Use the questions below the Scripture passage (Jeremiah 17: 5-10) to help you interact with God in prayer about what life is like if we live it without God. Here is God’s message as spoken by Jeremiah and interpreted by Eugene Peterson in The Message.
“Cursed is the strong one
who depends on mere humans,
Who thinks he can make it on muscle alone
and sets God aside as dead weight.
He’s like a tumbleweed on the prairie,
out of touch with the good earth.
He lives rootless and aimless
in a land where nothing grows.”
- Is there evidence that I have tried to live my life without God’s help?
- In what situations is that happening now?
- Am I like tumbleweed being tossed around in a barren land?
- Am I rootless and out of touch with God?
“But blessed is the man who trusts me, God,
the woman who sticks with God.
They’re like trees replanted in Eden,
putting down roots near the rivers—
Never a worry through the hottest of summers,
never dropping a leaf,
Serene and calm through droughts,
bearing fresh fruit every season.”
- When have I been able to trust and stick with God?
- When have I been safe and calm and serene in the midst of difficulty?
“The heart is hopelessly dark and deceitful,
a puzzle that no one can figure out.
But I, God, search the heart
and examine the mind.
I get to the heart of the human.
I get to the root of things.
I treat them as they really are,
not as they pretend to be.”
- Do I recognize that my heart can be dark and deceitful?
- Am I sad or depressed by the puzzle that my life has become?
- Am I willing to cooperate as God searches my heart and examines my mind?
- Am I willing to give up the denial and pretense in my life and exchange my false self for my true identity in God? What is the first step?