"My eyes are on all their ways; they are not hidden from me, nor is their sin concealed from my eyes." Jeremiah 16:17
One of the most vivid memories I hold of my childhood is being shrouded in fear, not from outside sources but from the darkness that I felt within me. Like a lost child, I felt no comfort, my happiness was fleeting, and as mentors told me what a wonderful child I was their opinions struggled to uphold my crumbling self-image.
I allowed a record within my mind to tell me that I was not good enough, that my worth was based on my achievements, and that this was to be the reality of the rest of my life.
The reality of my childhood was that, although I was obedient and a good student, no amount of distraction could keep me from the consequence of unbelief and sin. These memories are so vivid for me because, after my salvation 3 years ago, the fear I felt as a child lit a passion within me to help others label the suffering they experience from sin, even unknowingly. Sin causes suffering because it leads us away from God and makes us want to hide from Him rather than admit our rebellion.
For me, Jeremiah 16:17 is a reminder that I am never hidden from God, nor was I when I was lost. God sees my sins, yet still has mercy enough to cover each and every one of them.
After I realized that God was with me each step I took and that He was the one that defined my worth, the record became one of love. I began to hear God's voice in my mind telling me that He would not abandon me, that I was loved, and that my life would be a purposeful one when I honored Him with my actions.
However, when we are in a season of lax Christianity, contentment, or passionlessness, it can be easy to acknowledge God, yet go through our day without speaking to Him. This has been the reality of many people's faith, but God always ushers us back to Him through memories, nostalgia, new love, and hope.
In Jeremiah 16:17, God is actually speaking about the pursuit of unbelievers who are "ripe for judgment." In God's eyes, there is not a single sin or good deed that is hidden. In these verses, God seeks out the rebellious in order to bring judgment upon them. While this may seem to make the verse more threatening than comforting, rebellion is a reality of our spiritual lives. We cannot hope for forgiveness and an awakening back to God if we do not recognize the rebellion in our pasts for what it was.
God wants us to know that rebellion is a reality, and while we may feel as though we can push God away from our lives, He sees all of our ways, and our actions are not hidden from Him. By meditating on our past (or present) rebellions, we can see how God has been involved, and often how he has rescued us from our own sinfulness.
Just as we do not want to suffer from our sin, so too did God create us for a world opposite from our own. We live in bodies that were not created for death, and we cling to God knowing that Jesus Christ is the way back to eternal life. When we think about the rebellions in our past, we can see how the world is damaging, unbelief causes suffering, and God is the way to a brighter life.
It is entirely possible to take the record of your past and create a new vinyl. It is possible to accept whatever past is yours, and still move on from it. God is waiting with open arms, no explanation is necessary. He already knows your past and your present, and the only thing he asks of you is your future.
Once we have seen God in our rebellion and been brought back to Him, we can better appreciate the ministry of showing others the Light. Today, do something to show someone the Light and put the love of Jesus on full display through your actions and your love.
Do you remember a time of rebellion in your past? Are you rebelling against God at this moment?
If you have been or are in a state of rebelling against God, meditate on His word. Give Him an honest chance, and choose to see Him in this time.
What can you do today to strengthen your faith? How can you show the light of Christ to someone else today?
Remember that God is with you at this moment. Allow yourself to believe that He loves you wholeheartedly. Release your insecurities about whatever the state of your spiritual life is, and run to Him without abandon.