Reflections on Jeremiah 23:22
"But if they had stood in My council, then they would have announced My words to My people,
And would have turned them back from their evil way and from the evil of their deeds.
Jeremiah is a book calling the people of Israel to repentance, return, and reform. Chapter 23 is an interesting excerpt that speaks directly to the prophets. It calls out prophets who hear another’s prophecy and declares it themselves as if God spoke through them. They are prophecy thieves. It is amazing to see how frustrated this makes God. This brings us to verse 22…a verse I think we can walk away from with some things to process. If we were to break down this passage into an equation, it would look something like this:
God’s presence + Speaking the Word/Truth = Life change (people turning from evil)
Take out any of these components, and you are left with some manufactured, self satisfying quest that ultimately ends up hollow, misdirected, and heresy. Just a thought about each of these:
First: Standing in God’s presence is essential. If we are just people who look to others insights into the Word, we are claiming the credit of somebody else’s spiritual inspiration. If the Holy Spirit is living in us, we trust that he also speaks to us. This is a significant part of the Christian faith…don’t cheapen it to simply living on “repeat”.
Second: Announcing God’s Words. The quote: “preach the gospel, and when necessary…use words” has birthed a false movement of people thinking intentional speaking is overrated. Ultimately, it’s become the banner for a passive culture of “Christians” terrified to speak truth. While lifestyle is necessary, it is the follow up and affirmation of God’s word boldly proclaimed in Grace and Truth.
Third: Turn from Evil. Here is a simple statement worth contemplating: Sin blocks intimacy with God. In fact, slowing down and over-pronouncing the word intimacy leaves you with something close to
In-to-me-you-see. It is putting feet to the whole concept of Abide…that I am “in Christ” and that Christ lives “in me”. Christ actually sees into the very heart of who I am. Sin kills this. Lamentations describes this well:
We have sinned and rebelled and you have not forgiven.
44 You have covered yourself with a cloud so that no prayer can get through.
When Sin exists, it hinders us from experiencing the presence of God.
Meditate on this “equation” today and see which area you need to apply directly to your life. Let this be just one way that together we are being “transformed by the renewing of our minds”.
~Deep thoughts from a Shallow guy~