Summary: Christians have taken their lives out of the hands of Jesus and put them into the hands of men. How did this happen?
I probably watched a total of 10 minutes of both the Republican and Democrat party conventions combined. And that may be a stretch. My wife probably thinks it’s funny. Each election I volunteer to work the polls in our county and yet I have little to no interest in politics.
However, I did skim articles about the conventions which, quite honestly, sent the same message: we want a president who will right the wrongs in this country. Then again, that’s been true for every presidential election.
We elect a president and give him a “to do list” – “fix” the economy, “fix” gun violence, “fix” the education system, “fix” government corruption, etc. When he leaves office, the “to do list” remains virtually “unfixed” and covered in “Band-Aids”.
Ecclesiastes 1:9 captures the essence of this quite nicely. “The thing that has been – it is what will be again, and that which has been done is that which will be done again; and there is nothing new under the sun.” (Amplified)
What we are witnessing in our country today truly breaks my heart. (I’ve said that a lot lately.) Christians are continuing to put more faith in what man can do for them than what Jesus has already done for them. Satan has slowly and methodically stolen the Word of God from us – through the things we see, hear and experience – so that Jesus is not our first thought when life become unpleasant.
The reporting of the conventions showed me that many Christians no longer believe Jesus can influence change in America. They have essentially told Jesus what the good witch told the wicked witch in the Wizard of Oz: “You have no power here.” Today she would be right in many ways. I can’t believe I just said that.
We have put Jesus in a “religious box” – you know the one we only open and use on Sundays and Wednesdays. He is not truly part of our lives anymore unless we need prayer for something. Ouch! The prophet Jeremiah describes it this way: “Thus saith the Lord; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord.” (Jeremiah 17:5)
I see in this verse the heartbeat of many in the Body of Christ.
Over the years, we have fallen out of sync with the rhythmic beating of Jesus’ heart. We have slowly developed another heart – a heart whose rhythm makes it easier for us to survive in this world. We believe we are in sync with Jesus – but we’re not. We believe we are not missing a beat – but we are.
This, in part, is what the word “departeth” communicates. By our actions, we have turned our backs on Jesus. We no longer trust Him with all our heart (Proverbs 3:5).
Don’t misunderstand me. I don’t believe Christians are purposely rejecting Jesus. But many have been deceived. They have strayed from the sheepfold and are not hearing the Shepherd’s voice (John 10:4). Instead, they are hearing and following the voices of strangers (John 10:5) who are often found in the pulpits of their churches.
How did we get to the place of taking our lives out of the hands of Jesus and putting them into the hands of men? I believe Jeremiah 17:5 holds the answer. Let’s read it again. “Thus saith the Lord; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord.”
Jeremiahs tells us “Cursed be the man that trusted in man.” Let’s read it this way: “You were not cursed until you rejected Me and began to trust and rely on man.”
How are we cursed? First, let’s make sure we understand something: Jeremiah is talking to people who have a covenant relationship with God – a relationship in which He, their covenant partner, has already made a commitment to take care of them – no matter what. When they didn’t seek Him in their time of need, they were telling God “We don’t believe you will keep your word.”
Christians don’t have a covenant with God. We have something more binding and more personal than a covenant. We have God’s DNA. We are His sons and daughters! “Beloved, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God ... Beloved, now are we the sons of God ...” (I John 3:1a, 2a)
When we place our trust, our confidence, in man we bring a curse upon ourselves and open the door for evil to come into our lives and affect our health, our finances, our children, and our jobs and so on.
The word “man” in Jeremiah 17:5 is repeated because they are two different Hebrew words. The first is “a strong man” and the second is a “frail man.” Why point this out? We are the “strong man” because God is our Father. He is not the father of the “frail man” – the man who is not born again. Let that sink in.