“The Lord has said to you, O remnant of Judah, ‘Do not go to Egypt.’ Know for a certainty that I have warned you this day that you have gone astray at the cost of your lives.”
– Jeremiah 42:19–20
So the picture here in Jeremiah 42:19–20 is basically, people coming to Jeremiah, asking him for a word from God about what they should do when their reality is, they have already decided what they’re going to do. And they’re just looking for divine approval of their own desires. Can I just say that again?
They’re looking for God’s approval of their own desires. How possible is that in your life or my life? For us to come up with a plan for our lives. For us to have desires for our lives and then ask God to bless those, instead of truly asking God, “What is your plan? What do you want me to do? God, what do you want me to desire? Oh God, give me your desires. God, align my thoughts with your plans.”
Jeremiah 42:19–20 Reminds Us Sin Costs Everything
And the picture here in Jeremiah 42 is that’s not what the people are doing. They’re just trying to get God to get behind what they want, instead of aligning their lives with what God wants. Which is why in Jeremiah 42:19–20, Jeremiah says this word from God, “You have gone astray at the cost of your lives.” What a phrase. You have disobeyed the will of God. You’re going after your own ways. You’re going astray from God’s ways, and it will cost you everything.
Oh, hide that away in your heart and your mind today, for every day. That when you or I go toward our will instead of God’s will, our ways instead of God’s ways, our plans instead of God’s plans, our desires instead of God’s desires, it will always be costly.
Transformed According to God’s Will
So God, we pray together today, based on Jeremiah 42:19–20, align our lives, our thoughts, our desires, our ways with your ways. We pray, oh God, please transform us that we might live according to your will. Please keep us from coming up with plans and asking you to bless them. God, with giving ourselves over to our desires and asking for your help and the accomplishment of those desires, God, we pray, we want to follow your plans.
We pray that would be the authentic desire of our hearts and reality in our lives, that we follow your plans. God, please keep us from manufacturing plans and hoping, even praying that you would bless them.
Jeremiah 42:19–20 Helps Us Align with Your Plans
God, we pray that you would help us to align with your plans for our lives. Which we know you have made clear in your word, all the ways in which you call us to obey you. Will you help us to obey your words? So God, help us to be holy, to be more like Jesus, to love like Jesus, think like Jesus, desire what Jesus desires, love like Jesus loves, obey the words of Jesus.
God, we pray that you would forgive us for our sinful tendency to even act like we’re trying to follow your will when we’re directly disobeying what you have said in your word. God, please keep us from doing that. And help us to live in accordance with your word today, knowing that it will be costly if we don’t.
Pray for the Gola People of Nigeria
God, we thank you for this warning that you gave to your people over and over again in the book of Jeremiah that you give to us in your word. And even right now, warning that if we don’t follow your will. That we go astray at the cost of our lives.
God, as we pray all of this, we know you have made it very clear that you desire. That you have willed disciples to be made, churches to be planted and multiplied among all the nations. And we confess we have not been obedient to this as your church. There are so many nations where we have not taken the gospel. So God, we pray for disciples. We made churches, we multiplied among the Gola people of Liberia.
God, we pray that you would help us to obey your will. To follow your plans, to make disciples and multiply churches among all the nations. God, may it be so among the Gola and thousands of other people-groups like them. In accord with what you have clearly said in your word. Oh God, please help us to obey your will for good in our lives. And for the good of others’ lives. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.