Have you ever been lost? I mean like really lost in a place you don’t know. Think back to what it felt like? Were you scared, nervous, frustrated, feeling helpless? Did you ask for directions? Did you actually stop and seek out help to find your way to your destination? Remember when we used to have to ask a live person for directions? Even using a smart phone map device requires some level of surrender—to surrender and follow the computerized voice directing you to the next maneuver toward your destination. It takes a great deal of humility to acknowledge you are lost and in need of help.
Where are you in your spiritual journey? Are you feeling lost today? Maybe you are in a “thriving relationship” with God or maybe you are in a “dry, sun-scorched land” kind of place right now. How likely are you to turn to God when faced with suffering, doubt, joy, desires, unconfessed sin, or just your big and little questions? How often do you call on God?
As summer sets in I have begun a study encouraging me to ASK questions and to dialogue with the Lord in order to deepen my intimacy with my Savior (Beth Moore, The Quest. Lifeway Christian Resources: September 2017). Beth Moore sets out a circuitous journey to re-ignite intimacy with Jesus through scripture reading, conversations, questions, & prayer. One passage I’ve come across so far corresponds with the Wayside Women of the Word readings for this week—Jeremiah 33.
“Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.” ~Jeremiah 33:3 ESV
God actually asks us to call on Him, to cry out to Him, to ask Him for help. He longed for Israel to call out to Him, to ask Him for help. I am sure Jeremiah was growing weary as he continued to share God’s word with a people who were not listening and who seemed bent on self-destruction and disobedience. However, Jeremiah 33 is a breath of fresh air in the midst of challenging words of prophecy. It begins with God’s call to His people to return to Him through the “simple” task of communication and progresses on to revelation about the restoration of Judah & Jerusalem and the first and second comings of Christ.
But, what is required before the revelation, before the “telling of great and hidden things” according to Jeremiah 33:3?
God is the omniscient (all-knowing) God of the universe. God does not need us to call out to Him. He is more than capable of caring for us and for His people without our engagement. However, He desires an intimate relationship with us. He gave us a way to enter into a forever relationship with Him when He allowed Jesus to become our righteousness—through His sinless life, His death on the cross, and His resurrection. He even told Israel of this coming hope through Jeremiah.
“Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will fulfill the promise I made to the house of Israel and the house of Judah. In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch to spring up for David, and he shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. In those days Judah will be saved, and Jerusalem will dwell securely. And this is the name by which it will be called: ‘The Lord is our righteousness.’” ~Jeremiah 33:14-16
Jeremiah—hundreds of years before Jesus appeared on the scene spoke of Him and His plan to save Judah, Jerusalem, you, and me. This righteous and Holy God longs to meet with us—sinners. No matter how far from God you may feel, how much you hurt, how much you messed up, or how much you tried to go it alone … God still wants you to call out to Him.
I am learning the Bible has much to say about calling on the Lord.
“The Lord is near to all who call on Him, to all who call on Him in truth.” ~Psalm 145:18 ESV
“Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer; you shall cry, and He will say, ‘Here I am.’” ~Isaiah 58:9a ESV
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.” ~Matthew 7:7-8 ESV
Remember, God is all about relationship and relationships take commitment, constancy, consistency, and communication. If you aren’t communicating with God, you are not growing in intimacy with Him. Specifically, when we ask God for help, we acknowledge He alone is God and is in full control of our life and circumstances. Asking requires humility—a willingness to give up control, our will. and our worry. God longs for total surrender. You can try to hide, but you will never know complete intimacy with God until you allow Him into all of your broken and messed up places. This kind of surrender can be scary because we must give up control. However, the Lord God is trustworthy, “good,” and His steadfast love endures forever!” ~Jeremiah 33:11.
No matter where you find yourself today—feeling refreshed, exhausted, empty, scattered, content, broken, joyful, or any combination of the above—God loves you, God is for you, and God is only a conversation away. All you have to do is call on Him today.
Jeremiah. (1991). Life Application Bible: New International Version. Tyndale House/Zondervan: Wheaton/Grand Rapids.
Moore, Beth (2017). The Quest: An excursion toward intimacy with God. Lifeway: Nashville.