“Amend your ways and your deeds, and I will let you dwell in this place. For if you truly amend your ways and your deeds, if you truly practice justice between a man and his neighbor, if you do not oppress the alien, the orphan, or the widow, and do not shed innocent blood in this place, nor walk after other gods to your own ruin, then I will let you dwell in this place, in the land that I gave to your fathers forever and ever.” – Jeremiah 7:3, 5-7
At my church’s midweek service last night, my pastor spoke really strongly on returning to a spirit of prayer. Not just a “pray every now and then” kinda prayer life, but an intentional, “pray without ceasing,” determined, prioritized prayer life. My pastor talked about how people don’t prepare themselves when they come to church, how they don’t really even think about church until they’re there.
And then this morning I read this passage in Jeremiah. Amend your ways. Why? So that you can dwell in this place. Looking at this passage in context, we see that the Lord was issuing a call to repentance to the Israelites during one of their seasons of rebellion, but if we apply this passage to ourselves we see how God is calling us also to amend our ways, to make position ourselves in a place to receive, so that then, having done that, we may dwell.
I think I want to start to spend more time preparing my heart and my spirit before church because I’m in a place right now where I don’t want to miss out on anything that God has for me. In fact, I’m in a place right now where I’m trying to rid my life of certain things – some of them harmless – just so I can make more room for God.
There is more.
So I’m striving to amend my ways that I may dwell where He dwells. If only we all had a heart like John, who was “in the Spirit on the Lord’s day,” (Revelations 1:10) and subsequently gifted the Revelation. If only we all positioned ourselves in the Spirit even before the allotted Sunday gatherings began. Then, maybe, we would begin to see things we’ve never seen before.