When I was 24 years old, I was laid off from my job. The economy was bad so finding another job was difficult. This resulted in going back to school for additional training, which was my last choice. In a major way the Lord had closed a door for me. In retrospect it was like being on a short leash and I was not going to go any further. The route I was on was not a good one. The place where I lived was not where I needed to be. The people around me were taking me in the wrong direction. I went back to school and it was about 700 miles away. I gained new friends, new training, and was redirected back to my Christian faith. Parents prayers were answered.
In our story today from Jeremiah we see the Lord closing a door on the nation of Judah so they could be redirected. The redirection would be difficult, but it would save them like a cancer treatment.
10 Then (the false prophet) Hananiah the prophet took the yoke off Jeremiah’s neck and broke it in pieces. 11 And Hananiah said again to the crowd that had gathered, “This is what the Lord says: ‘Just as this yoke has been broken, within two years I will break the yoke of oppression from all the nations now subject to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon.’ ” With that, Jeremiah left the Temple area.
12 Soon after this confrontation with Hananiah, the Lord gave this message to Jeremiah: 13 “Go and tell Hananiah, ‘This is what the Lord says: You have broken a wooden yoke, but you have replaced it with a yoke of iron. 14 The Lordof Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says: I have put a yoke of iron on the necks of all these nations, forcing them into slavery under King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. I have put everything, even the wild animals, under his control.’ ” 
This is an interesting story, but how does this apply to our lives today? What is the Lord teaching us through this story? God has an amazing plan for our lives and submission to the Lord opens the door to that plan. God wanted Jerusalem and Judah as well as these other nations to repent and turn toward Him. They were going to take a time out under the yoke of Babylon for their own good, but if they refused, they would suffer greatly. The leaders all had free will, but God’s will at this time was for them to submit to Babylon.
We live in a culture where the priority is to do our own thing. We assume we have the right to follow our dreams. This often leads to a focus only on ourselves. We put ourselves first and often don’t care about others. This thought process is a deceptive plan from satan to destroy us and those around us. This thought process keeps us from maturing emotionally and spiritually. What does the Scripture say about submitting to God?
- Proverbs 3:5-6, Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. 6 Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.
- James 4:7, So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
- Hebrews 3:15, Remember what it says: “Today when you hear his voice, don’t harden your hearts as Israel did when they rebelled.”
Where is the Lord calling you to humble yourself and submit to him? When I trust in the Lord, when I am led by Him, when I humble myself and listen to His voice, the Lord can unfold his amazing plan for my life. God’s plan will transform my life. But the key to this transformation is my submission to the Lord. It is in submission to God that my faith can grow. Submit yourself to the Lord and experience what He will do through you.
To hear the story of Jeremiah, listen here:
If you would like more teaching on Jeremiah listen here: