June 30, 2009

Saggy Britches? Worthless Belt!

There are times the picture that scripture paints for us is so brutally clear, convicting, and simultaneously captivating that it's like learning to read all over again and immediately diving into Shakespeare. You're overwhelmed and awestruck - and at the same time have a sense that you have no idea what you've just read and how it all plays out in the scheme of things. It just hits you in the face and makes no apologies!

Enter Jeremiah 13. The prophet is instructed by God to "buy a linen belt and put it around your waist, but do not wash it". After Jeremiah follows the Lord's instructions, he is then told to take the belt to the Euphrates River, hide it in a hole, and bury it. "A long time afterward" God tells Jeremiah to go back and dig up the belt. He does. And Jeremiah tells us that the belt was now "mildewed and falling apart". It was "useless". This whole set of instructions seems a bit ridiculous until we hear God's response. Get ready to dive deep on this one.

The Lord explains to Jeremiah that "As a belt clings to a person's waist, so I created Judah and Israel to cling to me. They were to be my people, my pride, my glory - an honor to my name. But they would not listen to me." What happened to the belt - the mildew and rot - the fact that it had become "useless" - this is what happens to us when our PRIDE separates us from listening to the Lord, obeying what He's asked us to do, surrendering to His will, and leads us to "follow our own desires". We were made to cling to God! And when our PRIDE keeps us from humbly surrendering to Him & to His will, we become "useless", like a rotting, stinking, mildewing belt - falling apart and "good for nothing". Let's face it - if your belt isn't holding your britches up, it may look good, but it's ultimately rendered itself useless. Saggy britches = worthless belt!

Is the Lord asking you to do something - to take a step of faith or obedience - and you're attempting to ignore Him?

Is there an area of your life where you are in desperate need of humility? Where your PRIDE is swollen and needs to be punctured, deflated, and leveled?

Are you clinging to the Lord? Scratching, clawing, and clinging to Him? Digging into His Word like it was the first time your eyes had ever been opened to such truth & beauty?

You were made to cling to the Lord!
You were redeemed & saved by the One who "made himself nothing".

Jeremiah "bought the belt as the Lord directed" him. It had to seem absurd at the time. But He obeyed.

Will you and I do the same?

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