"Steps to Following"

"Pray that the Lord your God will tell us where we should go and what we should do." Jeremiah 42:3 (NIV)

Growing up is not always easy. As a child we tend to reject the discipline and guidance (at least some of it!) from our parents and often think about the day we can 'be on our own and do as we please.' We picture a life of no bosses and never doing anything we don't want to do. Well, when we do grow up we also realize life is just not that simple. We come to grips with the fact that obligations, duties, making a living and other sometimes "less than fun" stuff occupies our time! Welcome to adulthood. Likewise, we must grow up in our relationship with God. Have we matured in our walk with the Lord?

This passage recalls a turbulent time in the lives of the children of Israel. Hurting and scared they turned to the prophet Jeremiah for help in seeking direction from God. They seemed to realize their strength was gone and they sought help from Almighty God. Take a look at some key points in this lesson:

(Editors Note: Notice point number three below, it reflects the actual reason that they came to the prophet. cs)

Jeremiah warned these army officers that he would only give them the answer God instructed. Jeremiah knew their hard hearts and their tendencies to reject God. He knew they would not listen unless they heard what they wanted to hear. This example of 'selective hearing' is still common today - even in the Church. We can easily fall into the devil's trap of developing our own thinking about something and then going to God's Word in an effort to find support for our thinking! This leads to frustration and doubt because the end result is far removed from the will of God.

We may never (this side of heaven) fully understand the will of God in our life, but some attitudes can go a long way toward that goal:

Lastly, please understand and live a very important difference from Jeremiah's day and our life in Christ. In the Old Testament era the people would go to a prophet or priest to seek God's guidance. When Jesus died on that cross he paved a golden path directly to the throne of God. This means we can approach the throne of God directly because Jesus always lives to intercede for us to the Father! Praise the Lord for this wonderful blessing. Right now, without delay we can always seek God directly -- a very precious blessing reserved for His children. May God continue to bless your study of His Word.

by Gary Stone

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