PLANNED

PLANNED

AFTER 7O YEARS. Everybody loves the 29:11 part but forgets everything before it and after. God has a great plan for His people. This Scripture is in relation to God’s covenant people, not an individual; and only as the individual identifies with the covenant body. Does God have a plan for the individual? Yes.

As the individual identifies with the covenant body. But first, there would be 70 years of bondage. Why? After studying the Bible for 27 years, it seems to me that God’s people respond best to affliction. God chastens and disciplines every child He receives.

If you do not endure His chastening, you are illegitimate. In more crass words, you are a bastard. “For thus says the Lord: After seventy years are completed at Babylon, I will visit you and perform My good word toward you, and cause you to return to this place. For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you, says the Lord, and I will bring you back from your captivity; I will gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you, says the Lord, and I will bring you to the place from which I cause you to be carried away captive.” Jeremiah‬ ‭29:10-14

‬ Read the parable of the prodigal found in Luke 15:11-32. Many people can only learn the hard way. Enter the parable of the prodigal son. I identify way more with the son that willingly stayed with the father and lived within the father’s boundaries. I lived life the hard way and prefer the safety and security of my Father’s boundaries. Not everyone has my same experience with sin and the world though. Many have to experience hardship for themselves. Many won’t receive wisdom and instruction. Many are hard-headed and rebellious and have to touch the “greener” grass for themselves; not realizing it’s only greener because it’s growing over the septic tanks.

No matter how much I scream, “Do not do that! Do not go there! Stay within God’s boundaries. Stay within the safety of His people. Bad company corrupts good morals”; they don’t listen. Affliction is the only source of life for many. These have to touch the burner to know it’s hot. They have to leave protection. However, God still has a plan for the prodigals. God has not forgotten about His wandering sons and He will be found by them when they reach that point of despair and cry out to return to the Father. And on that day that they cry out to Him and seek Him with all their heart, He will be found.

In the meantime, here’s a few lessons we can learn from Scripture:If someone can walk away from you, let them go. Please be aware that in the parable that Jesus tells us, the father didn’t run after the wandering son. He let him go. In our house, my husband sets the rules. Live in our house, you abide by the rules or you leave. This rule goes for my children and everyone that we have ever taken in. I don’t care if you are an adult. If you live under our house, you are under our safety and protection. We are responsible for you. Live by our rules. Same goes for the Father’s house. To live under the Father’s protection is to live under His laws and rules. If you are going to attend our church, you abide under the pastor’s authority, therefore under his protection and by the church’s covenant.

You don’t like it, then please leave. We cannot be responsible for anyone who is not submitted. Parents, if your adult child wants to leave, let them go. Saints, if your friend can walk away from you, let them go. If a wandering brother won’t listen to instruction, let them go. The deceitfulness of sin leads to the hardening of the heart. A hardened heart can no longer hear the Spirit. This is the danger of sin and departing from the safety of the Father and forsaking the covenant fellowship. Let them know the consequences of leaving. Tell people the truth. Stop sugar coating sin and rebellion. It leads to death.

Never stop praying. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. Pray continually. Pray without ceasing. Fast and pray. Pray with the Spirit and pray with understanding. Pray always. God’s heart is for the prodigals to return. This should be ours as well. Let them go through affliction. Affliction’s purpose is for them to see the error of their ways, repent and cry out to God. I read something a while back I thought was really good. I am paraphrasing here, but it said something to the extent of: “if everyone would have given the prodigal food and a bed to sleep in, he would have never returned to his father”. Let the rebellious eat the pig slop. We will all reap what we sow, the prodigal is no different. God cares more about them than you do. Leave it in His hands.

Let the prodigal go through the affliction. They need to seek the Lord for themselves. He is their only Redeemer and Rescuer. After the affliction, THEN they will call upon Him. God still has a plan. After 70 years of bondage, He still had a plan for Israel. I realize the time is short and the days are evil. The Bible says “redeem the time because the days are evil”. Meaning: make the most of your time here while you can. We are not promised tomorrow. He is the God of space and time, He knows, He cares and it will take as long as it needs to take. God is long-suffering and patient. We can lose hope when we feel helpless to change the situation. Cling to the Lord and His Word. Hold fast to His promises. He is faithful. Regardless of what anyone else does, you still have a race to run. You can’t let the prodigal consume you. Put them completely in His hands. Our hope is in Jesus alone. Keep your eyes on the prize. #runyourrace

To Learn More About Pastor Crystal please visit the Leadership Page

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