Yes, this is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: “Do not let the prophets and diviners among you deceive you. Do not listen to the dreams you encourage them to have. They are prophesying lies to you in my name. I have not sent them,” declares the Lord . This is what the Lord says: “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place. 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. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord , “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the Lord , “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.” Jeremiah 29:8-14 NIV
Sounds a little familiar. For the past year there have been all kinds of prophecies about the upcoming election and there are those who really believed those things would be fulfilled and thought they understood what God was going to do and things were going to soon be great. I admit, I may or may not have been guilty. Now the results are in and things aren't what some were counting on. I'm sure there is a lot of confusion and doubt and wonder about what just happened. A few weeks back pastor Rob preached a sermon from John about how the disciples thought they knew what was going to happen. Jesus was surely going to become the King and everything was going to be great then Jesus ends up dying. I have been thinking a lot about what was going on in their minds. The doubts and confusion. Someone they had been with for 3 years and they were sure they knew how things were going to be and now it's over, or so it seemed at the time. Had they just given up everything they had and known and followed someone who turned out to just be misleading them. I've had those feelings. I thought I knew how things were going to turn out and when they didn't I was confused and started wondering if maybe I was wrong about everything I had believed in. There is a verse in Proverbs I think really helps.
Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
For the disciples, they may have been leaning on their own understanding and when things went different than the way they thought they should have, they forgot all the things Jesus had told them and doubts and confusion were in their minds. They forgot that this was the same one who had healed people from all kinds of diseases and raised people from the dead. The same thing happens to me. I start relying on my own understanding and when things don't turn out the way I thought they were supposed to I forget all the great things God has done in my life and questions and doubts start coming to me. I forget who has been with me for the past 70 years and has protected me and my family from so many things that could have turned out tragic but didn't. He is the same one who healed our granddaughters heart when it was discovered to have a hole in it while she was still in the womb, later to be checked and not a trace of the hole could be found. I have a list that goes on and on and still I have doubts whenever I lean on my own understanding rather than submitting all my ways to him.
I have a paper tablet on my end table with verses that show where my path is leading and I try to remember to go to it when I'm filled with doubts because of those times of leaning on my own understanding. All of these verses remind me of who God is and point to the day when I will be with Him forever, no more pain, suffering, confusion, doubt. I just need to submit to the one who right now has all authority over every leader of every land, who has all truth, all knowledge, all power and healing, all love, all peace and all joy.
Submit to Him and let Him make your path straight.
by Ken Edgerly