As I'm making my way through the Bible this year, Jeremiah is now "up" on my reading radar.
Hmmm, what a book so far. Once again, the contrast between God's desires for us and our own fleshly-desires are vast.
Here is a verse that caught my attention:
This is what the Lord said, "Stand at the crossroads and look, ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. But you said, "We will not walk in it." Jeremiah 6:16
In this verse I see the verbs:
Often, when making moment to moment choices or even longterm decisions, we skip over the first 3 verbs and just walk forward, doing what "feels" right.
Or ... we might take the time to stand, look, and ask, but if we don't get the answer we want, we justify our path-choice, or make up our own rules, and reply to our Loving God in just the same way the people in Jeremiah's day did: "We will not walk in it."
Let me tell you, things did not go well for the people in Jeremiah's day. We can learn from them!
Here are two blatant truths I gathered from this one verse this morning:
1. When we stand, look, ask, and then walk down God's path (which is laid out for us in his divine word), the result is REST for our SOULS. This does not mean we will have a trial free existence; but it does mean that we will have God-given-soul-rest (his peace) within us as we walk through our trials. I love how this truth is restated by Christ himself over 500 years later:
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Matthew 11:28-29
2. By deduction, the opposite is true as well, when we choose to say to our loving God concerning his ancient words, "We will not walk in it" or, "Thank you God, but no thank you," we then forfeit what he longs to give us. In this case, we tend to trade soul-rest for anything that will either numb the pain or fleetingly satisfy.
My friend, which way are you headed?
Before going forward, how about we both take a few extra minutes today to stand, look, and ask God about our next steps? Let's be patient and listen for his answer. What does his timeless word say about your present-day decision?
And then, after he answers, let's walk together with our gentle and humble Savior, Jesus.
We all crave soul-rest, and there's only One who can give it.
I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, that I also may be cheered when I receive news about you. I have no one else like him, who takes a genuine interest in your welfare. For everyone looks out for his own interests, not those of Jesus Christ. Philippians 2:19-21
Help us to take a genuine interest in the welfare of others. Forgive us when we fill our agenda with self-interests to the point where we don't have time or energy for anything else. May we be the person that sees a need and then responds quickly to fill it. Amen.