Our Intentions

Jeremiah 42:19-21
The LORD hath said concerning you, O ye remnant of Judah; Go ye not into Egypt: know certainly that I have admonished you this day.  For ye dissembled in your hearts, when ye sent me unto the LORD your God, saying, Pray for us unto the LORD our God; and according unto all that the LORD our God shall say, so declare unto us, and we will do it.  And now I have this day declared it to you; but ye have not obeyed the voice of the LORD your God, nor any thing for the which he hath sent me unto you.

The people of Judah were facing a dilemma.  There was a remnant left in the land after the people had been carried away to captivity, and they were afraid of what staying there might mean.  So they go to Jeremiah and ask him to pray about their situation to offer them guidance from God on this matter, promising to abide by whatever answer God gives, no matter what it might be.

But God knew what was in their hearts when they came to Jeremiah and asked him to seek the Lord for them.  They had said they would obey, but they had no intention to do so.  They just wanted God to confirm the plan they already had in mind to go into Egypt and escape.  They came to Him under false pretenses, but He already knew they intended to disobey.  It seemed like such a great idea to them that they thought surely that’s what God would tell them to do.  But when the answer is not what they want to hear, they call Jeremiah a liar and follow their own path, completely ignoring the word of the Lord.

Do we ever do that same thing, though?  Sometimes we get an idea in our minds of what we think we should do or what we really want to do, and then we go to God about it.  But we only want Him to confirm the plans we’ve already made instead of going to Him with a willingness to truly do as He says.  If He gives us an answer that conflicts with our plans or our desires, will we change our mind?  Or are we set to disobey because we just want to do what we want to do?

It’s not a game that we get to play.  If we go to God in prayer about something never intending to do what He says if it’s not what we want, He sees right through that.  He is not pleased with that.  He does not honor that in our lives.  A heart that is truly surrendered to God is willing to change if His plan is different.  A surrendered heart truly seeks God’s will with the intention to follow it, not looking for divine permission to go off its own way.  May we be willing to seek God and His guidance, but then may we be willing to obey even if what He says differs from what we really wanted to do instead.