Can You Hear Me Now?

But my people would not listen to me. They kept doing whatever they wanted, following the stubborn desires of their evil hearts. They went backward instead of forward. From the day your ancestors left Egypt until now, I have continued to send my servants, the prophets—day in and day out. Jeremiah 7:24-26

Have you ever had something important to say but no one seemed to be listening? Or, when speaking God’s truth, people talk over, dispute the meaning, or argue with you? Are there any teachers frustrated or discouraged by students disrupting the classroom? Parents, how do you feel about giving your children insight, God’s truth, and proper direction, only to see them wallowing in the ways of the world, instead of heeding your wise council?

How about pastors, preachers, and priests, who share the gospel message, but their congregants seem like sleepy spiritual sheep during the sermon? The prophet Jeremiah faced similar trials, so take heart, even though it seems no one is listening, keep doing what God has called you to do.

Being obedient to God’s calling should be cut and dried, easy-peasy, lemon squeezy, but we can be distracted, and driven off course. It takes a strong desire to please God above people. It takes a willingness to put yourself “out there” into a world which seems to be celebrating sin. You will not be popular, except when you play both sides of the fence. Thumbs-up for everyone! If you play both sides, be warned, there will be consequences for agreeing with sin, and failing to warn about sin.

I, the Lord search all hearts and examine secret motives. I give all people their due rewards according to what their actions deserve. Jeremiah 17:10

The message God gave Jeremiah was simple, direct, and to the point, “Repent and turn to God, or He will punish you.” So, what was the problem? People being people! The people rejected God’s message, choosing a season of sin rather than being the salt of the earth. No disruption to their rowdy routine. Sound familiar?

Ironically, Jeremiah thought he was too young to speak as God’s messenger. “O Sovereign Lord,” I said, “I can’t speak for you! I’m too young!” The Lord replied, “Don’t say, I’m too young, for you must go wherever I send you and say whatever I tell you. And don’t be afraid of the people, for I will be with you and will protect you. I, the Lord, have spoken!” Jeremiah 1:6-8

Sometimes we may listen to the wrong voices and think we are too young, old, or busy, to do what God has called us to do. Jeremiah took God at His Word and heard the importance of warning the people of Israel. He also endured the insults, persecution, and threats, while being ignored, ridiculed, and mocked. There were times he wanted to quit, oh so many times, but he persevered, and didn’t quit! God asked Jeremiah to do some hard things, things which seemed outside cultural norms, and he did them in the face of adversity. That’s true courage!

Not all of us are called to be prophets to the nations, but we are all called to care for others. Jeremiah was compassionate, weeping and praying for the people of Israel. Regardless of what is going on in the world, we cannot give up, we must endure and keep being strong during trials and disappointments. We must keep sharing the Message of Hope with everyone, even if they make fun of us, talk about us behind our backs, or even mock our commitment to the Lord on social media.

We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. Romans 5:3-4

People have not changed; their sin is the same. Oh, it may look different, even more culturally acceptable, but disobedience is disobedience. Look around. Do you see what is happening in our community and country? People are defending and glorifying sin. Those “Jeremiah” type people are being threatened, ridiculed, wrote about, and smashed on social media by robotic trolls who argue sin is good and that a loving God would not punish people.

So, what are we going to do about it? Sit back and say nothing, do nothing, keeping our heads in the Florida sand? I say, call in the Holy Ghost busters and turn this thing around! Stand strong in the Word of God and don’t back down! Can you imagine Jeremiah standing up in front of the Chamber of Commerce or the Rooster Booster meetings delivering God’s message to a packed room of your peers? That would change the way we do business!

Satan is sly, slippery, and will convince you to believe your own lie. But there is nothing the evil one can offer that will measure up to the Hope of Jesus Christ! God’s plans are bigger than anything we can imagine this side of heaven.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11

The “Can you hear me now” commercials emphasized the ability to hear what was being said. God wants us to take it a step further and turn away from sin and turn towards Him. Then He can tell you about the plans He has for you! His plans give us hope for the future, and strength for today!

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