The Lord Is With Me

Monday, March 18, 2013, 7:46 a.m. – the Lord Jesus woke me with the song “Sing Praises” playing in my mind. Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening. I read Jeremiah 18-20, but will summarize most and quote only some.

The Potter’s House

Jeremiah was instructed by the Lord to go to the Potter’s house and there God would give him a message. So, Jeremiah went, and there he saw the potter working at his wheel. “The pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him.” Then, the Lord said, “Can I not do with you, Israel, as this potter does?”

God/Jesus is our potter and we are the clay (see Rom. 9; 2 Co. 4:7; 2 Tim. 2:20). And, he does have the right to do with us just as this potter did with his clay, because he is God – our creator, Savior, Master & sustainer. If he announces disaster to any nation, and if that nation repents of its evil, then he will relent and not inflict the disaster he promised, but if he announces blessings, provisions and abundance, and if that nation does evil in his sight and does not obey him, then he will reconsider the good he had intended for it.

So, Jeremiah did as the Lord said and he told the people that God was preparing disaster for them, so they were to turn from their evil ways, and reform their ways and their actions. I believe the Lord is giving a similar message to his unrepentant and adulterous and idolatrous church of today. A lot of people have the idea that judgment only means the final judgment, but we read in Revelation of the judgments of the final days, and we read in other New Testament passages concerning our Lord’s divine discipline (judgment) he will bring on his church because he loves her, and because he wants her to turn from her evil ways; and to reform her ways and her actions (see Rev 2-3; 1 Co. 11:31-32; Heb. 10:29-31; 12:6; cf. the book of Isaiah). This is called repentance.

The Evil Plan

The people were not happy with the messages Jeremiah was assigned by the Lord to give to the people, so they concocted a plan against him. They said, “Come, let’s attack him with our tongues and pay no attention to anything he says.” So, Jeremiah prayed to the Lord:

Listen to me, Lord;
hear what my accusers are saying!
Should good be repaid with evil?
Yet they have dug a pit for me.
Remember that I stood before you
and spoke in their behalf
to turn your wrath away from them.

Jeremiah was just serving his Lord. He was just obeying God. Yet, he also loved his people very much, and he did speak often to God on their behalf. He did only good to the people, yet they did not see it as good, and so they chose to repay his good with evil, i.e. to attack him with their words, and to pay no attention to anything he said.

Opposition and Resistance

When we give out God’s full gospel message, we may meet with some of that same type of response as what Jeremiah faced. Not many people want to hear that they have to daily die to their sins and to self-will, and that they have to walk in obedience to Christ (see Luke 9:23-25); that they have to be transformed in heart and mind of the Spirit of God, and that they have to live completely new lives, “created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” (see Eph. 4:17-24); and that they should no longer conform their lives to the pattern of this world, but they should live lives holy and pleasing to God (see Rom. 12:1-2).

They also probably don’t want to hear that they must love Christ above all else – above family, possessions, their own desires and goals for their lives, etc. He must be first place in our lives and in our hearts! And, I am quite sure many don’t want to hear that following Christ with their lives may cost them their reputations, their friendships, their homes, possessions, career choices, et al, and that they will be hated and persecuted for their faith and testimony for Jesus Christ, even by members of their own families.

So, if we are giving out the true gospel message to people, we are likely to face some of the same resistance as what Jeremiah faced, because many people do not want to give up their own way of living and to have to reform their ways and their actions in order to be pleasing to God and to his service. They will even make up lies and try to convince people that a loving God would not require anything of us – no repentance, no obedience. And, they will try to convince the people, as well, that God will never discipline us (judge us) for our idolatrous and adulterous ways. Yet, does this even compute with a loving parent? What loving parent would permit his child to keep doing wrong and to never correct him or to never try to instruct him in the right way that he should go?

The Lord is With Me

When Jeremiah gave the people the messages from the Lord the priest Pashhur had Jeremiah beaten and put in the stocks, yet he released him the next day.

In America we have not yet to face much of this kind of persecution for preaching the true gospel of Jesus Christ, but it is coming to America, just as it has come to so many other nations throughout the world. And, I believe it is coming to shake up the church, to get us on our knees in repentance, to get us to turn back to our God in faith and obedience, and to get us to reform our ways and our actions so that we do live lives holy and pleasing to God.

Jeremiah then voiced a prayer to God that was a mixture of faith and trust in God and also of much emotion and pain due to all the suffering that he had to endure for speaking God’s truths to the people. He said (only quoting part of his prayer):

I am ridiculed all day long;
everyone mocks me.
Whenever I speak, I cry out
proclaiming violence and destruction.
So the word of the Lord has brought me
insult and reproach all day long.
But if I say, “I will not mention his word
or speak anymore in his name,”
his word is in my heart like a fire,
a fire shut up in my bones.
I am weary of holding it in;
indeed, I cannot.
I hear many whispering,
“Terror on every side!
Denounce him! Let’s denounce him!”
All my friends
are waiting for me to slip, saying,
“Perhaps he will be deceived;
then we will prevail over him
and take our revenge on him.”

But the Lord is with me like a mighty warrior;
so my persecutors will stumble and not prevail.
They will fail and be thoroughly disgraced;
their dishonor will never be forgotten.
Lord Almighty, you who examine the righteous
and probe the heart and mind,
let me see your vengeance on them,
for to you I have committed my cause.

Sing to the Lord!
Give praise to the Lord!
He rescues the life of the needy
from the hands of the wicked.

So, if you are giving testimony to the Lord and to his true gospel, and if you are calling the people of God (the church) to renewed faith, repentance and to reformation of their ways, and if you, as a result of your obedience to the Lord, are being faced with much resistance and opposition, then be encouraged. The Lord is with you like a mighty warrior!! Don’t get discouraged, and don’t ever give up! Keep on sharing your faith, and keep on giving forth God’s messages from his holy word, and do not hold them inside out of fear of what others will think of you, say about you or do to you. You may not be voted “Most Popular” while you live on the face of this earth, but you will be rewarded in heaven! So, give thanks to the Lord and sing praises to him, for he rescues the needy from the hands of the wicked.

Sing Praises / An Original Work / November 30, 2012

Based off Psalms 6-9

Sing praises to the Lord!
Tell of His wondrous works.
Afflicted, they cry out;
The Lord will not forget;
The needy, not desert.

The Lord’s our refuge now;
A stronghold when we fear.
The Lord will ne’er forsake
The ones, who Him pursue!

Sing praises to the Lord!
With all my heart I sing.
I will rejoice in Him;
Sing praises to His name;
Tell of His wondrous works.

My shield is God Most High.
He saves those who believe
In Jesus Christ, God’s Son.
His grace has pardoned you!

The Lord accepts my prayer!
The Lord has heard my cries.
He is so merciful.
He heals my anguished soul.
The Lord has made me whole.

Give thanks unto the Lord.
Give praise unto His name.
Our Lord is righteousness.
Sing praises to the Lord!