Thursday, September 18, 2008

Answered Prayer, God's Way

"The word came to Jeremiah from the Lord after Nebuzaradan commander of the imperial guard had released him at Ramah. He had found Jeremiah bound in chains among all the captives from Jerusalem and Judah who were being carried into exile to Babylon. "When the commander of the guard found Jeremiah, he said to him, "The Lord your god decreed this disaster for this place. And now the Lord has brought it about; he has done just as he said he would. All this happened because you people sinned against the Lord and did not obey him. But today I am freeing you from the chains on your wrists. Come with me to Babylon, if you like, and I will look after you, but if you do not want to, then don't come. Look, the Whole country lies before you; go wherever you please." However, before Jeremiah turned to go, Nebuzaradan added, "Go back to Gedaliah son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, whom the king of Babylon has appointed over the towns of Judah, and live with him among the people, or go anywhere else you please." Jeremiah 40:1-5
My devotions today led me to Jeremiah 40 and God's Word really spoke to me. I found this to be an interesting chapter for it all begins with Jeremiah in chains and headed to a foreign land. Jeremiah was restricted by chains which translate to me to be like the things of this world. But look who rescued him. It was the commander of the imperial guard! I may be wrong, but God used this unlikely person to give Jeremiah his freedom. But what gets me is the possible motives of Nebuzaradan. I don't think he really got it, but he did the right thing. Why do I say that he didn't get it? He was boastful to Jeremiah that HE was the one saving him, He was the one that was to bring the rescue. Look at verse 4, "But today, I am freeing you from the chains on your wrists." He takes the credit, but not only that, he says at the end of the verse that HE would look after Jeremiah. I catch a little bit of pride in him. Although it seems that he is caught up in his own pride, he does see that the Lord did bring judgement upon the people and his actions of releasing Jeremiah was honorable. Whatever the true motives of the imperial guard was, Jeremiah was freed from chains. I think that we all have some chains on us that come from the world, chains that may impeded our freedom to live a good life for God. Those chains can come in many forms. Those chains can be pride, fear, worthlessness, lust, discouragement, depression and the list goes on. God wants to free us from those oppressions and He may do it in many ways. In this case, he used the commander of the imperial guard. I remember I was reading the book, "Experiencing God" and it mentioned that when we pray to God, we can hear from Him in many different ways. We can get answers from: God's Word, circumstances, people and even nature. There is no one way that God answers prayer and when we begin to look for God to answer it one way, He is so amazing, He always seems to bring it to us in a different way that we had expected. God wants us to just depend on Him and not see how the answer is delivered, or in what form it comes. This is part of releasing everything to Him and to wait patiently for His answer, in His way. God WILL answer prayer. He will answer in three ways: He will answer "yes", "no" or "not now". How He expresses His answers is again, up to Him. When I ask, I just need to rest in Him and see what He does. Just like Jeremiah, I think he waited and then saw the mighty hand of God use the commander of the imperial to give him freedom. God is amazing, it is wonderful to see how many different ways He will use to answer our prayers.
Question: Are you currently in chains? Are you willing to ask Him and just wait for God to answer? Believe that God will answer you, so wait and see how He will speak to you, for it may not be in the way you expect.


Steve Ballmer said...

I like you people's blogging, very nice!

Pam Zunic said...

Thank you for visiting and posting the positive comment. My Blog is to give hope to a hurting world, through Jesus.
blessings, Pam