Part Two: Chase the Promise (Jeremiah 29:10-14)
60% of Americans make resolutions… wanting to be better. 1 diet, 2 exercise. Both require a plan. Listen to the director or coach. The thing we chase after require a plan. That which we long for, we need plans to pursue. All of God’s plans may be discovered in his promises. He will fulfill his Word. The date: 605-537 BC with the Jews in exile, and God raised up Jeremiah to remind them of his promise. How?
Live like His promises are true (chase the promise) by,
1. PRIORITIZING what God says Over POPULAR THOUGHTS of Man (Jeremiah 29:10) Consider this…
1) There are false voices that come against his Word. The negative voice had already arisen, Hananiah. The question became, “Who spoke for God?” Who will you believe? See Jeremiah 28:15-17, the damage was done, so Jeremiah wanted to remind the people of what God said. False voices can sound authoritative, influential, even rational, it made sense to the people. According to Jeremiah 29:2, Hanaiah seemed to speak for the LORD. People don’t really change, because we always like to hear the popular news, not the hard stuff.
2) Only God’s Word can defeat or correct those false voices or narratives. Universalism, how can a God of love say there is only one way to heaven? There are good people of other faiths. I’ve done too much to be forgiven. Some things are just impossible in my life. “Our future is as bright as God’s promises.” Adonia Judson.
2. TRUSTING in God’s PERSONAL PLANS for You DESPITE PRESENT CIRCUMSTANCES (Jeremiah 29:11).
1) Don’t give up on God. (Jeremiah 29:1-7) Thousands of God’s people were taken captive, but he is still with you, not limited by the walls of the Jerusalem. Move forward in faith and trust.
2) Don’t stop listening to God. (Jeremiah 29:8-9) Take all others thoughts captive. (2 Corinthians 10:5)
3) Don’t stop waiting for God’s plan to be fulfilled. (Jeremiah 29:15) When you are busy, the waiting does not seem like waiting. The report about time delays at baggage claim, down to 1 minute walk and an 8 minute wait. They still had complaints so they moved baggage claim about 8 minutes away, and the complaints stopped.
3. APPROACHING worship as the PRIVILEGE OF A DIVINE relationship and not as an OBLIGATION OF RELIGION (Jeremiah 29:12).
Call to me, come to me, pray to me – worship in the temple. The profile of worship in the temple. For us, it is a profile of a worshiper.
Do you hunger for God’s presence? Fellowship with a holy God. Do you see worship as a privilege? Are we dependent on what God says?
4. Seeking God FROM SINCERITY and not OUT OF A SPIRITUAL IDEAL (Jeremiah 29:13).
This is in covenant language. We have something to do. Seek him with our whole heart, not casually or with our mouth only. But how?
- We have a personal relationship with Jesus.
- We yearn for fellowship.
- We seek in all the promises given. Living as they are confirmed.
- We follow Jesus. Our first love, Savior, and Lord.
In 2014, there were treasure seekers, in the Rockies, and many died in search of it. The wealthy man claims to have hidden it well, but people still risk their lives to find it. Wives and children have lost their loved ones for a treasure that many don’t believe exists. One widow said that it was vanity to give your life for a “greater good,” is a greater good hidden treasure?
Tozer said it was the greatest paradox of the soul, pursing the One who loves and pursues you.
Questions for further study:
- Why was it important for the exiles to know that God planned to prosper them and not to harm them?
- What kind of prophet (false or true) told the people what they wanted to hear while requiring nothing of them in return?
- What emotional reaction would most people have if asked to pray for the prosperity of their captors?
- How do you think God would have us pray for our country?
- Why does God want us to seek Him with our whole heart?
- What does it mean to you to seek God with your whole heart?