Jeremiah 29:1- 14
Tuesday, 02 May 2023
“And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you, says the LORD, and I will bring you back from your captivity…” – Jeremiah 29:13&14
No one likes to be in captivity and the people of Judah who were taken to Babylon would no sooner have returned to their homeland than stay in a strange land. But the case was different. Jeremiah in writing a note of encouragement to them first gave them a few bitter pills to swallow! They weren’t coming back soon; they were asked to pray for the city they were staying and seek its peace, as their well-being depended on it. Oh my! That sure wasn’t what they wanted to hear— pray for the peace of their enemies? It was far-fetched; but God has His own way of dealing with situations!
While God reaffirms His promise and plans for them as a nation, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Vs.11), the very next verses speak of an earnest seeking of God. There is a two-way process that is explained:
A Seeking (Vs.12&13): The captives were exhorted to call upon God, pray to Him so He would listen; they were to seek Him with all their heart! Though these people were in physical captivity, today many are held captive by satan, under sin and its effects. They may look “free” to the outside world but are “in captivity” by their sinful habits, their wayward thinking, their chaotic emotions, unable to function in their God-intended purpose. Many are bound by their sinful way of life!
To be set free, there has to be a whole-hearted seeking of God, with an understanding that He only can free you from all that binds you. Jesus himself spoke of His mission: “He has sent me….to proclaim liberty to the captives… to set at liberty those who are oppressed…”(Luke 4:18). Those who are oppressed by satan can find their liberty in Christ! If you are oppressed in your spirit or body by sin or sinful habits, seek Christ earnestly and watch Him set you free! The truth in Christ shall make you free! (John 8:32)
A Finding (Vs.13&14): God would be found by them; He would restore them and in time bring them from captivity. When one truly desires to search for God, His truth, His ways, God will reward those who diligently seek Him! (Refer Hebrews 11:6) God’s love gives! He gave His Son as a substitute for you and me to be set free from the shackles of sin. He allows us to find Him when we seek Him from the heart! He finds us empty in all our seeking of the world and in desperation of wanting to be freed from those sinful habits! He waits with arms open wide to accept you and restore your life!
Would you surrender to God your life today? Can you tell Him: “Lord have Your way in me!” If you seek Him today, He will be found by you. Then the promise He gives in Jeremiah 29:11[NIV] will be meaningful to you: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Can we pray thus: “Like a rushing wind, Jesus breathe within…..Like a mighty storm stir within my soul,….Lord have Your way in me…I surrender” (lyrics of song: ‘I surrender’ ~Hillsong)
Listen: 'I surrender'