Jeremiah 42:4-6 Then Jeremiah the prophet said to them, “I have heard. Indeed, I will pray to the Lord your God according to your words, and it shall be, that whatever the Lord answers you, I will declare it to you. I will keep nothing back from you.” So they said to Jeremiah, “Let the Lord be a true and faithful witness between us, if we do not do according to everything which the Lord your God sends us by you. Whether it is pleasing or displeasing, we will obey the voice of the Lord our God to whom we send you, that it may be well with us when we obey the voice of the Lord our God.”
When I read this, there were a couple trains of thought; People trusted the voice of the prophet. They knew he heard Gods voice and that what he said was an echo of God himself. Secondly, the choice to obey is always ours to keep or break, but if we obey, all will be well with us.
How do we know a true prophet and if he hears from God? Well, the words he speaks will line up with the words God speaks. You see, there is responsibility on our end to know the Word of God well enough and have the Spirit of God in us to discern between right and wrong, good and evil. A Prophet is not a fortune teller. He isn’t there to speak a ‘feel good’ word to you. There will always be a witness in your spirit as to whether that word was indeed for you or not. I have hung onto a typed prophetic word and tucked it in my bible since 1986. Today, so much of that word has been fulfilled in my life that it amazes me each time I look at it. That word was for a specific time for me and I sensed that.
There have been men and women of God who have spoke into me and the phrases they used, God had said to me that very morning. That’s confirmation of something God has been speaking into your spirit. Don’t overlook those voices in your life. Prophesy will exhort and not tear down. It will confirm and not confuse.
The last part of this has to do with something we all struggle with; obedience. “Whether it is pleasing or displeasing, we will obey the voice of the Lord our God to whom we send you, that it may be well with us when we obey the voice of the Lord our God.” Obey or disobey, that is the question. We want to hear, to know, but obey…….These men seriously knew that whatever they heard, they had to do it because God had spoken it. Many of us just keep asking until we get the answer we want to hear, than we do it. That’s NOT how this works. All throughout the Bible you hear phrases that state, ‘If you will obey, I will bless or all will be well with you.’
We have a mindset that a sacrifice would be better, but God doesn’t want that, he wants obedience. It’s like when we instruct our children to wash all the dishes, dry them and put them away and they only wash them. They didn’t obey, did they. They did what they wanted rather than what they were asked. What do we do? Make them go back out and finish the job. Why? Because that is where they learn obedience. If you do it for them, they learn that when they do what they want, someone will pick up the slack. That is not obedience. We must be example of obedience and teach it to our children so that they value the importance of obedience. Don’t just be an enforcer, be a model.
Father, first I’d like to repent for any and all disobedience. I know that no one suffers like me, but also the example I am to others suffers as well. I know that you always love me, just as I love my own children, but I don’t want to leave something undone that you’ve asked me to do. I want to finish well not just crawl across the finish line. Remind me again why I’m in the race; it’s to cross the line with a crowd, not be a solo winner. I don’t have to understand my marching orders. Mine is to do what you ask of me. I thank you that I hear your voice and another I will not follow. My heart is set on you both to will and do your good pleasure.