How to get what you want.
Hey there! Glad you dropped in. Grab a libation and take a seat. Let’s look at some promises from God.
Jeremiah wrote these words given by God to His people, Israel.
If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. I will be found by you,” says the Lord. “I will end your captivity and restore your fortunes. I will gather you out of the nations where I sent you and will bring you home again to your own land.”
I don’t think it’s a stretch to believe He means these words for us, too.
Let’s break it down a bit and try to learn what God might be saying to us today.
If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.
God is right where He’s been all along. He doesn’t change. We do.
Have you ever been someplace unfamiliar to you and gotten lost? It can seem like this path is the one you came to that point on, but when you’ve gone a substantial distance on the path, you realize you’re further from where you started. You turn and move on and retrace and try to get the direction right – over and over until you finally do.
When these words were said to Israel, the nation was choosing to follow its own path, intentionally refusing God’s invitation to return to His side where He would guide their every step and provide for their every need, including safety from those who would choose to destroy them.
He tells them here that they are going to face the consequences of their choices and He explains the consequences.
But God doesn’t stop there! He explains what will happen when the discipline is done.
As believers we are Israel. We are God’s Chosen People. Maybe you’ve been choosing to walk a path that has taken you away from God, away from His presence, out of His protection. Maybe you’re smack dab in the middle of a consequence you don’t like.
What a relief to know that once you give up that notion of living without Him, once you put the energy into looking for Him – when you run after Him with the passion you chased after your own way – you will find Him!
Let’s say you’ve been walking the path of addiction. You’ve let your desire for the next high keep moving you further and further from God as you place yourself on the throne in His place.
Now you’ve reached your rock bottom. Maybe you’ve lost friends, your job, your home. Maybe even your family.
Getting all those things back will require a lot of hard work – and restoration to how it used to be may not happen.
God’s promise here is that when you put in that hard work – the surrender – restoration will happen. Period. Done deal. Guaranteed.
Whew! Anyone got teary eyes yet? Oh. Must be something in the air here. Ahem. Okay. Back to the scripture.
I will end your captivity…
Whatever your captivity is – pills, shopping, sex, porn, perfectionism, alcohol, drugs, grief, abuse – when you surrender the reins of you to God and search for Him, He will end it!
Are you still going to have cravings? Maybe. Prisoners of any war have to deal with the remnants of the captivity.
But the captivity itself?
Gone. Done. Over. No more.
… restore your fortunes.
Will He give you back everything your choices destroyed like you never did anything? Maybe not. But your fortunes will be restored. The good things in life will exist again.
You’ll have friends. You’ll get jobs. You’ll have a home. You might even have family – maybe even the old one!
I will gather you out of the nations where I sent you and will bring you home again to your own land.
That place of discipline where life doesn’t seem so great? When you surrender to chase after God’s choices more than your own, He will gather you up from that land, that nation, and bring you home.
Where you belong.
Maybe today’s your day to start that hard work of searching wholeheartedly for God. The rewards will be even better than you can imagine.
Ahh, darn. I’ve got to run. I have to get a tissue. Must be my allergies… until next time.
Women's speaker, wife, mom & grandmother who loves to teach God's Word, drink coffee, cheer on her favorite football teams and capture nature and architecture with her camera. Faye is the author of Ramblings From the Shower | Integrity, Faith and Other Simple Yet Slippery Issues.