My husband preached a powerful sermon yesterday that had me thinking all afternoon. It was a passage of scripture that I know I have read, but have never really noticed the context of it before. I told my sweet fella that I just might “borrow” his scripture text but that I wouldn’t “steal” his sermon. :)He said, “Sweetie, there is NO new material. It’s all in the bible for anyone to use.” Isn’t he sweet?
The scripture is Jeremiah 13: 1-10. Jeremiah was a priest before he was a prophet. He was very devoted and committed to God and to Holiness. In verse 1, the Lord tells Jeremiah to go and get a linen sash, put it around his waist but not to get it in water. Jeremiah did just what the Lord commanded of him. In verse 4, the Lord once again tells Jeremiah to do something. He told him to take that same sash and go to the Euphrates and hide it in a hole in a rock. So once again, Jeremiah didn’t question God, he just went and did what the Lord commanded. After many days, the Lord told Jeremiah to go back to the Euphrates and get the sash from where he had hidden it. Jeremiah asks no questions - he just gets up and goes back and retrieves the sash. And it was ruined. Profitable for nothing.
As Christians, this set of scripture has several meaningful areas of application in our lives. The first thing that I notice is the way Jeremiah obeyed immediately each time the Lord spoke. He didn’t ask questions. He didn’t make excuses as to why he couldn’t go or didn’t need to go. He just listened and did exactly what God instructed. God said it and he did it. That is the kind of response that God deserves from us, even when the commands we get may not be clearly understood or the reasons known, we just have to be obedient. If God tells us to do something, then we need to do it. Simply obey.
The sash can represent so many aspects of our life in Christ. It is our relationship with Christ, it is God, it is the Word. It is representative of all these things as a whole. We hold them all close to us. We “wear” them tightly around us. God desires for us to be girded with His Word. He desires for us to wrap ourselves up snuggly with him. When we do this, we are being obedient and allowing God and His word to do a work in our lives. Serve a purpose. Be useful. Be fruitful.
Too many times we are taking that sash and hiding it - just like God had Jeremiah do. We hide our Christianity and take it out perhaps when we need it? Or when it’s convenient. We just kinda neglect it - move on to other things in our lives. Things that we deem important. We are in a sense worshiping other Gods while we let the One True God remain hidden away. Then when it is finally time to retrieve it - guess what? It is ruined. It is profitable for nothing. It serves no purpose in its ruined state.
Our relationship with the Lord won’t do us a bit of good if we don’t keep it around us at all times. It is not something that we use just when we need it and then hide it for a season and get it back out again. We need Christ every second of every day. We can’t function completely as a Christian without Him. For Him to be used in our lives and for Him to be purposed in our lives, He has to BE in our lives.
This really opened my eyes to my relationship with God. I have to keep him close at all times. I don’t ever want to hide him away. I don’t want to ever have to go “dig Him up” when I get in a mess. I want Him around me so I don’t GET in a mess.
Lord, help me to keep my focus entirely on You and Your Word. Help me to listen and to be quick to obey. Let me be useful to Your Kingdom work. Hold me close, Lord, and let me feel Your Presence. May I always be an instrument for Your Glory.