Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Jeremiah 26-29: A Thankful Captive

Jeremiah 27:5
Amplified Bible (AMP)

5 I have made the earth, the men, and the beasts that are upon the face of the earth by My great power and by My outstretched arm, and I give it to whomever it seems right and suitable to Me.

We have a great deal to learn about God's ways!

Jeremiah is prophesying about the impending captivity of his people.  God gave the pagan King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon the authority to enslave His people for a time.  God goes as far to say, "any nation or kingdom that will not serve this same Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and put its neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon, that nation will I punish, says the Lord, with the sword, with famine, and with pestilence, until I have consumed it by [Nebuchadnezzar’s] hand."  (Jeremiah 27:8)
My post "Good Figs, Great Blessing in Captivity" outlines God's rationale and promises to His people while captive.  By resisting the captivity of Babylon, God's people would effectively be resisting the growth and blessings God was attempting to bestow on them.

This line of thinking is contrary to what most Western Christians imagine to be a "blessed state." 

Could it be that while in bondage we learn things about ourselves and others, that we would never be able to discern otherwise? 

I think about the times in my life when I have felt "captive." During those times, God proved that His dealing with me is very similar to His dealing with Israel and Judah of long ago.

During those times, He revealed Himself in ways I couldn't have imagined.  I am thankful!  Although I'm not a big fan of heartache, I am a big fan of getting closer to God!

Several years ago, I wrote this poem during a particularly difficult season.  God will use the tools He feels are best to transform us.  Let's not resist Him, thereby, disregarding opportunities for growing our relationship with Abba.

Besiege My Heart
Beautiful Grace

June 14, 2005

Besiege my heart, Holy Spirit of God.
I give consent to Your overthrow.
Incapable am I to rule it
For deceitful and wicked it is.
No man can know.

You, oh Conqueror, of base desires
Know the art of subjugation.
You war against fallen desires
Which block the full reign of Kingship of one heart.

You employ methods far too wonderful for comprehension
In accomplishing Your goal.
Trials become a chisel,
Whittling away self-love.
Self-love seeks protections from life’s inflictions,
But Love’s King has said, “embrace them.”

Allow Love to make you into the vessel of His chosen type.
His Love, holy, selfless and true, refuses to allow undoneness.
Be not hesitant to embrace Love’s power,
God’s depths are found there.

“Consider it wholly joyful, my brethren, whenever you are enveloped in or encounter trials of any sort or fall into various temptations. Be assured and understand that the trial and proving of your faith bring out endurance and steadfastness and patience.” James 1:2 & 3

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