The only way we can truly find God, to discover who really is the ONE TRUE LIVING GOD among gods. To hear from God to where He becomes truly real to you. It is as simple as this.
Jeremiah 29:13 - (This is God speaking to the prophet Jeremiah, and now He is speaking to you).
“WITH ALL YOUR HEART”. You got to let go of all your biases, personal perspectives, opinions, knowledge, and what you have been taught about God to find the ONE TRUE LIVING GOD among gods.
god is relentless!
I remembered when God had convinced me between 2011 through about 2013, by means of one encounter after another that He is God. And there was no other God like Him. I was so convinced and convicted that I could no longer doubt the existence of God, His power, and that He is living and active because of the encounters I was having between 2011 and 2013 (Exodus 15:11).
During that period, the things I was seeing, hearing, and dreaming appeared to be more real experiences than life itself is the best way I can describe the encounters. They forced me to a place where I could no longer deny the encounters I was having. It also made me had to confront myself and face God in my ignorance.
These divine encounters with God left me feeling that I no longer had any more excuses concerning Him except one. Me. My own pride and stubbornness. I was getting in my own way because at first, I wasn't willing to seek nor inquire of Him [as a vital necessity] with all my heart.
I was okay with coasting through life with a distorted view of God. And probably with quite a few errors about Him. I was okay with not building my own knowledge and understanding of God but living off of a foundation created by others of who He is and what He is like. I was purely okay with living or drying in my own sins and dealing with whatever the consequences would be later. After all, we live and then we die right? (Food for thought).
But at some point, I reached a place where I could no longer ignore and deny who He is because of the dreams, the visions, the encounters He was putting before me for almost 2 years. God was relentless concerning me and getting me to not only see and acknowledge Him but to commit. To submit to His mighty Hands.
the straw that broke the camel’s back
The straw for me that finally broke the camel's back, was when Felicia and I were talking about the name of God. One day, she asked me this question. "Why do you always only call God Jehovah? I never heard you use the name Jesus or call Him by any other name or even title but Jehovah." Now, I don't remember exactly the explanation I gave Felicia at that time. But knowing me, I probably was long-winded in my response.
At any rate, this conversation for the first time in years forced me to have to pull out my Bible. Which was packed up in a box along with some other of my favorite religious books I was holding onto but hadn’t touched in I don’t know, over 8, 9, maybe 10 years. It was something Felicia said to me at that time that made me curious. At this point, in our rededicating our lives to Christ (genuinely searching for God in our own ways but purely from the heart). Felicia was reading her bible regularly but I hadn't quite gotten there yet. I still was battling and carrying guilt and shame and uncertainty about this God thing. But I really wanted clarity about this name situation Felicia had brought up that we were discussing. Either she was right and I had in the past built my Christian faith on unstable grounds. Or she was wrong and the explanation I gave at that time was right. And if she was wrong, it probably would further delay my progress. So, I needed to know.
Now keep in mind. Even though I wasn't a practicing Christianity at that time and for many years prior - I had been absent in the Christian faith. I am a person who dare not pretend to be holy while I was living fowl. That is just not in my nature. Either I’m all in or all out. Either I’m for a Christian way of living based on Biblical standards or I am not. For me, there is no gray area, in between, faking the funk, or faking it until you make it. I just don’t believe you can swim in (live in) sin and still profess to be a Christian. The two don’t mush. Either you are for God or for your sin but not both.
Now, at this point, when Felicia and I were having this conversation on this day, I was no longer living in my sin and had not been for years. But I still was not living for God either. I was still going through the motions trying to figure things out. But despite my lack of commitment, one skill set I still did possess at that time, was my ability to recall and quote Scriptures. I was still well versed and able to quote Scriptures. I was a pretty good Bible teacher back in the day prior to my fall from grace. But at that moment when Felicia and I were having this conversation about God’s name. Her inquiry challenged me and my thinking and even my lethargic mindset concerning God. But everything was about to change.
opening pandora box
Felicia showed me a Bible text that threw my entire way of thinking about God in a complete downward spiral. As I listened to her explain some things, I needed something else to confirm what she just showed me and all that she was saying. I do remember feeling as she was talking, like the entire room, including me, was spinning. And it was spinning faster and faster the more she talked and explained. Until I finally stood up and walked out of the room.
I went into a room where I had some boxes in a closet that I hadn't opened in years. I remembered standing in front of those boxes and staring at them for a minute or so. Unsure if I really want to open Pandora box. But I really wanted to know the answer to this question Felicia presented to me. I was ready to set aside all my biases, personal perspectives, opinions, and what I've been taught to know about God.
At this point, I felt like everything was moving in super-slow speed. But I finally went through one or two boxes before I found my Bible. I headed back into the room where Felicia was patiently waiting. And I turned to the Scripture she just showed me. And what I read turned my world upside down. I rushed back to the closet where the boxes were and pulled out maybe four or more different versions of Bibles. I brought them back into the room where Felicia was and opened all of them to that same Scripture. Every version I had, including all different versions Felicia had matched. EXCEPT for this one version that I spent the buck of my Christian faith studying from. I was torn. I couldn't believe what I was seeing. Here was the evidence God probably was waiting for the right time and for the longest time to show me. The perfect moment for me that He knew would break the camel's back that would lead to the one turning point He wanted for me. The one thing He knew that would push me over, force me to make the final turn, to take that leap of faith.
This event forced me to have a heart-to-heart conversation with this God that I wasn't so sure about but was willing to make a deal with Him. I can remember clearly saying this to Him.
Now, I strongly don't recommend that kind of prayer unless you fully understand what you are praying for. Because I did not understand what I was really was praying for. Because the very next day, when I needed to quote a Scripture I had probably quoted a million times before. I drew a blank. For a week, every time something came up where I had to quote a Scripture. Scriptures I was well familiar with. I drew a blank. So, for the first time, I shared with Felicia the deal I made with God after my conversation with her about God's name. She looked at me with her eyes stretched and with this stern look on her face. She didn't had to say anything because I was already thinking it. So, I said to her, yea I think God has done it. I really cannot remember any Scriptures.
And that was the beginning of a new journey for me in searching for God with all my heart. And boy, did He let Himself be found.
When your enemy circumvents the ways of God to deal with you treacherously, we should not be surprised or taken aback by such behavior or the schemes the devil uses (Ephesians 6:11). Even when such behavior is exhibited or done in the name of the LORD by some Christians.
Religious leaders did it to Jesus, God’s perfect and righteous Son. And they did it to such honorable men like the Prophet Jeremiah. On occasions when Jeremiah spoke, “thus says the LORD,” men, leaders of God’s people said in an effort to shut the mouth of Jeremiah and to win the support of others in their respective community, “come and let us devise plans against Jeremiah….” (This can be achieved not only by one’s words and deeds but also by thinking such things in one’s own heart concerning an authorized representative of God). “Come on and let us strike at him with our tongue, and let us give no heed to any of his words” (Jeremiah 18:18). (Oh, what a dangerous act on the part of these leaders).
The leaders of Judah that presided over the people of Israel committed high treason, a coup d’etat, by attempting to usurp the discipliner that God had established in its proper place as an authorized representative of His mandate. (Compare to Jeremiah 1:5; 18:18).
God responded to men’s treaSonous offenses
How did God respond to Jeremiah concerning these men's treasonous offenses? First, God said to Jeremiah to not give heed or any attention to these liars, these whitewash vipers. (Compare to Matthew 23:26-28). In other words, there was no need to debate with these men about the validation of Jeremiah’s appointment or position or status on God’s behalf. For God had already qualified and vetted Jeremiah in the absence of men. (Compare to Jeremiah chapter 1).
Despite this, these so-called leaders had mounted themself up against Jeremiah and Jeremiah was well aware of their campaign against him. Jeremiah said concerning them. “… They have dug a pit for me….” (Jeremiah 18:20) Yet, in spite of their animalistic behavior, Jeremiah speaks on the behalf of these men to keep God from displaying His rage against them.
But just like any other human, Jeremiah still wanted divine justice concerning the unrighteous acts of these men. In fact, Jeremiah demanded it from the LORD as we read Jeremiah’s words at Jeremiah chapter 18, verses 21 through 23. But in that moment, Jeremiah had forgotten that God had already answered Jeremiah’s prayer request concerning these unruly men a few chapters earlier when God spoke of this nation and its inhabitants' coming judgment. Their judgment for their continuously moving backward instead of toward what God was doing and who He was doing it through. For their continuous indulgence in sin. For their abandonment of the God of their forefathers in order to become a slave to other false gods, false religion, false concepts, false ideologies, and false doctrines. For their following false leaders and men. For their lack of repentance. (See Jeremiah 15:1-14).
We have to be mindful that with God, there are always conditions or stipulations involved to fully benefit from the blessings of God and to inherit the right to represent God as an authorized representative, be it as an apostle, prophet, pastor, Bible teacher, or evangelist. There are standards one must obtain and adhere to, to be approved by God for such roles. (Compare to Luke 12:48). These roles are not given to any and everyone in the Body of Christ just because they exist. God personally appoints men and women in these roles as HE SEES FIT AND DESIRE. (Compare to 1 Corinthians 12:11, 18, 24).
Therefore, concerning the behavior (and even hidden motives) these leaders had toward Jeremiah, God's appointment of Jeremiah as His prophet was still valid. God said to Jeremiah, “you will become My spokesman” (Jeremiah 15:19). Again, God confirms Jeremiah’s appointment and reminds Jeremiah who he is in Christ. Then God said this. Concerning all the treacherous leaders that had committed divine treason, “they for their part may turn to you….” (Jeremiah 15:19)
God is saying here to Jeremiah that despite the evil plotting of these men. Despite their wicked tongue that speaks against Jeremiah. These leaders will still have to seek the counsel, guidance, and direction of Jeremiah to know the plans, the intent, and the heart of God. There was no way around this because Jeremiah was God’s chosen vessel. These leaders can do all the plotting in the world and tell secrets and lies concerning Jeremiah that reach all the way to the top of a mountain. But Jeremiah was and still is God’s man – His anointed.
But this is the best part. As we said, God said to Jeremiah that these wicked men will have to come to Jeremiah for answers or solutions concerning what exactly God is doing. But Jeremiah will never have to turn to them, to these same men for counsel, support, or Godly direction (Jeremiah 15:19). Wooooo! My God!! Now that’s justice in that one single act alone. Let me quote what God said to Jeremiah. “… But as for you, you must not turn to them.” I mean what really do these evil leaders have to offer Jeremiah? Lies. Misdirection. Discord. And more lies.
To put the nail in the coffin. God said this concerning Jeremiah. That he will be a “fortified wall of bronze” for the people. Yet, the people will fight against him but they will not prevail over him. For in every situation Jeremiah finds himself with these wicked men, God will personally come down and see about Jeremiah to rescue and deliver Him (Jeremiah 15:20-21). What a good, good Father?
How does this benefit us today
This blessing and divine protection from God just does not extend only to Jeremiah. This is for God’s chosen vessels, His remnant today who all are experiencing “devise plans against” them; whom all are feeling the ill efforts of the strike of evil tongues against them by other leaders. This is for all of God’s anointed vessels whose counsel, warnings, and guidance that the masses think they can simply ignore (Jeremiah 18:18). God will eventually turn His backside and not His face to the people and its leaders (Jeremiah 18:17). And when He does, like the potter at the potter’s wheel, God will deal with these treacherous leaders according to His hand. Whether that be uprooting, pulling down, or destroying whoever refuses to repent and turn from their rebellious ways and turn back to the LORD and those He has chosen as His authorized representation. (Compare to James 5:16; Matthew 5:23-24; Jeremiah 18:6-8). But for those who do repent, He will restore and build up (Jeremiah 18:9).
Repent! For the hour is near.
God's word is for the edification, exhortation, and consolation; for teaching, reproving, correcting, and training so that every Christian is equipped for the work of service, to build up the Body of Christ (1 Corinthians 14:3; 2 Timothy 3:16; Ephesians 4:12).