Mapping Your Path
Jeremiah 29:11-14 (NASB) 11 "For I know the plans I have for you", declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you, declares the LORD, and I will restore your fortunes and will gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I Have driven you, declares the LORD, and I will bring you back to the place from where I sent you into exile."
Jeremiah was one of the most strategically placed prophets that God used to serve Israel. Why? He was bold, not afraid to speak what God had placed upon him to speak. He was speaking to the Jews, God's chosen people, to try to restore their relationship to God. Because of Israel's repeated disobedience and the failure of previous prophets to be bold in speaking God's word, Jerusalem was taken over by Babylon, exiled, placed into captivity.
Israel lost their way again. Distracted by the sin of self indulgence. They became complacent, disobedient, and apathetic toward the discipline of God. Corruption occurred both in leadership and in the people. Sin overtook them allowing God's wrath to be implemented.
Persecution is a discipline that restores direction. As the verses read, if the people of Israel would again seek God intentionally with all of their heart, God would hear them and help them to be restored and lead away from the captivity of their enemy. Are you captured by your enemy...sin? Are you disassociated from God?
You and I must follow God's plan, a map if you will in order to know the direction that leads us to Christ. Where are you on the map? Do you know your place? Are you secure in your footing (in God's perfect will) or are you lost?
If you are lost, do not be haunted with the insecurity of not knowing your location. Stay in place, do not try to find your way out. If you do, you may never be rescued. Instead, renew your mind. Seek God, pray to Him and ask Him to be with you. His presence provides you security in mind, body, and spirit. Pull out your map and compass (Bible). READ IT! MEDITATE ON IT! DO IT! God will reveal your location. Then, He will direct your steps and lead you to where He can be found. An intimate genuine relationship with Him.
How can you know if you are on the right path or lost in the woods? Here are some important questions to answer.
1. Have I received Jesus Christ as my savior?
2. Have I professed my faith to others?
3. Do I read the Bible and understand it?
4. Am I burdened with any strongholds (i.e. addictions, anger, guilt, shame, unforgiveness, past hurts..etc.)?
5. Am I being transformed, released from strongholds?
6. Have I accepted my call, taken ownership of what I have been commissioned (Matt 28:19-20) to do; make disciples?
7. Am I living according to the two great commandments (Matt 22:37-39)? Am I loving God with all my heart, mind, and soul (intimacy)? Am I reflecting that love with those He has placed in my life...my family, friends, and neighbors?
8. Am I available, teaching others about how to grow in intimacy with Christ?
9. Do I meditate on the promises of God found throughout the Bible, past...present...and future? Do I accept the value and importance of understanding both the Old and New testaments?
These markers help you to identify your place on the map that marks the path toward righteousness or fulfillment in Christ. Follow the map. Do not get intimidated with the topography. God can move mountains (Matt 17:20) . Renew your direction. Respond to the call.