Confirmation. We all want confirmation. I certainly hate asking the question, "What did I do wrong?" Hearing that I said the right word, did the right thing, made the right move confirms that I'm on the right track. Hopefully, we all seek confirmation from someone who speaks the truth and calls it like it is. In the long run, it doesn't help us if we ask only those who tell us what we want to hear.
There's a basic understanding I think we all have. If we sense from God that we need to speak a word to someone, or move to a new location (with or without a job), or change churches, we would expect to get confirmation. I know I would. My expectations would be that the changes fall into place and life will run smoothly once the new becomes routine.
I mean I hear it so often, "God must be in this, look how smoothly things are going. Look how fast the church, or business, is expanding. Look how happy I am." The possibilities of what's said goes on, but you get the idea. And, it truly does seem to be the case. Which is why, in the past, when I felt like I fell on my face after doing what I sensed God wanted me to do I began to question myself, doubting that I had heard correctly, doubting my ability to hear God speak to me.
But, after reading the daily devotional from Our Daily Bread on Tuesday April 5th I was put in my place. I have heard that Jeremiah was known as the weeping prophet. I mean so many bad things happened when he was supposed to be leading his nation as their spiritual leader. Of course, he would be weeping and sorrowful. How sad, right? Today one might say that he was on the wrong platform, or misused social media, or that he missed the mark somehow.
Looking at it from today's perspective you might ask, "Was Jeremiah suppose to be a prophet at all if the people never paid attention to him?" Look at the first chapter of Jeremiah. (1:5) God called him to be a prophet to the nations. See that ending? Jeremiah didn't affect his own nation in the way he wanted, but he affected many people in other nations in ways he never saw coming.
So, did he fail? Did he miss the mark? No. But, he probably felt like he did. How do I know he didn't fail? Daniel and his friends are my primary witnesses. They would have heard the warnings of Jeremiah, seen the leaders not listen to him, then sadly experienced first hand the repercussions of not heeding the prophet's words. But, they stuck to their guns and won over some of the leadership they served. And, they became examples to the remainder of the people who were captured with them. Adding to the list, let's not forget about Ezekiel and then through time there was Mordecai and Esther, Nehemiah and Ezra.
People have free will to listen, or not, to any teaching or instruction. Even though the people heard what Jeremiah said, the majority didn't listen and the country was attacked more than once. And, leaders were carted off to lands elsewhere. The people chose to not heed the warnings. So, they suffered the consequences of it.
Jeremiah is the prime example that even though we may not see the results we thought God would bring through us, it doesn't mean God isn't working through our efforts. Look at all the writings that came from the few who did listen. We've all profited from their testimonies. I found this so encouraging especially when I hear of writers who barely get something going and they have thousands of followers overnight. It can be depressing. But, I know God has called me to the feat of writing, and I know He will use my work to help those He intends to reach whether it's tens, hundreds, thousands, or millions. Onward I go.