In my study the other day I meditated upon a much-loved Scripture: “‘For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.'” (Jer 29:11) Most will stop there and begin to look for what God has for them. We all want our blessings. But it struck me the other day that the Lord wanted me to understand the verse in context (vv 11-13), and to begin at the end of the passage.

We do not have a “far off God”; He is always with us, but we need to set our sight upon Him instead of the world. “You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.” (Jer 29:13) When we seek to have a relationship with Him, He will reveal Himself to us. He is the Jehovah (YHWH) God, who relates to His creation personally while revealing Himself.

When we have a relationship with the Father through Jesus Christ the Son, and submit to His will for our lives as our Adonai God (Lord and Master), He will listen to us. “Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.” (Jer 29:12) It is in our submission to His will that our lives reflect Him, which glorifies Him. But as v13 declared, the Lord is looking for our heart-felt search for His presence; He’s not looking for lip service.

We’ve all had times in our lives when we pray and ask God to get us out of a situation. The Lord will often delay carrying out His promises until He sees a heart of surrender and submission. Jesus asked the question that is vital for us to think about when we call upon Him: “Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?” (Luke 6:46) We must DO what He tells us to do. Loving the Lord is being a willing servant of His will, not ours.

Before the Lord is willing to deliver us from our present situation, we must seek Him in relationship, and seek His will and respond to His direction by acting upon His Word. He has unique blessings, gifts and purpose for each of us–and He already has our names on them. But He needs us to seek Him, submit to Him so that He knows we will use those blessings to further His kingdom for His glory. “‘For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.'” (Jer 29:11)

Lord, thank You for making this revelation to me, and asking me to share it with others. You have given me a gift of discernment and the gift of writing, and You ask that I use these gifts for Your purpose and for Your kingdom. Lord, I know that when You give gifts and blessings, we are to employ the gifts in service to Your kingdom. Lord, thank You for allowing me to be used by You to reach someone today. Thank You again for the reminder that You are Lord over all, and there’s no area that is hidden from You and that You don’t have a hand in. Thank You for the access You have granted me to the throne room through my faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. In the precious name of Jesus, amen.