It was good to have Pastor Jim Walters speak to our men’s group today at Timberline Church. Jim shared about his career as a pilot and made some applications to our spiritual life. Jim is the former lead pastor of Bear Valley Church in Lakewood. I always enjoyed attending the services at his church while I served in the State House. His book, “When Faith Takes Flight” is available on Amazon.com
BIBLE VERSE FOR TODAY… ‘If indeed you surrender to the officials of the king of Babylon, then you will live, this city will not be burned down, and you and your household will survive…. But King Zedekiah said to Jeremiah, “I am worried about the Judeans who have deserted to the Chaldeans. They may hand me over to the Judeans to abuse me.”…Jeremiah replied. “Obey the voice of the Lord in what I am telling you, so it may go well for you and you can live.“ Jeremiah 38:17,19-20 HCSB
Zedekiah was the last King of Judah from David’s lineage. His end was tragic. He and his leaders were fleeing the city under assault, he was captured along with his sons. He watch as his sons were killed and then his eyes were blinded and he was chained and taken captive to Babylon.
Zedekiah like many was caught between wanting God’s word and will and fear of what would happen. On three occasions Zedekiah sent for the prophet Jeremiah to ask him to pray for him and city and to inquire about God’s Word. The Lord’s word was “don’t trust in your human understanding and your resources. Surrender and submit to my plan and it will go well for you and city will not be burned down.”
The consequences for disobedience was the opposite. There would be tragedy for Zedekiah and his leaders and the city would be burned down. These words of Jeremiah made him a “traitor” in the eyes of the nobles. He was accused of destroying the morale of the people and the army that remained. Jeremiah was thrown in prison and then into an empty cistern to silence his words.
But on the last and final warning we see Zedekiah fearing to obey the Lord’s word for what “he” thought would then happen. Jeremiah tried to reassure him, “if you obey the Lord, the Lord will take care of you.” But in the end Zedekiah gave into his fear of his advisors and the unknown and failed to trust in the Lord’s word and will and we see the consequences.
The circumstances are different, but the concepts are the same with people through the ages. “If I commit fully to obey the Lord, what will happen? What will people think? What will happen?”As a result individuals “lean on their own understanding” instead of trusting the Lord and placing their faith in Him and the consequences can be devastating. Pastor Jim Walter challenged our men’s group this morning about this in speaking to the issue of fear and how it can create a hesitation in pursuing God’s call and the desires He places in our hearts.
This issue can be seen in surrendering your life to Christ as well as fully pursuing God’s dreams and direction. God’s Word assures us, “Trust in the Lord with all your hearts….in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your steps.” (Proverbs 3:5,6) We also read in the Psalms, “No one who trusts in you will ever be disgraced…” (Psalms 25:3 NLT) There is safety and security in obeying and following the Lord, even when our own minds battle with reservations. That is called faith. God honors our faith in Him. He will never disappoint. Learn from Zedekiah.
Prayer for today… “Lord, help me to be bold in following You. Enable me to recognize and resist my human fears and instead place my faith fully in You. Allow me to trust in Your love and Your provision as I obey and follow You.”