4 This is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says to all those I carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: 5 "Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce. 6 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. 7 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." 8 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. 9 They are prophesying lies to you in my name. I have not sent them," declares the LORD.
10 This is what the LORD says: "When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my gracious promise to bring you back to this place. 11 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. 12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you," declares the LORD, "and will bring you back from captivity. [b] 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."
We have always questioned, “Should we buy a home?” “What if we are called somewhere else?”
Like most young families, we have lived a very nomadic life. We have moved approximately every 2 years since we married. This is very stable compared to friends who are in the military or still going to school. But we still wait, with our suitcases packed, dreaming of the next “Shiny” or bigger better thing. In verse 8, are we pushing the envelope by pressing on to the next big thing, when we should be staying and doing what God told us to?
To be successful at a job or career, you must have some longevity. Ministry is no exception. While my husband is passionate about training up leadership from within, I feel that the most successful ministries have the same leaders for decades. (Read Jason’s article on Leadership training)
I believe that God is telling us to settle down. I am very passionate about gardening, but after having to leave Oak View and watching all that work disappear, I couldn’t start a new garden. I have been here for over 2 years and not done more than water the church lawn. So verse 5 really calls to me.
Also, verse 7 reminds me not to be angry about our flawed county and school system, but to do what is best and to pray for them. If our county prospers, we will prosper.
So today we are putting in an offer for a home we really want. If it is God’s will, we will be homeowners and permanent members of the town. It will be a testimony to the surrounding community, who constantly question with every disaster, that we are here to stay.Please pray for our sanity as we juggle an offer, home loan application and possibly escrow in this tumultuous market.