Summary: God calls us to follow Him. He will bless us when we put aside our plans and embrace His plans.
Called . . . GO!
July 12, 2020
Have you ever been involved in a scavenger hunt? You know, it’s when you have clues, and each clue that you solve, leads you to the next clue and so on. It could be really extravagant or pretty simple. It could take a few minutes to taking hours. Whether you like the scavenger hunts really depends on your personality. I have not been gifted with an extreme amount of patience, so scavenger hunts can lose their luster after a few minutes. For some, they are met with lots of excitement and enthusiasm.
Now that I said I am not a fan of scavenger hunts, I don’t want you to surprise me with one. But I will tell you as I was preparing for this message, it struck me that if we are willing, life is like one cosmic God ordained divine scavenger hunt! And this type of scavenger hunt is really cool if we are willing to move along with God in the process.
But sometimes we get in the way and we change the rules or try to make the game go in a different direction. It’s kind of like this - - the clue is - what are you supposed to read everyday for spiritual enrichment. And your answer is “oh, that’s easy, the comic page!” And now you’re moving in the wrong direction.
There’s a passage, a really, really popular passage which helps us. It’s found in the book of Jeremiah. Jeremiah was a prophet while the Jewish people were in exile. It was somewhere around 580 BC. He was writing to the people to give them hope. In that message of hope, he passed on a message from God - -
11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
I believe that’s meant for us individually and for us corporately. I believe when we believe this and trust in the fact that God has a plan for us, we will trust Him for all of our needs - which includes our future. We will trust that God’s plans are good and are meant to bring us good and never evil.
Why do I say it that way? Because of what Jeremiah said next - in verses 12-14 --
12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you.
13 You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.
14 I will be found by you, declares the Lord.
Notice how verse 12 starts - - THEN YOU WILL CALL ON ME and COME and PRAY to ME. That’s really important! It’s crucial. Think of it this way - - If we don’t believe what God is offering us, then to be really honest, we’re not going to gravitate towards God. We’re not going to believe Him. We’re going to be leery in trusting God.
That’s what I’m reading here. When God says I have plans for you. Those plans are for good, it’s not for evil. It’s to bring you a hope and a future. Those are great plans! Aren’t they?!
But - if I don’t believe God really cares. Or if I don’t believe God can really make it happen, then I’m going to take matters into my own hands. I believe I can control my future better than God can. Even if that doesn’t make sense, it’s how our thought process moves. So, we take hold of what we can to make life happen.
When you look at those next verses, God is telling us, once we really believe and trust in His promises, then . . .
We will come to Him and pray to Him AND we will seek Him with our whole heart THEN God says I will hear you AND you will find me. It’s the image of being in a relationship with God. It’s something for us to strive after and cultivate.
We need to really take a look at how often we are called to come to God. He gives us promises, but we have to trust in those very promises by God. That’s another sermon series. Because it’s really cool how God works on that.
I think we’ve learned life doesn’t always make sense . . . does it? There’s a lot about 2020 that isn’t really making sense right now! Consider this passage from the brother of Jesus in James 4 --
13 Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit” -