Commitment; November 23, 2019


Jeremiah 32:17, 27 “Ah, Sovereign Lord, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you.”
“I am the Lord, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?”

This whole chapter is one that really needs to be meditated on by every genuine servant of God. God tells Jeremiah to do something preposterous (buying land that was occupied by Babylonian troops, with real money). Jeremiah is obedient, but after praying a very pious prayer, by verse 25 he is essentially saying to God, “Are You out of Your mind?” Then God echoes Jeremiah’s accurate, pious words back to him. He then goes on to flesh out the why of all that is going on, and makes some more wonderful promises. I really think God explains Himself to Jeremiah more than perhaps to any other Biblical character (other than Jesus, of course). What a huge privilege! At the same time, Jeremiah went through a life that I don’t think any sane person would choose. The one thing that sustained him was the assurance that God loved and talked to him – and that very thing would mark him as insane in the eyes of psychologists today! God chooses His servants according to His sovereign plan, but how we respond makes a world of difference. God wants us to be so committed to Him that everything else takes a back seat, and most of us aren’t really there yet. God doesn’t want us literally to hate our families, (John 14:26) but our love and commitment for and to Him is to be so strong that everything else looks like hate by comparison. Jeremiah laid everything on the line for God, and in this world that ended up with him being stoned to death by those to whom he ministered. Our commitment to God should be no less.

Ouch. I desire to be fully committed to God, but I confess other things loom in my awareness from time to time. I desire to see massive harvest in Japan, but I realize I have to yield even that to God. Even Jeremiah didn’t live to see the restoration that he prophesied so gloriously. I am reminded of the time I was lying in bed, not consciously praying but just thinking, “There are so many things I wish were different.” At that point, for only the second time in my life, I heard the Lord speak to me very clearly: “How do you think I feel?” I was naturally blown out of the water, but in that instant I realized that whatever happens, God is still God. He doesn’t desire that people sin or that disasters happen, but none of it surprises Him and He is going to use every bit of it to bring about His perfect plan, which is glorious and loving. (Romans 8:28) I need to remember the last part of Hebrews 11, where after listing many giants of faith it says, “These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised. God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect. (Hebrews 11:39-40) I’ve got to be at peace with God’s schedule, trusting Him with every detail of my life, whether it seems good to me at the time or not, because only He knows what is really going on.

Father, thank You for this reminder. To this point You’ve given me a far easier life than you gave Jeremiah, so thank You. Help me not complain about anything, but follow You faithfully in every detail, being humble enough before You to hear Your slightest whisper, so that Your purposes may be fulfilled in and through me for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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