“See, I have set you this day over nations and over kingdoms, to pluck up and to break down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant.” Jeremiah 1:10
God knows us before we know ourselves. He is willing and able to equip us for what He has appointed us to do. But when I opened my Bible to Jeremiah 1 recently, I saw that I had written the word, “What?” twice next to Jeremiah 1:10. I was prompting myself to ponder and execute something important.
Will you do it with me?
Grab a notebook or your journal and let’s make a list!
What in my life can I pluck up?
Like weeds, these are the little things we do each day that we know aren’t good for us but are easy to eliminate. For example, a TV show or a bad habit that hurts your body (1 Corinthians 6:19).
What in my life can I break down?
These are bigger, more established structures in our lives. For example, a wall of conflict with a loved one or a codependent relationship.
What in my life can I destroy?
These are the things that we need to walk away from altogether. For example, a stronghold like an addiction or inappropriate relationship.
What in my life can I overthrow?
Here we have the fears, the anxieties, the negative self-talk, all the things that keep us from moving forward.
Each of the things on your list, either hinder your walk by tripping you up in some way, or place a wall of divide between you and God altogether. But once each thing is gone, there will be gaps. For the bigger things, there might even be trenches that are hard to cross.
How do we fill those holes in? We build and we plant.
What can I build in my life?
First of all, our relationship with God needs to be edified. More time in prayer and in The Word and in fellowship with other believers. Secondly, we need to build our lives in Him. Our careers, education and home lives need to all come under Christ’s sovereignty.
What can I plant?
We plant seeds of love, hope and encouragement through our testimony of how we’ve destroyed the evil in our lives and replaced it all with Jesus’ redeeming goodness. Your story is a story of repentance, and it serves as a model for others to follow as they come to know Christ through you.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 2 Corinthians 5:17
Sometimes it’s difficult to hear God. We cry out to Him. We ask for clarity. But it appears that we’re facing a brick wall and we wonder if we’re going to have to guess our way through life.
We look to the people around us, we scroll for the answers online. We see people speaking and acting on what God has told them and the comparison game starts to play in our heads. “God, You speak to her and not to me? What gives?” We question our worth, especially to Him. Why won’t God speak to us?
This is my question as I type this. “God, I asked You for a word of encouragement to share with my sisters, and nothing?” I stop and I listen. I aimlessly turn the pages of my Bible. I read back on old journal entries. There are lots of promising possibilities, but nothing says that this is God’s word for this moment. I don’t want a God word of my choosing. I want the message to be entirely from Him.
I recall David, in his agony, on the run from Saul or Absalom, crying out in anguish to God:
How long, O LORD? Will You forget me forever? How long will You hide Your face from me? Psalm 13:1
This isn’t the only Psalm like this. David felt it. Abandoned and alone. Left to fend for himself. As if God had indeed forgotten him. We all know though, that that’s not the case.
If David felt like that, it shouldn’t be a surprise that we go through the same thing. God seems completely silent. We feel lost and adrift.
But if we have a relationship with God, like David did, we should know that He is a God we can trust. When the future is uncertain, we can remember all the times that God has come through for us in the past. We can remember all the times that His methods to save seemed unorthodox at first, but He always came through somehow.
If we are in His Word, we understand His character. We know that when He says, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” He means it.
David understood that. In fact, even though he started Psalm 13 feeling sorry for himself (as we all tend to feel at times), he ends it with renewed trust and praise.
But I have trusted in Your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in Your salvation. I will sing to the LORD, because He has dealt bountifully with me. Psalm 13:5-6
Remember His goodness, renew your trust in Him and rejoice. You’ll hear from Him when the time is right.