Today was week 3 of teaching the ladies about Jeremiah. I have very much been the student as I study the Word & I am thrilled to share with the ladies what God is teaching me through Jeremiah.
Jeremiah 33:3 – Ask me and I will tell you remarkable secrets you do not know about things to come.
When I was in college I used to help my sister who was a Children’s Minister at Southeast Christian Church. I met on Wednesday nights with a bunch of 5th grade girls for small group. They would talk to me about boys, their friends, and their problems. I remember asking them if they ever shared these things with their parents or other adults. Most of them had the same responses: I’m too embarrassed plus they never ask anyways. My parents don’t listen. When I talk – I can see they are thinking about something else. They are busy and my problems aren’t important to them.
I started thinking about the conversations I had with those girls – almost 15 years ago. My daughters are almost the same age as the girls I once met with. I wonder if Malaya, Rosie, or Mikela would say the same thing that the girls in that group once shared. What would your daughters say about you? Would they say I try to talk to my mom but she is too busy – she’s always working – she’s always cleaning – she’s always gone – she’s always on the phone – she’s always on her computer – she doesn’t have time for me – she’s never around.
If our listening skills are lacking with our own children who are physically running all around us– — begging for our attention – – -then how bad is it when it comes to listening to God? This is a question we all need to ask. Are we really listening? Are we clinging to His every word?
Jeremiah 5:20-22 “Make this announcement to Israel, and say this to Judah: 21 Listen, you foolish and senseless people, with eyes that do not see and ears that do not hear. 22 Have you no respect for me? Why don’t you tremble in my presence? I, the Lord, define the ocean’s sandy shoreline as an everlasting boundary that the waters cannot cross. The waves may toss and roar, but they can never pass the boundaries I set.
Jeremiah 7:13 13 While you were doing these wicked things, says the Lord, I spoke to you about it repeatedly, but you would not listen. I called out to you, but you refused to answer.
Jeremiah 9:20 Listen, you women, to the words of the Lord; open your ears to what he has to say.
Jeremiah 25:4-5 4 “Again and again the Lord has sent you his servants, the prophets, but you have not listened or even paid attention. 5 Each time the message was this: ‘Turn from the evil road you are traveling and from the evil things you are doing. Only then will I let you live in this land that the Lord gave to you and your ancestors forever.
In all of these verses God is warning His people but no one is listening. To have open ears means to listen, respond, cooperate, maintain focus, and prove with you reactions that you have heard what God is saying. Would those closest to you describe you as quick to listen, responsive, cooperative, focused, and living a life that reflects the faith you claim?
Now this made Kenson blush as he interpreted for me- but there’s a great example of how we need to cling to God & listen. It actually comes from Jeremiah. So I pulled out some underwear and asked the ladies what’s important to them when it comes to our undergarments? We want them to fit just right. Now what does underwear have to do with listening?
We all TALK ABOUT God – but how close is your relationship with Him? Do you tell Him exciting news? When the world is falling apart around you – is He the one you run to for help and support?
13 This is what the Lord said to me: “Go and buy a linen loincloth and put it on, but do not wash it.” 2 So I bought the loincloth as the Lord directed me, and I put it on. 3 Then the Lord gave me another message: 4 “Take the linen loincloth you are wearing, and go to the Euphrates River.[a] Hide it there in a hole in the rocks.” 5 So I went and hid it by the Euphrates as the Lord had instructed me. 6 A long time afterward the Lord said to me, “Go back to the Euphrates and get the loincloth I told you to hide there.” 7 So I went to the Euphrates and dug it out of the hole where I had hidden it. But now it was rotting and falling apart. The loincloth was good for nothing. 8 Then I received this message from the Lord: 9 “This is what the Lord says: This shows how I will rot away the pride of Judah and Jerusalem. 10 These wicked people refuse to listen to me. They stubbornly follow their own desires and worship other gods. Therefore, they will become like this loincloth—good for nothing! 11 As a loincloth clings to a man’s waist, so I created Judah and Israel to cling to me, says the Lord. They were to be my people, my pride, my glory—an honor to my name. But they would not listen to me.
So a loin cloth is like underwear — – God wants us to cling to Him like underwear clings to our waist! Underwear is not only supposed to be close; it’s also personal. Underwear isn’t meant to be seen by everyone. God wants our relationship with Him to be tight and personal.
There is one more important thing about underwear – it’s meant to be daily. We’re supposed to wear it every day right? God wants us to be in constant daily contact with Him.
God wants us to know Him – and not just through church on Sundays. We don’t want to be like Judah and have our intimacy with God reduced to rot because we tucked closeness with Him into a dark hole.
God wants us to CLING to Him – to enter into a close relationship with Him. He longs for us to stay connected & in constant contact with Him. I don’t now about you but I can be on a mountaintop with God worshiping Him at the Catalyst conference and a few weeks later feel a zillion miles away from Him. I can be fellowshipping with Him one day and full of things to do the next…never realizing that I’m drifting away from Him.
We have to begin to open our ears and listen. God’s word isn’t just something we bring to church on Sundays or only open up during our weekly Bible study. It should be something that we search out daily. We should be curious – we should want to investigate and learn everything we can about our creator. We shouldn’t just talk ABOUT God – we should talk WITH GOD. There’s a difference….. and that difference is a personal relationship with Christ.