Text: Jeremiah 18:1-7
A story is told about the grandson of a great rabbi who came to his grandfather in tears. The young boy was playing hide and seek with his friends when it was his turn to hide. He found a good hiding place and waited and waited, but nobody came to find him. After a long time, the boy came out of his hiding spot and found that his friends had gotten distracted by another game and forgot all about him. He cried to his grandfather, “I hid, but no one looked for me!”
Upon hearing his grandson’s words, the rabbi’s eyes filled with tears as well. He said, “That’s how God must feel, too! He is hiding in our world, just beneath the surface. But we are too distracted to look for Him! God wants us to seek Him and find Him, but people are so busy that they forget all about Him!”
Life is described in many ways. Some say life is like a game/ like a chess; life is a gamble; life is like a journey etc. If life is a game , then God is the greatest strategist; if life is like a journey God is the ultimate compass.
God has a particular reason, a unique purpose for each of us. There is a specific question that he wants us to solve in the world. A blessing He wants us to bring to this world. But God walks with us daily and reveals His intentions to us as we walk with Him. Often He does not just show us the whole picture at a go so Jesus early in the morning, would fellowship with Him for the day’s agenda, same with David.This is the same way a seed is programmed but grows gradually to its full grown stature or we can consider how the amazon river starts as a trickle of water high up the mountains in one place and ends up as one of the wonders of nature in another place downstream.
Unlike the amazone river which stays its course, we like this little boy who was left behind we also often get distracted along our walk with Christ. But some of the distractions in our walk can be fatal and will need God’s grace and mercies to counter their consequences:
• -Moses’ dream as the leader of Israel, was nothing more than to complete the mission that he began when he led the people out of Egypt. His ultimate goal was always to lead them into the Promised Land. However, as a result of Moses disobeying God’s instructions to procure water from a rock while in the desert, God decreed that Moses would not enter the land.
• -Sampson lost his anointing after following some distractions with strange woman.
• -Saul lost the throne cause to God, obedience is better than sacrifice and disobedience is like witchcraft
How do the distractions come about?
Sometimes these distractions follow our human senses:
a) What we hear (sense of hearing): Adam and Eve in the garden of Eve, when Eve listened to the serpent and ate the forbidden fruit. Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God (Rom 10:17). In the same way when we listen to the wrong messages doubt sets in.
b) What we see (sense of sight): David saw Bathsheba and went to bed with her and that brought a lot of problems in His life.
It is tempting to use honor, power,wealth, or prestige to measure people. We may think that such people are really getting ahead in life. But on God’s scales these people can be lighter than breath of air (Psaml 62:9-12). To God what matters is trusting Him and working for Him (62:12). Wealth, honor, power, or prestige add nothing to our value in God’s eyes: only the faithful work we do for him has eternal value.
c) It can come from a trying moment. The experience of Job was such that he could have cursed God and died as his wife suggested, but he persevered. Same with Joseph, Daniel. But it is said that a tea bag must go through hot water to bring out its true flavour just as gold must be refined in hot fire. The difficult experiences are meant to mould us and draw us closer with God. The same experiences that break some people also make some people.
d)It can also follow our natural instincts:
Isaac and Esau when due to hunger Esau gave up his birthright for a morsel of food. In the same way we can follow our natural urge for drugs, money, sex, alcohol etc.
However, we need God cause He can make the make the most out of us like He illustrated to Jeremiah with the potter.
Why do we need to stick to God and keep to our course?
a) God Has a Plan.
God has the masterplan for our individual lives just as a machine comes with a manual. Like a shepherd He knows the terrain. We read in Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you . . . plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Let’s remember that when our plans don’t succeed, God has a plan for us that is just, right, and good.
b) The Secret of Vitality
God will renew our strength like the eagle for us to complete our course when we walk with him.“Moses was a hundred and twenty years old when he died, yet his eyes were not weak nor his strength gone.” (Deut 34:7). Moses died full of vim and vigor, as though he were a young man.
But this is no news at all as two verses earlier Scripture describes Moses as “the servant of the LORD.” Moses thus completely invested his life as a servant of God, sacrificing all he had for God’s purposes. Given the enormity of this task given that –he had to represent the Israelites facing Pharaoh; lead the Israelites to exit Egypt and their 40 year sojourn in the desert – it is easy to conclude that Moses would be completely exhausted in his latter days of life. What a herculean task! However this faithful servant of God and his people, was still full of energy to his deathbed.
This is the marvel of giving and service as explained in Isaiah 40:31 : “But those who wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary” (NKJV). In waiting upon God – serving the Lord – you will not be wanting in strength as the Lord is your strength and you will not have to rely on the arm of flesh which will fail you eventually.Hence He will continually refresh you with divine strength as you serve Him(2 Chro 32:8).
c) Harvest Is Coming
GALATIANS 6:9 NLT So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the
right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.
After a farmer digs the ground to sow a seed , it does not result in a harvest the following day. There is a waiting phase . A period to stand in faith, in anticipation that the sown seed will eventually grow and produce the fruits as it was created to do. The farmer exercises a great deal of faith in taking pains to find expensive viable seeds and sow them. However the farmer appreciates and knows how God’s system works (The farmer may be an unbeliever but it is God’s system of principles he is working with). Sow a seed, wait patiently and reap a bountiful harvest that multiplies what you planted. Just as the farmer uses expensive and viable seeds, we need to give our best to God as well.
In the same vein a harvest is coming in your life! The acts of kindness, love, service you have invested into the lives of people, and into the Kingdom of God-just like sown seeds – have been maturing and the time for a harvest of blessing is coming.
‘For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it’ Habakkuk 2:3
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