God is a perfect leader. He asks us to follow Him, even when the path makes no human sense to us. But God is always leading us somewhere on purpose and it is always redemptive. It may be for our redemption or for others, but it is always a means to show the world who He really is.
The question is: Will we trust Him and follow when we don't see the endgame? This is the heart of real faith.
GOD'S UNUSUAL INSTRUCTION
Jeremiah, the Prophet, had been told by God repeatedly what He was about to do to rebellious Israel. He was going to allow the Babylonians to come and take them into captivity and ransack the land as a means of corrective discipline.
As that was being revealed to Jeremiah, God gave him an odd instruction (Jeremiah 32:6-44).
"The word of the Lord came to me," Jeremiah said. God told him that his nephew was going to come and offer him a field for sale and that Jeremiah was to buy it.
Put yourself in Jeremiah's shoes. Knowing that God was about to completely abandon the land, he could reason that in a matter of weeks—days perhaps—this field was going to be worthless. A very bad investment. It would be a "poor use" of God's money.
But Jeremiah had heard from God. He was dialed in to God’s voice and surrendered to His leadership. "Then I knew that this was the word of the Lord," He said (Jeremiah 32:8).
Sink or swim, good investment or bad, God had spoken and Jeremiah was committed to obey. He would follow God’s leadership, even if it didn't make sense to his human logic.
Immediately following the purchase, God began to reveal to Jeremiah what He was going to do in the distant future. After the Babylonian captivity, He was going to bring His people back to the land. He revealed to Jeremiah that "houses and vineyards will again be bought in this land" (vs. 15). He told Jeremiah to seal up the deed to the land in a jar that would last for a long time.
In reality, Jeremiah's land investment would be the smartest financial step possible. God always takes care of those who leave the choices up to Him.
But even that was not the point. God wanted Jeremiah's investment to be a sign to him and others of God's faithfulness. That He was bringing judgment, but He would also bring forgiveness, mercy, and redemption. “Trust me and buy the land,” God was saying, “To show the world that you believe in My faithfulness to Israel.”
Jeremiah would prophecy of this ultimate redemption, but the people saw that he put his money where his mouth was. He invested in land, knowing that ultimately God would return them to His chosen land.
THE PURPOSE OF THE EXERCISE
The reason we weigh every decision so carefully is that we think we know what's best. And, more telling, we think we know what's best for us. We reject God's unusual direction because we can't see a good reason and we are afraid we will be hurt in the process.
The wise follower understands two things:
- God's directions are always best. His ways are higher and thoughts are always better than ours and He can be trusted, and,
- The purposes of God are always bigger than us. God plans to use everything in our life—our time, resources, affections, relationships, words, work, etc.—to be a voice to the world of who He is. And that's the point.
If we could ever embrace this simple truth, and faithfully hear and follow His unusual instructions, it would put us at absolute peace. We would not be frantic about anything, because we had taken Christ's "yoke upon us" to do His will for His purposes, trusting God to lead us in "all the right paths for His name's sake."
Watch for the unusual instruction, for at the end it will be a Divine blessing to you and a word to others of God’s greatness.