“This is how the Lord responds: ‘If you return to me, I will restore you so you can continue to serve me. If you speak good words rather than worthless ones, you will be my spokesman. You must influence them; do not let them influence you!'” Jeremiah 15:19 NLT
This salvation walk is no joke! It’s one thing to be saved and something completely different to choose to walk in that salvation. I mean, once you receive Jesus in your heart, you are saved! But the next part is walking out that salvation daily. There is literally a decision that must be made daily to put on this robe of righteousness given to us by Christ Jesus; this gift He gave us on the cross. And, I’m not lying when I say, some days, I want to toss my robe to the side. You know those days right? Days in which you struggle to get up because you know you’ll have to deal with complete nonsense. Mornings in which you would just rather not!
Have you ever felt that way? Especially when you have to deal with people, maybe someone in particular, who is constantly directing their foolishness at you? These are the moments when it can be so easy to set righteousness aside and meet them right where they are, especially if you know you can come at them six ways from Sunday! Lord, help me! But these are also the moments in which we have a choice to make. Moments when you’re forced to thoroughly examine your heart and carefully evaluate your words. There is a required intentionality like none other! Because, if we’re not careful, those folks will influence us to drift away from what we know to be right.
I think that’s how Jeremiah felt in chapter 15, just before God’s response. Here he was, being obedient to the Lord, prophesying and warning people, doing what is right before God. And he was just getting all types of folly from them; disrespect, disregard, and even death threats! I think at this point, Jeremiah was like, “You know what, forget this!” And, can’t we all relate to that? When you’re trying to live right, do right, love right; and you just get foolishness in return? But I love how God lovingly brings Jeremiah back, how He lovingly brings us back!
God reaffirms and reassures us that He is in all of it! The mistreatments, persecutions, insults, threats – He is cognizant of it all! And, because He’s aware of it, we don’t need to get caught up in it! Our focus should be the same focus God had for Jeremiah; not on them, rather on our own walk, our words, and our influence! That we not play into their potential to influence us because, in doing so, we cast aside our righteous influence. Instead, we are called to influence them, even in their rejection and belittlement of us. Beloved, no matter how much people might try to discredit you, you keep making an intentional effort to put on your robe, go to God, and allow Him to use you to influence others!