COULD IT BE SAID THAT GOD IS HARSH OR SEVERE? 3

in HeartChurchlast month

4 Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, TO ALL WHO WERE CARRIED AWAY CAPTIVE, whom I [God] HAVE CAUSED TO BE CARRIED AWAY from JERUSALEM to BABYLON:
5 Build houses and dwell in them; plant gardens and eat their fruit.
6 Take wives and beget sons and daughters; and take wives for your sons and give your daughters to husbands, so that they may bear sons and daughters—that you may be increased there, and not diminished.
7 And seek the peace of the city where I have caused you to be carried away captive, and pray to the Lord for it; for in its peace you will have peace.
8 For thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Do not let your prophets and your diviners who are in your midst deceive you, nor listen to your dreams which you cause to be dreamed.
9 For they prophesy falsely to you in My name; I have not sent them, says the Lord.
10 For thus says the Lord: After seventy years are completed at Babylon, I will visit you and perform My good word toward you, and cause you to return to this place.
11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.
12 Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you."
Jeremiah 29:4-12 (NKJV)

• The duration of the captivity of each individual's person varies. Depending on:
(i) What God, or the message which God is passing across to the person involved.
(ii) The cooperation of the person involved.
(iii) The openness of the heart of the person, towards what God is teaching him or her in the predicament or captivity. When the person involved gets to know what God is trying to say, the message He is passing across, and learn to obey and practice or do what said to be done, the end to the captivity or wilderness experience or God's silence of him or her would be at hand.

• God set the time to turn the captivity of the Israelites. They were to be there, the Captivity, for seventy years (Jeremiah 29:10).

  • If your captivity is a result of being recalcitrant; being rebellious and headstrong, God might have a specific period of time He wanted you to spend in it.
  • The Israelites were to spend seventy years in the Babylonian captivity: "AND this whole land shall be a desolation and an astonishment, AND THESE NATIONS SHALL SERVE THE KING OF BABYLON SEVENTY YEARS" (Jeremiah 25:11 NKJV).
  • Although the captor, the person whom God used to Discipline you, would later be dealt with, after He had used him or her to accomplish the Purpose of His:
    " ‘THEN it will come to pass, WHEN SEVENTY YEARS ARE COMPLETED, THAT I WILL PUNISH THE KING OF BABYLON AND THAT NATION, the LAND OF THE CHALDEANS, for their iniquity,’ SAYS THE LORD; ‘AND I WILL MAKE IT A PERPETUAL DESOLATION" (Jeremiah 25:12 NKJV).

• That said, being in some bondages, or captivities, might not be a result of being recalcitrant—defiant or obstinate.

  • It could just be a way that God in His infinite wisdom chooses to build you, or groom you, or mature you, for a particular purpose, or an assignment, or a placement.
  • The Israelites bondage in Egypt was not a result of rebellion, disobedience, or whatever. God had told Abraham, their progenitor, that his children would serve in slavery for 400 years (Genesis 15:13,14).
    a. Not about what they did wrongly, but God in His wisdom did choose that way to build them as a NATION.
    b. And also, the period of time they would be there, would be a time to wait out until the Sin of those who were currently occupying the land, the Amorites, be completed, and were ripen for Judgement (Genesis 15:16).

13 Then He said to Abram: “KNOW certainly that YOUR DESCENDANTS will be STRANGERS IN A LAND that is not THEIRS, AND will SERVE THEM, and they will AFFLICT THEM FOUR HUNDRED YEARS.
14 And also THE NATION WHOM THEY SERVE I WILL JUDGE; afterward they shall come out with great possessions.
15 Now as for you [Abraham], you shall go to your fathers in peace; you shall be buried at a good old age.
16 BUT in the FOURTH GENERATION THEY SHALL RETURN HERE, FOR THE INIQUITY of THE AMORITES IS NOT YET COMPLETE” (Genesis 15:13-16 NKJV).

• A set time to favour and be out of captivity or predicament (Jeremiah 29:10).

  • Enjoy the plans He has for you, even in the midst of the predicament, the captivity (Jeremiah 29:4-7).
  • Use the time to equip yourself. Study the Word of God. And be prepared for where you would be placed after your release.
  • Use the time to build and strengthen your relationship and fellowship with God. Through it, you would build a strong prayer life and receive a vision for the future. It is the time to sit down and gather up strength.
  • Use the time to gather up the strength needed for the future flight. The Time is always a time of recuperation!
    a. A time of re-creating. A time of rethinking, about your work, probably what you did, or did not do but you supposed to. Which eventually led to where you are—the current predicament.
    b. It is a time to reassess your work and plan for the future.
    c. However, it is not the time to be jumping around and be looking for solutions or deliverance by all means.
    d. It also not the time to look for one Prophet or another, who would tell you things that suit your egos.
  • The time could also be used As a time to put down what you know, in black and white.
    a. The books you may have purposed to write could be put down at such a time.
    b. Your experience in life, ministry, or on whatever you do, could be put down for others to learn—that the future generations might be blessed through it.

• Such a time is like a dark age of your life. God does allow one to pass through such corner, for the redirection, and the reshaping, and the resharpening of focus, for proper effectiveness in the work. In order to touch more lives, that is, for wider or broader services—to reach more people for God.

  • In fact, it is a time of retreat! You retreat to be re-empowered, not to run from the enemy, the devil.
  • It is a time to sit down and build the standards you want to follow in the assignment or Ministry given to you.

• Whatever programme that would be done should be the one that was birth through the encounter which you, the set-man, the pastor, had with God.

  • Since the time of God's silence, or captivity, is a time of an encounter. A time you would be divinely visited or touched. At such a time of an encounter, you come out with things to do; programmes to organize, the projects to embark upon, and other vital things God would want you to do in the work or ministry.
  • You do not organize or put up a programme because other churches or ministries are doing the same. If you did that, it could only work for some time, because you were not commanded by God.

• Now is the time to sit down and build a standard for your work. A time to plan and build (Jeremiah 29:5).

  • It is high time to labour on souls, and be rewarded by God, and eat the fruit of your labour (Jeremiah 29:5b).
  • It the time to expand and not dwindle away (Jeremiah 29:6).

• You will not fail in Jesus' name.

  • Whatever is planted in your life and body that is working against your health, such is rebuked and uprooted totally in Jesus' name.
  • Your deliverance is permanent in the mighty name of Jesus Christ.
    Peace!

• Take notice of this:
IF you are yet to take the step of salvation, that is, yet to be born-again, do it now, tomorrow might be too late (2 Corinthians 6:1,2; Hebrews 3:7,8,15).
a. Acknowledge that you are a sinner and confess your Sins (1 John 1:9); And ask Jesus Christ to come into your life (Revelation 3:20).
b. Confess that you believe in your heart that Jesus Christ is Lord, and that you confess it with your mouth, Thus, you accept Him As your Lord and Saviour (Romans 10:9,10).
c. Ask that He will write your name in the Book of Life (Philippians 4:3; Revelation 3:8).

  • If you took the steps As highlighted above, It means you are saved—born-again. Join a Word based church in your area and town, and be part of whatever they are doing there. Peace!

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