Archive for April 4th, 2009

Useful vs. Noticeable

Jeremiah 18-20


Jeremiah visits the potter.  The pot the potter was working on was marred, ‘So he formed it into another pot, shaping it as it seemed best to him’.


We are the only barrier to God doing good in our lives.  If as a result of our living adversely to His ways, He then intends to uproot us, if we simply repent of our wrong, He will relent and not inflict what He had intended.  Conversely, if He has intended to build us up and then we choose to ignore His ways, then He will reconsider the good He intended.


In both cases, He is the potter to do with us as it seems best to Him but we as the living pot in His hands influence what He chooses by the choices we make.  We cannot tell Him what kind of pot we want to be, but we do determine whether or not He shapes us into a pot that is useful to Him. 


We cannot say, ‘Lord make me a fancy tea pot’ which everyone will see and admire; He may have in mind a cast iron pot that is placed in a hole over a bed of coals and covered with dirt.  The tea pot may be pretty but its contents are not vital.  The iron pot is nothing to look at but oh my, how vital the contents. 


This is exactly what was going on with Jeremiah.  ‘Oh Lord, you deceived me, and I was deceived; You overpowered me and prevailed.  I am ridiculed all day long; everyone mocks me’. 


Though I am not ridiculed all day long, nor mocked, the Lord has taken me to a place in Him that not everyone can identify with.  Like Jeremiah, I am sometimes tempted to say, ‘I will not mention Him or speak any more in His name’, but ‘His word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones.  I am weary of holding it in; indeed I cannot.’    


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Do We Really Trust

Jeremiah 16, 17


In the midst of all the disaster which God is proclaiming through Jeremiah on all who forsook Him and did not obey or trust in Him is this little oasis of promise to those who did.


‘Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him.  He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream.  It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green.  It has no worries in a year of draught and never fails to bear fruit.’


‘The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure.  Who can understand it?’


‘But if you are careful to obey Me, declares the Lord, and bring no load through the gates of the city on the Sabbath, but keep the Sabbath day holy, by not doing any work on it, then kings who sit on David’s throne will come through the gates of this city.’ ‘If you do not obey me to keep the Sabbath day holy, I will send an unquenchable fire that will consume all your fortresses.’


Where is our trust?  Do we really trust in God or do we trust in ourselves?  Is He our confidence or are we and our efforts?  If He is, we will not worry in hard times.  We will send out our roots, deeper, until we find the ever flowing stream that is Him. 


The heart is deceitful to convince us that we must take things into our own hands.  We do not trust that if we honor Him on the Sabbath that He will bless the remaining six days.  So we add a seventh and trust our own thinking. 


If we would trust Him, life would flow in and out of our gates.  If not, though all may appear to be okay for a while, He will eventually consume our fortresses – the false things in which we trust.


I don’t know if there is anything that God longs for more that to have a people who will trust Him.  His ways are different.  Before we can live we must die.  Before we can have we must give up.  Our trust is tested when He tells us to do something that seems contrary to our forward progress.  Do we really trust?  

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