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Dear COA Family,

Can our strong preference for something lead us to reject God’s will for our lives? I believe this is entirely possible.

After the Babylonians had conquered and laid waste to Jerusalem in 586BC, the remnant of Israelites left in that devastated land were living in fear of their new rulers. This was made worse by an assassination of the local governor whom the king of Babylon had put in place to rule them. The new leader approached Jeremiah the prophet to inquire of God what they should do: should they stay in Jerusalem or flee to Egypt?

After asking the Lord, Jeremiah said to them: “Do not fear the king of Babylon, of whom you are afraid. Do not fear him, declares the LORD, for I am with you, to save you and to deliver you from his hand.” (Jer 42:11)

However, instead of heeding God’s word to them, the leaders replied, “You are telling a lie. The Lord our God did not send you to say, ‘Do not go to Egypt to live there,’ but Baruch the son of Neriah has set you against us, to deliver us into the hand of the Chaldeans, that they may kill us or take us into exile in Babylon.” (Jer 43:2-3)

Actually, the people of Jerusalem had already determined in their hearts to flee to Egypt. It did not matter what Jeremiah or the Lord said. They had a strong preference for leaving and they were merely asking Jeremiah to confirm their desire to depart. When he did not, they rejected his words. As a result, they were completely annihilated as a people in Egypt and were never heard of again.

Can our strong preference for something lead us to reject God’s will today? Let me share a real-life example.

There are many Christians who are attached to unbelievers and desire to be married. God says: Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers (2 Cor 6:14). Instead of obeying this command of the Lord, some have a strong preference to get hitched to their unbelieving partners. They say instead, “What if the Lord can save him/her through me?” There is no doubt that God can do that, but they have chosen their own way instead of God’s.

Therefore, we must constantly guard our own hearts against the folly of pre-determined preferences and be always willing to accept the Lord’s will for our lives.

Have a blessed week ahead!

Revd Ian