Anything but That
You sent me to the Lord your God, saying, “Pray for us to the Lord our God, and whatever the Lord our God says, declare to us and we will do it.” Jeremiah 42:20
When my life began to unravel in my addiction, I promised God that I would do anything if he would deliver me from consequences. I’ll even go to Africa to be a missionary! God told me that I simply needed to go to treatment and work on my recovery. I can’t do that. I’ve got a job and family.
I said I’d do anything, but really, I meant that I’d do nothing. My promise to go to Africa was simply a ruse to fool God into thinking that I really, really meant it. I just wanted the magical fix from God, while still following my own path.
This is the same sentiment of God’s people in today’s passage. In the story, the Israelite remnant left in Judah – after they were conquered by the Babylonians – wanted to flee Judah for Egypt, which they thought would be a safer place. In their desperation, they went to God asking what to do. We’ll do whatever you want God. Just save us and we will obey!
God told them simply to stay in Judah and he would protect them. That, apparently, was the one thing they would not do. They had already made up their minds to go to Egypt. They begged God for an answer, but when it came, it was not the one they wanted, so they ignored it and did what they wanted, pursuing their own death and destruction.
I should of course, always go to God in my distress, asking his will. The danger though, is that he often asks me to do the one thing that is keeping me from following him. In my addiction, the one thing I wouldn’t do, was the one thing I needed to do, which is what God asked of me.
If we want to know God’s life instead of our destruction, we must go to him, asking his will. Then, we must be willing to do it, even if it is the hardest thing we’ve ever had to do.