Seek the welfare of the city I have deported you to. Pray to the Lord on its behalf, for when it has prosperity, you will prosper.
This verse from Jeremiah 29 has been floating around me for some time now. Pastor Jason Mangram gave a wonderful message on this pre-middle section of Jeremiah’s letter to the exiles in Jerusalem on my first Sunday home. He spoke a lot to the need for seeking God first, praying forward, and taking advantage of the situation God has you in right now rather than looking forward or backward. At the time it didn’t go quite as deep as it should have, but when I opened my Bible this morning, it was screaming.
We’ve all been deported. Think about it. The old hymn says, “This world is not my home. I’m just passing through. My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue.” (Did y’all sing that? I sure did – over and over again.) We’re strangers in a foreign land. We’re just here for a little while before we get back to heaven – the Promised Land.
When Jesus said “grafted in” he meant it in a big way.
Our birth was more or less our exile from God because of our sin (I know this could go crazy theologically, but bear with me) and we’re basically in Babylon right now like Judah in the book of Jeremiah.
Yes, our goal is the presence of our Savior, Jesus, in heaven, but our job is right here. In Jeremiah 29, God addresses the exiles of Judah and tells them to settle down, make babies, and seek the welfare of the city.
That’s what we should be doing right now. We’re curbside prophets with our hands in our pockets just waiting on our rocket to come (Somebody please catch that Jason Mraz reference) but what we should be doing is investing in the city we’re in – our mission field, if you will.
I mean, that’s a big statement. “…for when it has prosperity, you will prosper.” And some of us wonder why we’re struggling so much – start praying & interceding for your city. See how Boss changes things.