Obedience or Lip Service?

Jeremiah 40-43

42:5-6 – The remnant in Judah (after Babylonian captivity) came to Jeremiah to ask him to pray for them and tell them God’s will. They said, “Whether it is favorable or unfavorable, we will obey the LORD our God, to whom we are sending you, so that it will go well with us, for we will obey the LORD our God.” This sounds great. They are ready to obey whatever God says. But when Jeremiah returned with God’s message in v. 8-22; they replied in 43:1-3 – v. 2 “You are lying! The LORD our God has not sent you to say, ‘You must not go to Egypt to settle there.’ They refused to believe him and they disobeyed the word of God. V. 7 “So they entered Egypt in disobedience to the LORD…”

These people said they were ready to obey God no matter what He said. They claimed they wanted to know His will whether it was favorable or unfavorable. In truth, they just wanted God to approve what they wanted to do. Their lips claimed to want to obey God but their hearts insisted in going their own way. Just saying we want to know God’s will and obey Him is not obedience. Our actions must show we are willing to obey Him. God knows our hearts even as we are speaking. He knows when we say the words if we truly want to obey His will or if we are just asking for Him to approve our own will.

Father, I confess there are times when I say I want to know and obey your will yet in my heart I know there are things I am not willing to do or give up. Please forgive me! Please help me to come to you with a willing heart. I want my heart to be open to whatever you say. I want to be ready to obey you even if it is not what I want. I want to say as Jesus did, “Not my will but yours be done.” I can’t do it in my own strength. Please fill me with your Spirit and empower me to walk in obedience to your word. In the name of our Lord Jesus I pray.

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Filed under Bible, Jeremiah, Obedience

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