Does Your Life Seem Like it is Sitting Still?

Hudson Taylor is accredited for saying, Unless there is an element of risk in our exploits for God, there is no need for faith. (www.sermoncentral.com, search using Taylor).

On Hold

In the 32nd chapter of Jeremiah’s prophecy we find that what got him thrown in jail was his insistence that Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, would conquer Jerusalem. Jerusalem’s king Zedekiah didn’t like that! While in prison, Jeremiah’s cousin, Hanameel offers the prophet the right to purchase land in Anathoth. How strange! If the prophet’s prediction came true (and it certainly did), then land titles issued under Hebrew law would be worthless. And if the prophecy failed, Jeremiah would stay in jail.

It seemed like Jeremiah’s life was on hold. We know in our heart that God never forgets about us and His desire is for us to keep moving closer to Him, but there are times in our life when it seems that it is on hold. So what are we to do:

  1. Keep doing what God has told you to do (vv. 1-3). - Jeremiah did not stop doing what God had told him to do even when it was going to land him in prison. We may want to stay away from church, stop praying or reading our Bible.
  2. Don’t force an easy solution (vv. 3-5). Zedekiah was giving Jeremiah an easy way out. Change your prophecy about me and you will get out of prison. It is easy to bail out of a marriage, for a teen to leave home or quit our job. God’s solutions usually take longer.
  3. Trust God’s Word even when it may seem radical to others (vv. 6-9). Jeremiah was in prison and the Babylonians were coming. The only real reason to buy the land was because he trusted God.
  4. Remember that exercising faith does not always bring immediate results (vv. 10-15). Jeremiah knew that this act was something for future generations. Praying is like this. Many of my mother’s prayers were not answered until after she was with the Lord.

Application

And like Jeremiah, there are times in my life when I have to recognize that instead of focusing on doubts, fears, or excuses, I too am called to live a life of faith that with God all things are possible.

Jeremiah 32:1-15 (English Standard Version)

The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD in the tenth year of Zedekiah king of Judah, which was the eighteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar. At that time the army of the king of Babylon was besieging Jerusalem, and Jeremiah the prophet was shut up in the court of the guard that was in the palace of the king of Judah. For Zedekiah king of Judah had imprisoned him, saying, "Why do you prophesy and say, 'Thus says the LORD: Behold, I am giving this city into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall capture it; Zedekiah king of Judah shall not escape out of the hand of the Chaldeans, but shall surely be given into the hand of the king of Babylon, and shall speak with him face to face and see him eye to eye. And he shall take Zedekiah to Babylon, and there he shall remain until I visit him, declares the LORD. Though you fight against the Chaldeans, you shall not succeed'?" Jeremiah said, "The word of the LORD came to me: Behold, Hanamel the son of Shallum your uncle will come to you and say, 'Buy my field that is at Anathoth, for the right of redemption by purchase is yours.' Then Hanamel my cousin came to me in the court of the guard, in accordance with the word of the LORD, and said to me, 'Buy my field that is at Anathoth in the land of Benjamin, for the right of possession and redemption is yours; buy it for yourself.' Then I knew that this was the word of the LORD. "And I bought the field at Anathoth from Hanamel my cousin, and weighed out the money to him, seventeen shekels of silver. I signed the deed, sealed it, got witnesses, and weighed the money on scales. Then I took the sealed deed of purchase, containing the terms and conditions and the open copy. And I gave the deed of purchase to Baruch the son of Neriah son of Mahseiah, in the presence of Hanamel my cousin, in the presence of the witnesses who signed the deed of purchase, and in the presence of all the Judeans who were sitting in the court of the guard. I charged Baruch in their presence, saying, 'Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: Take these deeds, both this sealed deed of purchase and this open deed, and put them in an earthenware vessel, that they may last for a long time. For thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: Houses and fields and vineyards shall again be bought in this land."'

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