How many couples do you know that say they met their husband or wife at a time in their lives when they weren’t expecting it? I’ve heard it said many times. Some would argue that it doesn’t matter if a person is looking for love or not. What matters is that when they find love, they are able to keep it. There’s some merit in that school of thought as well, but we can’t overlook the reality that when we have stepped away from being consumed with finding love, love finds us. At some point it has to dawn on us that there’s a spiritual principle in the notion of meeting someone when our attention isn’t on it. This principle shows us that there’s more to meeting the right person than what we’ve thought, and it reveals most assuredly that what’s going on in our hearts and minds plays a very important part.
Jeremiah 17:7-8(NLT) gives us the basis for understanding how important the mind and heart are when it comes to proving our faith in God. It says, “7 But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence. 8 They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit.” At the time God delivered these words to those living in Old Testament times, the sins of His people were notoriously disobedient. They had evil in their hearts, so much so that they made evil a part of their worship. They were so entrenched in their own kind of righteousness that they could no longer see their evil for what it was. It could be said that the women had turned their eyes and hearts from God and worshiped their men instead. They looked upon men as though they were their everything.
The same could be said of the men. They looked to their human rulers for leadership and guidance, and they totally abandoned the ways of God. Heavenly Father said in Jeremiah 17:5(NLT), “Cursed are those who put their trust in mere humans, who rely on human strength and turn their hearts away from the LORD.” Because of the idolatrous practices of His people, God told them that the wonderful blessing He had reserved for them would slip through their hands. God had blessed His people with great wealth and prosperity, but instead of being thankful and more sincere in their worship, they became self-righteous and were blind to the true righteousness of God. The same can be said about many of us.
The luxury of modern living that we’ve been so blessed to experience has blinded our eyes. We can’t see the extent to which we’ve turned from God and began to depend on people and the systems they maneuver to make life more convenient. When we operate this way, the blessings we want most can potentially slip through our hands, and like God’s people living in earlier biblical times, we’re blinded to how far our minds and hearts have turned from God. If there’s even the slightest, most remote possibility that this has happened to you, don’t delay. Offer God your most sincere and deepest apology and repent. It doesn’t matter if you don’t think you’ve done anything wrong. Our hearts can and do deceive us. Our circumstances will tell the story about where our hearts are, and what we’re harboring in them. As challenging as it can be, we must acknowledge our errors and repent so that our blessings are no longer blocked.
Heavenly Father rebuked those that had refused to acknowledge that all blessings come from Him. Then, in Jeremiah 17:7-8, He gave this wonderful blessed Word to those that placed their trust in Him. He said they had made HIM their hope and confidence. What does it mean to make God our hope and confidence? It means that we have emptied ourselves of all other negative thoughts, especially those that might be idolatrous, and the only thing remaining in our hearts and minds is our hope and confidence in God. Those who received His blessing had honored Him with their faith, and this is what He saw when He looked upon them; He saw their faith. He saw them as trees that were planted by the river.
When something is planted and rooted in the ground, it doesn’t move from one place to the next. It stays put and is totally dependent on the Creator for everything it needs. Like a tree that is continually nourished by the river’s water, we are totally dependent on God for everything. He has all power in His hands, and He has incredible love for us all, yet many of us love sin more than we love being committed to Him. Jeremiah was God’s mouthpiece, and he delivered harsh words to God’s people because they had strayed from Heavenly Father. It broke Jeremiah’s heart to speak to them that way, but it had to be done. The people called him a traitor because they didn’t want to hear the truth.
It is the same with many of us. We only want to hear words that tickle our ears, but we will not witness the mighty power of God if we refuse to hear His truth. Ephesians 3:20(NIV) declares, “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.” God is able and willing to do infinitely above anything we can imagine, but the buck stops with us. He moves according to our willingness to allow His Spirit to be at work within us. The Spirit moves where God’s Word is honored and believed. If we truly understand this, we can see why the most marvelous things can happen when we least expect them. When our confidence is anchored in God, we go on about our Father’s business, and stop worrying about things He has promised to provide.
We must remember that our sins are not forgotten until they are forgiven. Repentance comes with a heart that is humble and eager to please God and change from those things that don’t please Him. If we are ever unsure about our sin, we need only ask God for a revelation of it. He will reveal how we’ve grieved the Holy Spirit through our wrong actions. We must be ever so careful that our hearts are right with God, and that we’re not putting anything ahead of our relationship with Him. In Genesis 15:1, God came to Abraham in a vision and said to him, “Don’t be afraid, Abraham, I am your shield and I will protect you. I am your exceeding great reward.” Oh, how important this is for us to know. God is the Great I Am! He is our exceeding great reward! If this is how we truly feel about our God, we will have proven our commitment to Him. When we have made God our hope and confidence by living by the example of Christ, not only will He bless us when we least expect it, but He will make sure we are ready for the blessing He will present.■
Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
“When You Least Expect It, It Shows up!”, written for findchristianman.wordpress.com. Copyright©2022. All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord.