It was like God was saying to me, ‘there is something here—keep looking’.  I finally found it.


What could Jeremiah possibly have to repent of?  God was his delight.  Plain and simple, Jeremiah had ambition.  He wanted to be significant.  It is quite natural to think that a desire to be significant for God is an acceptable desire.  But here it had got in the way and God was pulling him back. 


As C. S. Lewis points out in his illustration of a man walking his dog, if the dog goes to the wrong side of the light pole, the owner pulls him back; not to prevent him from going forward but to enable him to go forward.


Oh the far reaching hand of God when He is calling us unto Himself.  If you repent of what you have in mind, I will restore unto you what I have in mind so that you will be useful to Me.  I will give you worthy words to utter and not useless ones.


Sometimes, even godly ambition can cause us to miss God.  We can get so focused on what we have in mind, as good as it may be, that we miss what He has in mind.  Oh the subtle ways that the enemy distracts us.


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