Songs for a Sunday // For I Know the Plans

A really old Kent Henry album

Spotify says this one is from 1994, so that’s 20 years ago – good heavens! Kent is my all-time favorite worship leader. He blazed a trail in worship revelation and leading 30-40 years ago, but he has never stopped, he just keeps worshiping and leading people in to the Presence, year after year, decade after decade.

There is so much great musical worship out there, many new songs (Kent’s latest release: HERE). But every now and then – it is good to remember and some songs hold up over time and remind you of the good God has done over many years. I can recall what He was doing in my life when I was listening to these songs…

High and Lifted Up, For I know the Plans, The Repaired of the Lord (a spontaneous song of encouragement and promise), Burn it Deep (the reprise) – those are my favorites.

The promise in Jeremiah

As it happens, I caught a live-stream service from Summit Christian Center in San Antonio last night. Pastor Rick Godwin preached, “Good News in a Terrible Place.” It was about the conditions in which God’s people found themselves when that beloved and often-quoted prophetic scripture Jeremiah 29.11 came.

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. (Jeremiah 29.11 NKJV)

God’s people were in exile. They were in Babylon, a godless place and they were going to be there a long time, as per, you know – the God of the universe.

Rick said the truth is, being in exile is a regular part of the human existence and the word of the Lord to us is  build houses and plant gardens and marry and live fully and dwell and increase in that place – in our Babylon, our place of exile. Because even there, especially there, God promises:  I won’t leave you, I won’t quit using you and I won’t quit working in your life the way I have planned. Get used to it. You may be in Babylon a long time. But even there, there in your exile,

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… (Jeremiah 29.12-14)

So that passage wasn’t about being immediately rescued from a bad situation, but about God being there even in the situation – and using us in exile to bless the people and community and world around us!

god has a plan

So, take heart, friends and family. Exile doesn’t mean you’re washed up, used up, outside God’s will or out of His favor. It just means, He has put you {led you} in to the middle of a place (a Babylon) that needs His glory, His light and love to be shown and He will do that through you! This is good news in even the most terrible of places!

The sermon podcast should be available soon! HERE…update 9.10.14…click here for video OR Podcast here

“Suffering is unbearable if you aren’t certain that God is for you and with you.”  – Tim Keller, Walking with God through Pain and Suffering

 

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