God’s way or else

SCRIPTURE: Jeremiah 17:1-18

OBSERVATION/APPLICATION:

  1. This section is divided into two parts, the description of the way of sin vs. the way of God [1-13] and Jeremiah’s prayer [14-18].
  2. The way of sin involves rejecting/disobeying God, relying on our own ways and thoughts and abilities, and the consequence (judgment) of choosing our own way. Trying to find happiness, health, success, blessing, peace, etc. in our own ways, by our own strength, will ultimately end up in failure. We will dry up like a bush in a barren wilderness.
  3. Deep inside of us is our spiritual heart, the center of our being. This is our HQ (headquarters), made up of our mind, our will and our emotions, where the direction and priorities of our life is set. Its where we think, feel and choose. Unfortunately, it is unreliable, flawed, twisted by sin [9]. we may think that something is right, we may feel that it is good, we may choose to do it, but that is no guarantee of success. In fact, it is a sure way to failure. For the heart is deceitful, look how many people are trapped in folly and misery as they go their own way.
  4. Only God knows the heart [10], and only God can help us sort through the confusion and deception to find the better way, God’s way. God is, and always has been, on the throne [12], therefore He is right, He knows what is good, and His way will always succeed. No amount of ‘positive thinking’ (or feeling) can change the order of creation, as designed by God.
  5. God will help those who come to Him for help, He will willingly and graciously help them find the “living water” (i.e. the full life we are all looking for), if we rely on Him.
  6. Jeremiah is speaking up for what is true, but it is not going easy for him. He is choosing the better way (God’s way), and at this moment he is not ‘succeeding’. He cries out to God for help, for justice, for protection. He pleads with God to back up His message with results – show these people that rejecting You will only lead to misery.
  7. This passage is a reminder again that choosing God’s way does not promise easy success or happiness. It is like the discipline of physical exercise; short term it means pain, sacrifice, perseverance but long term is pays off. It may seem that those who do not exercise have all the fun, eat all the good food, never have to deny themselves anything, but in the long run….

PRAYER:
Lord, I sort of believe that choosing Your way is the better way, but often I do not follow it up with action. I am resisting full surrender, because it means self-denial. Shake me up with these words to impress upon me that Your way is the best way, and that my heart is deceiving me when it seeks short cuts.

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