Jeremiah 29:10-14~”This is what the Lord says: “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place. For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.”
In today’s scripture, we learn the Lord intended to leave His people in exile for seventy years. WOW. Imagine being shut out for that long. Not being able to go to your home? I struggle after a week of with feeling like I’m in exile. Let alone a year or even seventy years.
We don’t know from this scripture why God had them in exile for so long. We can only assume it was to fulfill a plan and a purpose of His. But then we read that when the seventy years is up, He is bringing them back to their home; back to their land; back to His promise.
He does this because His plans for His people are good. Plans to prosper and not harm them. What I think is interesting, and key to this scripture, is verse 13, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”
See, this is where I think we forget our responsibility to our faith.
The scripture lays it out like this: His plans for us are good. Then we call on Him and pray to Him. He listens. We seek and find Him when we seek him with all our heart. We find Him. He brings us back from captivity.
We become slaves to many things. By the shame of our past decisions. Or by the hurt and betrayal caused by another. And by unforgiveness. And it’s up to us to determine how long we live in this state of self-imposed captivity.
God will always meet us where we are. But once He meets us, we have to choose to take the next step.
We have to choose to call on Him, come to Him, and pray to Him. And we have to choose to say to ourselves that enough is enough. Also, we have to be ready to move on and come out of exile. He never intends for us to carry the emotional hurt and baggage we often carry.
‘You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you.’
These are God’s words to all His people; then, and now.
We must seek Him with every fiber of our heart in order to find Him. This is something I’ve neglected recently. I guess you could say I had temporary amnesia and forgot that God wants my whole heart.
I’m so glad God never leaves us. I’m so glad that, in preparing to write this post, He brought to my memory this important element of my faith.