Over the years, I have formed a habit of reading my Bible through yearly. It’s a good habit, but not one without challenges. I make it a goal to read five chapters each day. Sometimes I succeed, sometimes I fail, but that is my goal. When I get to the Old Testament prophets, I take a huge gulp because they no longer read like a story narrative or poetry; they are sermons! Hard sermons! But invariably, I find they open new treasure boxes of truth.
Another habit I enjoy is that of reading at least one chapter of a book each day. Again, sometimes I succeed, and sometimes I fail. Other times, I get so absorbed in the book that I finish it in a few days. Lately, I have read two books by Glynn Harrison, The Big Ego Trip, and A Better Story. I would highly recommend them both.
I make mention of them because, more often than not, God uses His word and my outside reading to help me understand principles and ideas. Like the other day, after trying to digest what I had been reading in Glynn Harrison’s books, I read through five chapters in Jeremiah. My eyes noticed a matching instruction in God’s Word.
Allow me to show you what I was seeing.
Jeremiah 20:12 reads, “But, O Lord of hosts, that triest the righteous, and seest the reins and the heart.”
Glynn Harrison was affirming that God knows and tries our hearts. He sees right down to the thoughts and intents of our hearts, as we read in Hebrews 4:12.
Jeremiah 23:16, “Hearken not unto the words of the prophets (the false prophets) that prophesy unto you! They make you vain: (empty, void of knowledge) they speak a vision of their own heart, and not out of the mouth of the Lord.”
Harrison was saying that man is successfully sculpting a society void of richness and contrary to God’s design while calling it Christianity.
Jeremiah 23:17, “They say still unto them that despise me, The Lord hath said, Ye shall have peace; and they say unto every one that walketh after the imagination of his own heart, No evil shall come upon you.”
What? Do we not read this all the time and hear it in music lyrics and TV programs and movies? “Be yourself. Do what makes you happy. Follow your heart. That old wives’ tales of the judgment of God is outdated. Nothing bad will happen to you.” But Proverbs 28:26 says, “He that trusteth in his own heart of a fool.”
Jeremiah continues, “The burden of the Lord shall ye mention no more: (stop telling me what the Bible says) for every man’s word shall be his burden; (every man did that which was right in his own eyes.) Result: “for ye have perverted the words of the living God, of the Lord of hosts our God.” (Jeremiah 23:36)
And don’t think God doesn't know or see.
Jeremiah 23:23, 24, “Am I a God at hand, saith the Lord, and not a God afar off? Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the Lord. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the Lord.”
I began to wonder how many people swallow the preaching of the world. Oprah, Joel Olsten, etc. they all preach the same gospel – their own.
Jeremiah 23:18 “For who hath stood in the counsel of the Lord, and hath perceived and heard his word? Who hath marked his word, and heard it?”
It is time to try the spirits and search our hearts! Are we following the counsel of the world and the gospel of false prophets? Are we following our own hearts to the disregard of God’s word? Or, do we live in God’s presence, acknowledge His activity, and seek to stand in His counsel? Do we mark His words?