Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Staying Humble Before the Lord

I'm going to finish up chapter 10 of Jeremiah today. It covers quite a few verses, and it's the reaction of Jeremiah to the destruction of Judea and Jerusalem, and is spoken in the language of the Nomads.
10: 19 - 25 - "Woe to me because of my injury! My would is incurable! Yes, I said to myself, 'This is my sickness, and I must endure it. My tent is destroyed; all its ropes are snapped. My sons are gone from me and are no more; no one is left now to pitch my tent or to set up my shelter. The shepherds are senseless and do not inquire of the Lord; so they do not prosper and all their flock is scattered.
Listen! The report is coming - a great commotion from the land of the north! It will make the towns of Judah desolate, a haunt of jackals.
I know Lord, that a man's life is not his own; it is not for man to direct his steps. Correct me Lord, but only with justice - not in your anger, lest your reduce me to nothing. Pour out your wrath on the nations that do not acknowledge you, on the peoples who do not call on your name. For they have devoured Jacob; they have devoured him completely and destroyed his homeland'".
The reference to the shepherds is to the leaders of the nation, who were responsible for the calamity. We commonly refer to pastors in our day as "shepherds", and the church's congregations to the "flock". We too, have seen how some in this position in recent years have misled many people. Look back to the late 1970's, at how Jim Jones deceived so many people into believing the misguided teachings that brought them all to their death. He had put himself over these people as a false messiah, and although he used scripture in his teachings, he took them out of context and used them for his advantage and hunger for power and control over them.
We have seen others since, who were well known in the religious arena, who let greed enter their hearts and brought them down, as well as their ministries. This brought a lot of spiritual dysfunction and emotional hurt to those who had so faithfully given to their ministries, only to find out they too had been duped.
We need to pray for our pastors, evangelists and missionaries. They are held in high accountability to the Lord for the calling on their lives to reach out to the lost. I believe that Satan throws more temptations at them, so he can destroy not only them and their ministry, but cause it to have an adverse affect on the lost who these people are trying to reach, causing them to stay lost and without the desire to come to know the Lord as their savior.
We have seen in Jeremiah, where pride, selfishness and greed were the downfall of the nations, and look around - you can see it in our world today as well.
We need to re-read verse verse 23 where Jeremiah says, "I know, O Lord, that a man's life is not his own; it is not for man to direct his steps". That's what each of us needs to remember; that we need to turn to God daily, for his direction for our life. He has the perfect plan for us, and when we go about our day without taking the time to talk to him and read his word to find what his will for us is; trying to walk through life on our own, that's when we find ourselves in the midst of trials and upheavals that we've gotten ourselves into by our own pride and stubborness.
I close with this passage from James 4 that gives us the cure for sin: "Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Greive and mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up".

Have a blessed Wednesday................Janelle

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