2 Corinthians 4:15-18, Confidence, Daniel 2:20-22, Detours, Following Jesus, Help, Isaiah 30:21, Isaiah 59:7-9, Jeremiah 29:11-13, JESUS, Ordered Steps, Psalm 37:23-24, Sovereignty, The Word, Trials, Trust, Unexpected Interruptions
Bible Ballistics: BBs #390 Unexpected Interruptions???
We all have “un”expected interruptions, as an old Yiddish proverb says “Man plans, God laughs!” and that’s a pretty accurate observation. We are so busy making “plans” that we often forget to ‘live’ our lives, particularly to ‘live’ them for God, seeking His will and desire for our every step.
The prophet Jeremiah called his people to repent and turn to God for some 40 years, with very little response. He called them to return to their God and avoid God’s judgment of the coming Babylonian captivity, but to no avail—they just kept right on doing their own thing; making their own ‘plans’ with no regard for the God they claimed as their own! As I’m often wont to say, “Saying so, doesn’t make it so!” We must examine our plans, and seek to pursue the ways, plans and will of God—for He knows what lies ahead. As another prophet penned (Daniel after the fall of Jerusalem, in Babylonian captivity, as a servant of Nebuchadnezzar the king) in Daniel 2:20-22:
“Daniel answered and said,
Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever:
for wisdom and might are his:
21 And he changeth the times
and the seasons:
he removeth kings,
and setteth up kings:
he giveth wisdom
unto the wise,
to them that know understanding:
22 He revealeth
the deep and secret things:
he knoweth what is in the darkness,
and the light dwelleth with him.”
Daniel was praising God for answered prayer, and in his praise he rehearses the character of God for us. Jeremiah warned the people of the coming judgment, but also the mercy that God wanted to bestow upon them. Yet even in His judgment of sin and the discipline of His own people, God’s desire is for our good and His glory. Exactly what Jeremiah reminded the people of as He preached of the perfect goodness of God to all who would come to HIM!
“For I know the thoughts
that I think toward you,
saith the LORD,
thoughts of peace,
and not of evil,
to give you an expected end.
12 Then shall ye call upon me,
and ye shall go
and pray unto me,
and I will hearken
13 And ye shall seek me,
and find me,
when ye shall search
with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:11-13
So often this passage is taken out of context, and while God does have good things for us, it’s not always what we would pick! God is interested in our ‘holiness’ not our ‘happiness’: happiness is always connected to circumstances, holiness is spiritual in nature and reveals the desire of God to mature us, and bring us into an intimate relationship with Him. And when we learn to recognize the hand of God in all things, we will gain a confidence and maturity that can sustain us through any trial or detour! God calls us to “seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart”, but we are often too distracted with our own plans to “seek” Him! But following God’s way is always the best and always the most rewarding, although it will almost always be the way of the ‘greatest’ resistance—the world won’t like the one who faithfully stands with and for God!
“Let the wicked forsake his way,
and the unrighteous man his thoughts:
and let him return unto the LORD,
and he will have mercy upon him;
and to our God,
for he will abundantly pardon.
8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,
saith the LORD.
9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways,
and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 59:7-9
Oh to understand the things that God wants to teach us! Oh to learn to follow Him expecting the unexpected; to go where He leads regardless of the interruption; to declare with the Psalmist that our steps are ‘ordered’ by The Lord—expected or not!
“The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way. 24 Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him with his hand.” Psalm 37:23-24
“And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.” Isaiah 30:21
Wherever you are walking today, remember that if things turn around, seek God and look for His Hand, He is at work for our good and His glory!!! Things aren’t always what you think they are. God is working that which will produce “a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory”!
“For all things are for your sakes,
that the abundant grace
might through the thanksgiving
redound to the glory of God.
16 For which cause we faint not;
but though our outward man perish,
yet the inward man
is renewed day by day.
17 For our light affliction,
which is but for a moment,
worketh for us
a far more exceeding
weight of glory;
18 While we look not
at the things which are seen,
but at the things which are not seen:
for the things which are seen
but the things which are not seen
are eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:15-18
So remember today, what you see isn’t really what you get—God’s glory is so real and we must keep “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith”; (See Hebrews 12:2), knowing that God is working ‘all things’ for our good, that we might “be conformed to the image of his Son”!!! Amen and Amen! (See Romans 8:28-29) Just keep following Jesus—through the expected and the “un”expected!!! Whatever is going on, it hasn’t caught God by surprise!!!