Now therefore say to the people of Judah and those living in Jerusalem, “This is what the LORD says: Look! I am preparing a disaster for you and devising a plan against you. So turn from your evil ways, each one of you, and reform your ways and your actions.” But they will reply, “It’s no use. We will continue with our own plans; we will all follow the stubbornness of our evil hearts.” Jeremiah 18:11-12
What a tragic response! These Judahites could see no value in changing their ways which indicates they didn’t believe disaster was coming. They had been warned many times by various prophets but they didn’t realise God was being patient. They thought he was lenient. These people didn’t expect their circumstances to change and couldn’t imagine God allowing them to be attacked, captured and sent into exile. They were so wrong.
It’s a problem when we take God for granted. In the West, we regularly experience so much grace and protection from God, we think it’s normal. We continue with our plans, our agendas and our timetables without giving God much consideration.
As we read accounts of Christians who are persecuted in other places, of Christians who are trapped in civil unrest and even those caught up in extreme weather events, we realise faith doesn’t guarantee a life of ease. Therefore we’re more prudent as we make our plans knowing that our lives are like mist (James 4:14) and we guard against stubbornness by keeping our hearts soft towards God. Remembering that God doesn’t allow disasters to happen capriciously but because he sees ultimate good coming from them.
Let’s not take God or his blessings for granted.