Prayer Blog

Lord, what have I done?


The word which came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying: “Arise and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will cause you to hear My words.” Then I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was, making something at the wheel. And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter; so he made it again into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to make.
Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying: “O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter?” says the LORD. “Look, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are you in My hand, O house of Israel! The instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, to pull down, and to destroy it, if that nation against whom I have spoken turns from its evil, I will relent of the disaster that I thought to bring upon it. And the instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it, if it does evil in My sight so that it does not obey My voice, then I will relent concerning the good with which I said I would benefit it.
“Behold, I am fashioning a disaster and devising a plan against you. Return now every one from his evil way, and make your ways and your doings good.”
~Jeremiah 18:1-11

When God spoke this word to Jeremiah, it was at the beginning of the downfall of the nation. God gave this word to His people after years of calling them to turn from their wicked ways. He was still giving them one more chance to turn to Him in repentance!
Because God is slow to anger and great in mercy, He called them year after year. He wanted to bless them. He wanted to deliver them from their enemies. He wanted to deliver them from falling into captivity.

He sent Jeremiah to stand in the gate of the Lord's house and proclaim to those who entered to worship the Lord to change their ways in order for them to continue to dwell in that place.

But the Israelites did not listen. Instead, they listened to the false prophets who promised them that peace would remain and that only blessing was coming.

God's people did not listen to His voice because they did not want to look inward. No one wanted to ponder the path of their own feet. They were going to church, offering sacrifices to the Lord, yet Jeremiah said they were all adulterers and full of immorality; their tongues bent for lies and not valiant for the truth. (Jer 9:2-3) They were content with their outward religion.

The Lord said His people were circumcised and Gentiles uncircumcised, yet because His people were uncircumcised in heart, He would destroy them all together. (Jer 9:25) Outward signs of religion were meaningless in God's eyes when the inward heart was wicked.

What is the condition of the church in America today?

Is it possible that we are in the same condition as His people were then?
Is it possible that we are not listening to God's voice, calling us to turn from our wicked ways?
How could it be that God's people had evil hearts?
Are we not righteous before God because of His blood?
Today the church is gripped with pornography(which is adultery). A few years ago, Barna Research said that almost 70% of Christian men in the church, and 50% of pastors view pornography regularly! More than likely these numbers are higher when you add those men who only view it on occasion. The church today in America is full of immorality just as in the days of Jeremiah.

Lying has also become acceptable. I heard a church leader's wife say recently that she had told her children a white lie to “protect them” from the truth of something wicked. Is there such a thing as a white lie? A white lie is a lie in God's eyes!

The Lord is gracious, slow to anger, and great in mercy; but there comes a time when because of His nature, His judgment must fall if His people will not turn from their wicked ways.

In the time of Jeremiah, God was fashioning a disaster and devising a plan against His people because they would not listen and turn from their wicked ways. He gave them one more chance to turn and repent as we saw in Jeremiah 18. Sadly, His people’s response was, “That is hopeless! So we will walk according to our own plans, and we will every one obey the dictates of his evil heart.” (Jer 18:12)

How TRAGIC! Soon after they said this, their nation was destroyed and they were taken into captivity by the wicked. Imagine what a different story would have been written if God's people had heeded at that moment to the Lord's voice and each one had pondered the path of their feet looking inward and repenting for their wicked ways.

Now in March of 2021, we are watching our nation being overcome by darkness and being led into captivity. Is this a sign of God's blessing upon us? Definitely not.

Our nation's ONLY hope of being saved is a revival, a visitation of the Spirit of God, a spiritual awakening of hearts across the land, and that visitation has to start in the church of Jesus Christ. Revival always starts with repentance. Could it be that today the most important prayer we can pray is the prayer the Lord told Jeremiah He did not hear from His people, which was, “Lord, what have I done?” (Jer 8:6)

It is time for the Church in America, for everyone individually, to ponder the path of our feet. It is time for everyone who is called by His Name to say, “Lord, what have I done?” It is time for everyone who is called by His Name to say as Jeremiah said, “Lord, correct me in justice!”

At the last supper when Christ told His disciples that one of them would betray Him, Peter said, “Lord, is it I?” He was concerned! We need to be concerned as to whether we have offended the Lord. We need to be concerned about what we need to repent for and turn away from!

May the Lord not say of us in America as He said about His people in the days of Jeremiah, I listened and I did not hear them say, “What have I done?”

Amy Carmichael: Men and Women of Faith
A Powerful God: Answered Prayer Series


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