Tuesday, November 1, 2011

grow where He plants you

I'm going through my first Kay Arthur study which I'm totally loving. It's her guide on the book of Jeremiah in The New Inductive Study Series (or, the "15-minute homework option" although somehow I've always managed to exceed that time frame. ;) )

I'm currently in Chapter 29 and just had to share this revelation in the hopes that you might be encouraged.

If it's been awhile since you've visited with Jeremiah, here's a little background...he was appointed a prophet by God a couple of decades before Judah was taken into captivity by the Babylonians and continued to prophesy during part of the 70-year captivity.

In this chapter, Jeremiah writes a letter to the exiles in Babylon who were carried off by Nebuchadnezzar to encourage them to settle down, eat, drink and be married and even pray for the prosperity of the city. (Can you imagine praying for the prosperity of the ones who hold you captive?!)

This letter also includes the well-loved "For I know the plans I have for you," passage. This letter overwhelmed me with the love God was showing to His children - the same ones who turned their backs on Him, indulged in idolatry and pretty much reneged on all the promises they made to God back in the days of Moses.

But I'm not sure if many of the people got this part of the message. From indications within this and other chapters, it seemed the people were all about believing God would deliver them quickly (two years sounded  good) from the Babylonians and wanted to squelch any messages contrary to this belief. Let me tell you, God wasn't exactly pleased with these other "prophets." Check out Chapters 28 & 29 if you want to see what happened to them.

And here's what God spoke to me in this...

lettuce growing away from our garden, in front of our garage
If I am in captivity, recognize it and plead to be taken out but find myself still held captive, then I must trust that God has some purpose in it and will deliver me in His timing. I don't believe God allows us to remain in captivity just for captivity's sake - it's kind of hard to picture Him on His throne, rubbing His hands together in glee and exclaiming, "I've got you now my pretty," like the wicked witch in the Wizard of Oz. It might feel like that, but it isn't the Truth.

What I saw in this letter is God's heart for His children. He does not want us to languish in our captivity. He wants to prosper us. Captivity is a time to grow. Grow how? I think it depends on why were were carried into captivity in the first place.

So if you feel you are in captivity, ask Him for a word that would encourage you in this time. Ask Him to how you how He wants to prosper you. Keep your eyes fixed on Him and the good work He is doing in you and trust He will deliver from your captive state...maybe it will be in this lifetime, maybe it will be when He brings you to be with Him. But keep trusting that He will bring you back.

And if you need prayer in this, leave a comment or email me that we can ask Him for revelation together.

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1 comment:

Jen said...

I really hadn't thought about God keeping me in captivity -- or rather, not releasing me when I decided I wanted to be released. But then, I think about times in which we have had financial struggles and He didn't just send money falling from the sky. He provided, in His time, while allowing us to grow in our trust in faith with Him will we waited.

Good stuff here! So glad you linked up!