Take control of your life
It is not in man who walks to direct his own steps. Jeremiah 10:23b
We have looked at the topic of God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility several times before. But in Jeremiah 10:23, we are confronted with the truth again. Many of us are now at a different stage in our lives; we have read the obituaries of classmates we knew in high school. We have experienced many things, maybe good or bad, pleasant or painful, that cause us to consider this subject in a different way. We will look at how it relates to Jeremiah, others, and then ourselves.
In Jeremiah 1:5, God said to Jeremiah, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; before you were born I sanctified you; and I ordained you a prophet to the nations.” We see in this verse that Jeremiah had nothing to do with his conception, his physical or mental make-up, or the time of his birth. God also tells him that his job or vocation in life was planned before he existed in this world. If we believe the Bible, then we must believe in the control and sovereignty of God.
For the true child of God, this should be a word of encouragement. It doesn’t mean we will float through life with God making our pathway easy to follow, or making our lives a bed of roses. Jeremiah found out that life was no cake-walk, it was going to be difficult. In Jeremiah 38:6 it says, “So they took Jeremiah and cast him into the dungeon of Malchiah, the king’s son. So Jeremiah sank in the mire.” That doesn’t sound like a place Jeremiah would enjoy or go for relaxation or meditation.
Under the direction of King Zedekiah, Jeremiah was told to tell those who ask him about his visit with the king, that he was presenting his request before the king, that he would not have to return to Jonathan’s house to die there. Then in Jeremiah 43:1-7, he (Jeremiah) is compelled to go with Johanan the son of Kareah and all the remnant of Judah, down into Egypt. This was something Jeremiah did not want to do; he knew it was not God’s revealed will for the people to go back to the land that God had delivered them from in 1447 BC.
Here are a few others who experienced the sovereign call of God in their lives. The birth of John the Baptist was planned by God before Zacharias and Elizabeth even knew about it. His greatness, lifestyle, and accomplishments were foretold and recorded in Luke 1:15-18. Jonah was another prophet who found out the hard way that God controlled the weather and even the big fish in the sea.
The fact of God’s sovereignty and control, didn’t make it easy for Jonah to fulfill his obligation to God. God expected submission and obedience from Jonah, or he would suffer the consequences. God is very jealous of His honor, glory, and the exaltation of His name. We could also mention Job, Nehemiah, Hosea, Peter, and the list could go on; none of them had an easy life.
The Doctrine of the sovereignty of God is taught throughout the Bible; but it is a teaching not accepted by everyone. For the true child of God, it can be pillow of encouragement for us to lay our heads on, when we go to bed at night. But I would describe this doctrine more as a huge rock, that we can build the foundation of our life upon. It is a teaching that should affect our world-view in every way.
So how does this subject apply to us today? Rather than reject this hard doctrine, I think it is better to embrace it and see how it plays out in our daily lives. If we submit ourselves to our sovereign God, and all that we are and have; we are then living according to Proverbs 3:5-6. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.” Are we willing to give total control of our lives over to the Sovereign Creator of all things? Jeremiah did! Comments or questions, contact me at: email@example.com
Lyndon Stimeling, of Richfield, has been writing about faith and family for many years. He has self-published three books, “Common Thoughts on The Word” in 2016 and “Eye of a Needle” in 2017 and “Common Thoughts on The Word II” in 2019. He has also had articles published in The Coming Home Journal and local newspapers and has written a children’s book.