"If you return to me, I will restore you so you can continue to serve Me. If you speak good words rather than worthless ones, you will be my spokesman. You must influence them; do not let them influence you! They will fight against you like an attacking army, but I will make you as secure as a fortified wall of bronze. They will not conquer you, for I am with you to protect and rescue you. I the Lord have spoken!" (Jeremiah 15:19-20)
I love when I'm in the midst of a Bible study or a sermon and the message takes me to a verse or a passage of scripture and I feel a little nudge from the Spirit to read further. That happened this morning. In a study I'm doing, the reference was actually verse 16 - "When I discovered Your words, I devoured them. They are my joy and my heart's delight, for I bear Your name, O Lord God of Heaven's Armies." I read that verse over several times and was pondering on the aspect of feasting on God's word when I felt that nudge from the Spirit. When He took me further in the chapter I was overwhelmed. I knew the Lord was speaking directly to me... piecing these verses together...
The Lord has been drawing me to His Word lately in a way in which I can not really describe. It's a good thing... a necessary thing. This morning... it was as if I couldn't get enough of the Word and I wanted to hear all that He was speaking to me. Even now... as I look at each verse there is so much.
"If you return to me, I will restore you so you can continue to serve me." I haven't strayed away from the Lord like I once did in the past but I have let other things crowd my vision... I have become distracted by the daily things, busyness, food, errands, answering emails... you name it. What I felt the Lord saying to me though as I was feeling the "devouring of His Words" was, that if I invest the time to return to Him... to have His Word fill up my time... as I listen to His voice and His leading... He will restore my life, my heart and my mind to serve Him more fully.
"If you speak good words rather than worthless ones, you will be my spokesman." I hung my head... how many times have I spoken worthless words? How many times have I joined in on a discussion about someone? How many times have I spoken words that tore down rather than built up? I long to be His spokesman! I long to speak good words... HIS words... to the people He has in my life. "You must influence them; do not let them influence you!" I felt the Lord saying to me... don't join in with people when they're talking about others. Don't let them influence your judgement or your perspective... YOU influence them! When they speak badly... speak good words. Words that lift up the conversation.
"They will fight against you like an attacking army, but I will make you as secure as a fortified wall of bronze. They will not conquer you, for I am with you to protect and rescue you. I the Lord have spoken!" It is challenging to go against the crowd... It is challenging to do or say something I believe the Lord is calling me to do or say. The enemy fights against us like an attacking army... but look... His word says He will make me as secure as a fortified wall of BRONZE! They will NOT conquer me for He IS with me and will protect and rescue me! Isn't that so... awesome!!
Here it is for you... I have struggled with my weight for YEARS! The up and down cycle of the scale... it's so frustrating. I have been really seeking God on it lately because I really believe there are reasons behind why I eat too much. I know some is a feeling of comfort, some is boredom, some is feeling like I deserve a reward after studying or doing something hard. He has been talking to me for several weeks on how in many ways... food has become an idol to me. I was seeking my comfort and reward in food... something that doesn't satisfy. He has been encouraging me to come and feast on His Word FIRST before I go for food... What He has been showing me has been.... so.... good. Already I feel... as I have been returning my focus to Him... He is restoring my soul, my heart, my mind, my body so I can continue to serve Him in a much deeper way. As I devour His Words... good words rather than worthless ones... will flow out of my mouth and I will be His spokesman. As I feast on His Words.... I will be an influencer... rather than being influenced by those around me. As I sit before Him daily... taking in His Words and listening to His voice... He will make me strong and will protect and rescue me from the attacking army!! The Lord has spoken!!
Lord, I long to be satisfied in You. Please forgive me for getting distracted, for letting my focus be on the temporary rather than on YOU... Forgive me for being influenced by the world, by food, by people around me. Forgive me for speaking worthless words. Father I give myself to You once again... Restore my soul. Restore my heart, mind and body for YOUR glory. As I seek to devour Your words... may Your words be the words that I speak. Thank You for being my help, my protector and my rescuer. My whole being longs to follow hard after you and to cling closely to you! Be my guide. Show me Your ways. Let Your words flow out of my mouth.