Wander or Yield

Jeremiah 14:10a “This is what the Lord says about the people: They greatly love to wander; they do not restrain their feet.”

The people of Israel are complacent with their obedience to God. Their false prophets and priests were misleading the people to think that they would not suffer under the sword, famine or plague (verse 13) and the people chose to wander in their own ways instead of submitting to God.

As a nation when they rebelled against God and continued to be in a place of disobedience, they began to endure life removed from under the wing of God’s provision and peace. They as a people were in a place of spiritual as well as a physical drought as we see in Jeremiah 14.

Drought was one of the punitive consequences of disobedience to the covenant (Leviticus 26:19-20, Deuteronomy 28:22-24). The chapter begins with a vivid description of the drought they were enduring. The passage is inundated with language that paints a very realistic picture of the situation then. Words such as mourn, languish, wail, cry, dismay, lack of rain, empty cisterns, dry ground and lack of pasture give us a glimpse into this time.

For us: We all are inclined to wander if we are not purposeful in our pursuit of God. And it can begin small, with a lack of diligence in our daily time with God, occurring sporadically at the start, becoming more habitual over time and can gradually usher us to a place of spiritual drought. The absence of that ever-present intimacy with Him is when we experience a spiritual barrenness.

Staying connected to our source of living water, the well spring, from whom we need to drink from every day is necessary, without which we are parched, dry in spirit, our soul mourns and our ground (works for God) is cracked yielding nothing for the kingdom of God.

In verses 7-9 we read Jeremiah’s prayer. He grieves for the people and calls upon God to extend mercy. Jeremiah does not minimise their sin but says that it is justified and yet he calls upon God to do something for HIS NAME.

God’s name is His identity and reputation – that by which He is known. In Ezekiel 20:9 we read “For the sake of my name, I did what would keep it from being profaned in the eyes of the nations they lived among and to whose sight I have revealed myself to the Israelites by bringing them out of Egypt.”  

Jeremiah says in verse 9 that God’s people bear His name. God’s name is His identity and His reputation.

For us: We as His people bear His name – may we reflect and ask ourselves, as bearers of His name, how do we carry and represent that name out in the world?  

Jeremiah calls God their hope and their saviour, who is among them and will not forsake them. At all times, this is who is He is to us. Turn to Him with hope. However miserable a situation, God is and will always be our constant hope in whom we can trust. May we remember that and let that truth fill our hearts.

God says of the people to Jeremiah, they love to wander and they do not restrain their feet. They love to wander – their desire was not in God anymore. They wandered after false gods and they do not restrain their feet. We see that they did not exercise any self-control in their choice to keep God first and foremost in their life.

As I read about the people not restraining their feet and them wandering away from God, I was reminded of what God says in Genesis 3:15, that the serpent will strike your heel.

For us: The enemy strikes us in many ways but the most effective is when his attempts are directed towards making our daily steps gradually turn away from God because then we get spiritually weak.

In Psalms, we read time and time again David saying that the Lord is his desire and it is HE who places his feet upon solid ground. We, like the people of Israel have a tendency to wander, to sin, be self-serving and grow complacent in our daily walk with God

It is God who keeps us steady on the path

Psalm 40:2 “He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.”

Psalm 66:9 “He has preserved our lives and kept our feet from slipping.”

Yes, God holds us firm and keeps us strong and steady on our path but what do we have to do to be able to receive that from Him – Yield to Him, wait on Him and seek Him.

Psalm 119:105 says “Your word is a lamp unto my feet”

His word guides our path, immerse yourself in His word for His word is powerful and it steers us towards God. Spend time in prayer not only speaking to Him but also waiting on Him to listen to what He has to say.

Nicki Gumbel who pioneered the alpha course says, we don’t go to the doctor, tell all that is bothering us and then just walk out. No, we wait to hear what the doctor has to say and heed his advice. In the same way, take time to wait and listen to what God has to say.

Wandering is so much easier in the moment than yielding to God. But there is a cumulative consequence to our desires, choices and the daily decisions and actions we make that either honour God or not.

May the desires of our heart be aligned with God; may we yield to Him and seek Him every day so that we can be strong and steady in our daily walk with God. May God give us the strength to restrain our feet from wandering and may we find peace and joy as we submit to Him, for He is our hope and our saviour.

God Bless.

39 thoughts on “Wander or Yield

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  1. As the hymn says, we are prone to wander. We must be very intentional about seeking the Lord. Like you mentioned, wandering starts with little things like neglecting our time with God. May we stay diligent in our walk with Him. Blessings Manu! Thank you.

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  2. Drought is a good description of what happens when we neglect time with God. A tornado might hit and bring destruction in a day, but drought happens over an extended period of time, and the effects are felt gradually. Skipping our “quiet time” for a day might not feel like it’s made a difference, but if the enemy can keep us distracted…

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  3. Excellent thoughts, as always, Manu. We are certainly prone to wander and must watch out of the slight deviations that lead to big discrepancies down the road. May we always stay close to God! Blessings.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. “The enemy strikes us in many ways but the most effective is when his attempts are directed towards making our daily steps gradually turn away from God because then we get spiritually weak.”
    You made so many great points in this post, but this one especially convicted me. I have felt more distracted in my quiet times lately because my son is waking up earlier than usual, so I’m not getting the normal time to myself in the mornings as I have before. I’m still reading my Bible, but I’m interrupted a lot and distracted by my little boy. 😔 Anyway, I’d appreciate your prayer for me about this. I’m really grateful for the reminder too that it’s the small steps that lead us away from God. It’s a good reminder to me to pray diligently for good time with God in His Word and focus and that God would help me to grow. Thanks, Manu! You continue to be instrumental in my walk with God. 💛

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    1. I will be praying that Gods provides you with those quiet times without interruptions. A friend from Bible study who has six kids told me that when her kids were little, quiet time was literally impossible to go uninterrupted and so she eventually learnt that for that season of her life she would not look at those interruptions as what they were but that they were a representation of the blessing and fullness of Life God blessed her with. That approach helped her not get frustrated when she got interrupted and with that she was still able to continue having that mental communication with God. It is that frustration that breaks that communion with God in our prayer time. And she also shared something she learnt from someone else- while hanging or folding laundry and cooking she used that as her prayer time ( quietly in her mind) because she said we mums spend so much time doing these things, why not pray and just talk to God and maybe even listen to Him.
      I am so blessed by your words of encouragement.
      Thank you Colleen 🤗🌺💙

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  5. Wow, Manu so much good truth here! I appreciate your thoughts on drought and barrenness. When we neglect time in the Word we do cut off our life source. There are so many false pastors/prophets leading folks astray like the false prophets in Israel. May we yield to God and sound doctrine rather than wandering in the death and chaos of false teaching.

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  6. You are so right. It can be so easy to wander away from God. It might not be a conscious decision. But little by little, other things take our attention. I love that you pointed out that our pursuit of God must be purposeful. This is such a great reminder. No matter how busy our lives are and no matter what else we have going on, God should be our priority.
    Thinking about the value in God’s name really struck me. For one thing, it reminds me of how faithful God is, even when we least deserve it. He still loves us beyond measure because of who He is. And I also appreciate that you pointed out that we need keep God’s name in mind, as we are a reflection of Him in this world.
    Such a great point about the enemy striking. It is so vital for us to cling to the Lord daily and keep our guard up. We just never know when the enemy will attack. And we can so easily fall into his traps.
    And thank you for that reminder about listening to God. Too often we are dump all of troubles on God in our prayer time, but don’t stop to listen to what He has to say. It takes effort to slow down and sit at His feet. But the reward is so great.
    I am so thankful that God is our steadfast hope. No matter what we are facing, we can remain anchored, thanks to Him.
    A great post! Thanks for sharing and encouraging! Blessings to you, my dear friend! 💕🌸

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The fact that we bear His name and the value in it- struck me so much too.
      And taking time listening to Him rather than just only talking one sided, yes- really important for us all.
      Thank you my dear friend. Your thoughts are something I enjoy reading, am encouraged by and look forward to.
      🤗🌺💙

      Liked by 1 person

  7. It is easy to wander off our path, trying to figure things out on our own, forging our own path instead of taking time to seek, wait, listen, and yield to the Lord. Lord help me to always seek You first and follow Your path. Have a wonderful weekend, Manu! 💗✨🌼🌺

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Manu, what a great post and so much to think about. I love that you have reminded me that God wants His name to stay honourable and as a Christian, I need to think how I am representing Him. Blessings to you my friend! 😘

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I read every word and thoroughly enjoyed it, Manu. Yes, it’s easy to do all the talking and then not listen. That’s an area I could use some work. Thankfully the Lord finishes what He starts. There is hope for md yet. ❤ Hope you had a great weekend. 💙

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Tina, you made my day by saying that 🤗.
      Yes, thank the Lord that He is patient with us and finishes the work that he started in us.
      Have a wonderful day 🌺

      Like

  10. we don’t go to the doctor, tell all that is bothering us and then just walk out. No, we wait to hear what the doctor has to say and heed his advice. In the same way, take time to wait and listen to what God has to say. Ameeeeen

    Lord teach me to listen to you more. Teach me to remain in your presence oh my father.

    Thank you sis for that wonderful reminder.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. If it wasn’t for God I would be here he’s a saved my life as a kid life and adult life I’m greatful to what I have

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Praise God 🙌 for only He can do that.
        May you continue to give Him all glory for what Be has done in your life.
        Blessings to you 🌺🤗

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