Several years ago, someone decided to “help” the fiery evangelist Billy Sunday with his delivery. “Billy,” they said, “you’re rubbing the cat the wrong way.” I’m sure that their intent was pure. In their minds, if Reverend Sunday would simply stop offending people, and make them feel more comfortable, he could be more effective and successful. Unperturbed, Sunday replied, “If the cat would turn around, I would be rubbing him the right way.”
The Prophet Jeremiah never knew Billy Sunday, but I’m sure he could empathize with the sentiment. Jeremiah was called by God to speak a message that was almost completely opposite of the one being spoken by nearly every other prophet in the land.
God called Jeremiah, “See I have appointed you this day over the nations and over the kingdoms, to pluck up and to break down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant.” – Jeremiah 1:10 (NASB)
While most of us are blessed that we have not been arrested because of God, placed in muddy cistern’s, or constantly mocked and ridiculed by nearly everyone we know, we can learn a great deal from Jeremiah’s call to the land of Judah.
Some things in our lives need to be completely uprooted. It is only when we allow God to destroy the roots of sin, that we can truly be free of its weedy influence.
Jeremiah was called to take apart the altars of false gods so that sacrifices could no longer be made to them. “Break Down” is also used in scripture to describe the taking apart of strongholds that are under the control and influences of enemy forces. With God’s help, we are to take apart every ungodly structure that we sacrifice our life and energy to. We are also called to deconstruct the strongholds of our mind that keep us from walking in complete faith and surrender.
Destruction goes beyond simply taking something apart. To destroy is to completely exterminate. We should ask ourselves daily, “What in our life has been side-tracking us for too long?” “What needs to be destroyed?”
To overthrow is to depose from a position of power. We need to regularly evaluate if Jesus is the Lord of our life, or if we have allowed someone or something else to replace Him. If we have, it is time with the help of God, to depose the illegitimate ruler of our life and reinstate Jesus to the throne of our heart.
When we build, we establish structures to live and work in. We build barns to store the fruit of our labor and houses where we can rest comfortably. As we build our life let us focus on those areas that increase capacity to store the good and helpful aspects of our life and provide us with rest and shelter from the storms of life.
The Bible tells us that we will reap what we sow. (Galatians 6:7) Wise followers of Christ sow into the lives of others, cultivate relationships and harvest joy.
Have a God Week!