THE LORD SPEAKS TO JEREMIAH
The Lord spoke to Jeremiah a second time while he was still confined in the courtyard of the guardhouse. (Jeremiah 33v1 Net Bible)
Confined to barracks! That was Jeremiah’s situation.
Arrested to prevent him proclaiming the prophetic word of the Lord in public to the people with whom God desired to communicate and warn of their impending judgement. But God still spoke to Jeremiah, and He spoke a second time to ensure His words would be heeded.
How could Jeremiah proclaim these words, confined and restrained in the guardhouse and its securely locked surrounding?
Note that Jeremiah’s circumstances made God’s words impossible to carry out at that precise point in time.
Note also that God still spoke to Jeremiah.
His only tasks were to hear, to be receptive, and to keep God’s words in his mind. It was for God to bring Jeremiah later to the place where he could proclaim the message from the Lord publicly.
What is your situation today? Are you confined in some kind of spiritual or metaphorical barracks, confined by some circumstance or hindrance? God will still speak to you wherever you are and however restricted you may be.
A few years ago I was encouraging a young man who felt called to the ministry. He had several very obvious problems of which he was well aware but he still wanted to follow God’s call. As he shared his problems with me I was able to proclaim with conviction that “His God was able to use him if he was willing to go forward in God’s strength and guidance.”
Do you actually receive guidance from God on a regular basis? You’re unlikely to hear God’s voice audibly, calling through the sky, but you can always be receptive spiritually to receive “a word from the Lord” into your heart.
How can “a word from the Lord” come to you? Primarily through the Scriptures, especially when the Holy Spirit illuminates a passage to your heart. Often He will speak through your circumstances or through the preaching or teaching in church, in a study or prayer group. Particularly He can speak in your quiet place, as you meditate on some scripture or some occurrence in your life, or some special need especially a needy situation you see for others.
God can speak in innumerable ways, but can you “hear” Him? Are you open and receptive despite your circumstances and restrictions?
Like Jeremiah, let us hear from God and receive His word, whether we are in easy and pleasant places or confined in our own spiritual or physical courtyard of the guardhouse.
It’s not your circumstances that hinder the word of the Lord in your life, but any trace of unwillingness to receive it, or a totally wrong assumption that God doesn’t want to speak to you today.
He can speak and does speak to each one of us, each and every day. We need to be open to hear, eager to receive, and ready to retain His words in our hearts waiting for the appointed time when we are released for action.
Confined to barracks for a little time – but God’s word is “for such a time as this!”