A Critical Reminder to Stay Focused

By Jim Schneider, Executive Director, VCY America

It is easy to get caught up in the matters of the day, whether it be COVID-19, the uprisings in the cities,
the November 3rd election or a Supreme Court nomination. And while responding to these issues is
important, it is critical for believers in Christ to stay focused!

In many of the matters that confront us, we often try to go it on our own, seeking solutions within
ourselves and attempting to take matters into our own hands. Sadly, God is just an after-thought to
many. We resort to our own wisdom, our own might and even our own material resources thinking
these are the solution to the issues of the day.

We must not go down this path. History bears out consequences to those who do.

Jeremiah was a prophet to Judah at a time when their attention was turned away from God. They sought
after idols, after pleasures, and after their own foolish ideas. To those who reveled in their rebellious
attitude against God, Jeremiah’s message was certainly not met with acceptance. But Jeremiah was not
concerned about popularity; he was concerned about obedience to God. As such, he pointed out the sin
of the people and God’s impending judgment. He pled for them to repent, to return from their
backslidden condition and to return to God.

His message is a very similar one that America needs to hear today.

“Thus saith the LORD, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his
might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he
understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and
righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the LORD.”
(Jeremiah 9:23-24)

Sadly, man glories in his own wisdom. We take great pride in our knowledge, in technical advances; we
boast of the strides we’ve made in science, medicine, computer technology and even in artificial
intelligence. Sadly we draw the conclusion that we don’t need God.

Jeremiah reminded the people that compared to all the wise men, there is none like God (10:7), that they
are all together foolish (10:8) and it is He that established the world by His wisdom (10:12b). We can’t
begin to compare to God’s wisdom as “the foolishness of God is wiser than men.” (I Corinthians 1:25a)

The second area the people gloried in was their might. We must plead guilty to this as well. Today we
boast of our corporate might. But consider how many corporations have been brought down by scandal,
misappropriations, a failing economy brought on by COVID, etc. We also boast in our military might. But it is not our might we should be pursuing. We must instead focus on God’s might. Jeremiah
reminds us that there is none like God (10:6), He is the one who “made the earth by His power,”
(10:12a), He is the maker of all things (10:16). There is absolutely nothing that is too hard for God.
And as we are prone to worry and fret, we must focus on the Lord. “Some trust in chariots, and some in
horses: but we will remember the name of the LORD our God.”
(Psalm 20:7)

And just when we think our might is invincible, may we be ever mindful that “the weakness of God is
stronger than men.”
(I Corinthians 1:25b)

The third area Jeremiah warned about glorying in was riches. This was not only true of Jeremiah’s time,
but also true today. People pride themselves in being self-sufficient. All we have to do is pull out the
piece of plastic and we can have anything we want. Somehow many have conjured up the idea that
riches will somehow buy joy and satisfaction. Many are tempted to put their trust in their 401k or a
money market account or the stock market in exchange for God who is the One who gives us wealth.

These individuals had all kinds of riches. With their riches they followed after false gods (10:9), but
Jeremiah reminded them that these false gods will perish (10:11) and only the “LORD is the true God.”

We also put our trust and glory in riches. Let us not forget how the “self-sufficient” church of Laodicea
was warned: “Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and
knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:”
(Revelation 3:17)

These are those who have taken their eyes off the Lord and put them upon their own accomplishments.
While we are quick to condemn these people living during the time of Jeremiah, we must look at Scripture like a mirror that reveals that we are scarcely different.

May I boldly say that with all that is happening in the world today, the solution is not our wisdom, it is
not our might, and it is not our riches. The solution is Jesus. May we never lose sight of Him and
recognize that He must be our focus. May we call out and say, “O LORD, correct me, but with
judgment; not in thine anger, lest thou bring me to nothing.”
(Jeremiah 10:24)

It all begins with us turning our eyes upon the Lord who said, “Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and
shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.”
(Jeremiah 33:3)

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