The word that Jeremiah the prophet spoke to Baruch the son of Neriah . . . “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, to you, O Baruch: ‘You said, “Woe is me now! For the Lord has added grief to my sorrow. I fainted in my sighing, and I find no rest.”’ “Thus you shall say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord: “Behold, what I have built I will break down, and what I have planted I will pluck up, that is, this whole land. And do you seek great things for yourself? Do not seek them; for behold, I will bring adversity on all flesh,” says the Lord. “But I will give your life to you as a prize in all places, wherever you go.”’” (Jeremiah 45 NKJV)
So I’ve been asking God to give me purpose. I came to believe that I needed God to tell me what is that which I need to do to bring glory to Him and draw many others to Him. I was sure He wanted to use me in whatever great big plans he has. I’d been asking for the anointing of the Holy Spirit, for Him to give me the wisdom I lack, and the clarity of mind to discern what my purpose is in this world. And yet, I was feeling Spiritually bleh.
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I am reading through the Bible from cover to cover. It’s taken me at least two years to get to Jeremiah. Today’s reading, though, I felt was rather dry (Jer 45-48), and I wondered what message God had for me among the messages of doom to the Nations of Egypt, Moab, et al. Sighing, I reached randomly in my bookshelf and got out my Oswald Chambers devotional, and opened at one of the sticky tabs I had inserted in. And I read it–It was based on Jeremiah 45.
Coincidence? Not really!!
“Are you seeking great things for yourself? Not seeking to be great but great things from God for yourself? God wants you in a closer relationship to Himself than receiving His gifts. He wants you to get to know Him. A great thing is accidental. It comes and goes. God never gives us something accidental . . . If you have only come the length of asking God for Things, you haven’t come to the first strand of abandonment. You have only become a Christian from a standpoint of your own.” Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest
Ouch. But true. Because I know that when I feel spiritually bleh you try to do Things to kindle that fire which no one but God can set ablaze. You pray and pray, read the word, do Bible studies, sacrifice yourself, you do anything that will Mortify your flesh, except surrender control of your life. Until you do so your heart isn’t in the right place–So it’s all for naught. Because you’re asking for God to use you in a powerful way–YOUR way. You aren’t abandoning yourself to let HIM do or use you in the manner he thinks is best.
In other words, Chamber says that you are not abandoned enough to God if you keep asking for Things, even if it is the Baptism of the Holy Ghost.
Because prayer is aligning yourself to God’s will, not the other way around.