ASBC wandering booklet - Page 28

Sunday, May 17th
Pastor Howard-John Wesley
What To Do In The Meantime - Wandering in the Wilderness Part 5
Jeremiah 29:4-14
This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says to all those I carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon:“Build houses
and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce. Marry and have sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give
your daughters in marriage, so that they too may have sons and daughters. Increase in number there; do not decrease. Also, seek
the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too
will prosper.”Yes, this is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says:“Do not let the prophets and diviners among you deceive
you. Do not listen to the dreams you encourage them to have.They are prophesying lies to you in my name. I have not sent
them,” declares the Lord.This is what the Lord says:“When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and
fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place. For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord,“plans to prosper
you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will
listen to you.You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord,
“and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares
the Lord,“and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.”
Over the past few weeks, we’ve been following the journey of the children of Israel as they wander in the wilderness.
In this week’s message, we jump ahead and find the children of Israel in Babylonian exile. While experiencing this
season of oppression, they had to wonder what God was up to in their lives. The COVID-19 pandemic forces many of
us to ask similar questions. Pastor Wesley offers four poignant recommendations for what to do in the meantime:
Be Productive in the Midst of Your Predicament- Your predicament does not limit the possibility of your
productivity because our God allows us to prosper in adverse situations. This pandemic has opened up
opportunities for us to pursue dreams and visions God has placed inside of us.
Be Prayerful over the Peace and Prosperity of the Land- There are some seasons in life when all you can do is
pray your way through it. Exile forces us to rely on and realize the true power of prayer. The exile of COVID-19
has also exposed the racial depravity of the United States. And while many of us are angry, the first thing we
should do is pray because prayer changes things.
Be Protective of Prophetic Sources You Accept- In exile, you have to be careful about who you listen to.
Everyone shouldn’t have access to your ears. Specifically, Pastor Wesley advised us to be careful about how much
news we listen to because it can make us angry or depressed. You don’t just need the current news, you need the
timeless Word of God.
Be Patient with the Plans and Promises of God- God has a promise and plan for our future. In times of
uncertainty, we have to trust God’s plan. Be patient with a God who’s working things out.

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