As I overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah along with their neighboring towns,” declares the Lord, “so no one will live there; no people will dwell in it. (Jeremiah 50:40)
This verse in Jeremiah was part of my recent daily Bible study. The context : the Jews had been taken into captivity by the Babylonians, but now not only were they going to be allowed to return to their homeland, but their captors were going to suffer retribution. The destruction that’s awaiting the Babylonians is like the judgment and disaster that already befell Sodom and Gomorrah.
This prophetic word was great news for the original Jewish readers. But how does it connect for us in 2019 ?
God still does overthrows today.
Today’s example : Smoking.
Using my own best efforts, I had quit smoking (and relapsed!) many, many times before. But God engineered my final successful quitting. Was it a mystical deliverance ? Not quite. Here’s what happened : we were washing the smoke stained walls in the kitchen of 2 heavy smokers. Filling bucket after bucket as each turned black ! I had a vivid picture of my own lungs turning black. God used this incident plus being around some supportive non-smokers to free me, after 13 years of smoking bondage. So there was not a sudden supernatural miracle, but God was in control of each of the steps that set me free, starting with how it was no coincidence that I was assigned to visit the kitchen of the heavy smokers.
The main reason that quitting was finally successful was that it no longer depended only on my own willpower. Sure, my will was involved, but what God did was far more important. And it’s by God’s grace that there has been no relapse since I was set free of smokes over 30 years ago.
God is still freeing me from bondages. Now he is working on some stinky, self-centered attitudes in my heart —-which are less visible than having smoke pour out of me like a human chimney. But changing these crummy attitudes is at least as important.
But why even bother ?
Because we are putting off slop and putting on more of Jesus.
Jesus says that “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10)
Are you troubled by an area of your life that is in captivity ? God wants to set you free from bondage and give more of Christ’s abundant life to you.