“But today I am freeing you from the chains on your wrists. Come with me to Babylon, if you like, and I will look after you; but if you do not want to, then don’t come. Look, the whole country lies before you; go wherever you please.’”
Jer. 40:4 NIVUK
You can’t keep people that don’t want to be kept. The worst thing in the world is to be in relationship with someone who doesn’t want to be with you.
My mentor told me a long time ago, “When people can no longer follow the vision of the pastor they should leave.” It’s the same in your personal life. There’s a vision that God has given you for your life and there are people who are called to walk with you in the fulfillment of that vision. However, that call is voluntary. Each person has to answer that call or ignore it. You can’t force it.
Jeremiah had seen a vision that God was gong to hand Jerusalem over to the Babylonians because they had forsaken God. They ignored the prophet Jeremiah and even threw him in a cistern, then locked him in chains.
What’s interesting is that his own people locked him in chains but when the Babylonians captured Jerusalem they scooped out the eyes of the King and set Jeremiah free. Sometimes the people that are supposed to love you lock you up and the people who look like the enemy set you free. God will use unlikely people to launch you into new territory.
- Today I am freeing you from the chains on your wrist. You’ve been locked up in a place that no longer values your ability to see things the way God does. Your hands have been tied. When you’re restricted from acting prophetically you might be in the wrong place trying to do the right thing.
- Come with me if you want to but if not… don’t. This is so important. You have to give people permission to leave you if they don’t want to stay with you. There is nothing more counterproductive than having people who’ve been set free but don’t feel called to stay with you. If people don’t feel called to walk with you give them permission to leave. We don’t have to keep up images. They can find another source of income. I’m not in the business of keeping people that don’t wanna be kept. You are free to go!
- Look the whole country lies before you; go wherever you please. There are so many opportunities out there. There’s no need to stay where you are miserable just because you’re comfortable. Leaving might make you happy and make room for somebody who really wants to be there.
If you are called to a place you can’t leave but if you’re not called to a place you can’t stay. You’re free to go!
Help me to survey the people who are with me and the ones that are just hanging on. Give me the courage to set them free. If there is someone that has had their hands tied and they are afraid to step out give them the courage to know that you will keep them regardless of whether they stay in Jerusalem or journey to Babylon. Give each of us clarity on whether we are to go or stay. Thank you for the freedom to choose.
In Jesus’ Name,