Aaron Ivey teaches from Jeremiah 2 about how we are prone to become the things we chase. We should concern ourselves with where God is and what he is doing so that we can chase him and become more like him.
Here are a few of the main points:
- “It’s the way God designed us, that we would become like the things that we run towards.”
- “Whatever he wants, that’s what I want to be centered on.”
Aaron Ivey: We always become like the things we chase after. If you chase after money, what do you become? You become driven by it. You become consumed by it. You become greedy if you chase money.
If you chase after popularity, you become flimsy and fake. You just kind of drift from one thing that makes you popular to another thing that makes you popular.
If you chase after success, you become motivated by power and by the next big thing that might be in front of you.
That’s what Jeremiah 2:5 is telling us. It says, “What wrong did your fathers find in me that they went far from me and went after worthlessness and became worthlessness.” When you go after worthlessness, you become worthless. Chase after it, that’s what you become. We always become just like the things we’re chasing after.
So many times I’ve thought in that moment, “How in the world did I get here? How did I get apathetic? How did I get lazy in my discipline as an artist?” Do you guys ever feel that way? “How in the world did I become so bored with church? How did I become so lackadaisical in my discipline to be a writer and an artist? How in the world did I ever get here?”
I think the answer for us is simple. We get there because whatever we chase is exactly what we become. When you chase after anything other than God, you become a person who’s about things other than God. It’s the way it works. It’s the way the human heart works. It’s the way God designed us, that we would become like the things that we run towards.
Here’s what the leaders of Judah did not do. A lot of times it’s easier for us to say, “What did I do to get here?” when the question we should ask is, “What have I not done to get in this place that I’m in right now? What have I not done that’s led me to this place where I’m prone to wander and walk away, and I’m prone to apathy, boredom, and complacency. What have I not done?”
Look at Jeremiah 2:6. This is what the Lord said. This was kind of his indictment on them. He says, “They did not say, ‘Where is the Lord?'” The core of the problem was this: They stopped asking. They stopped looking. They stopped listening. They stopped saying, “Hey, where is the Lord? Because wherever he is, that’s where I want to be.”
Where is the Lord right now? What is he up to? What is his heart really beating for? What are the things that he really cares about? Because wherever he’s at, wherever his heart is, that’s where my heart wants to be. That’s where my attention, and all of my self, needs to be. The thing that causes us to chase after worthlessness is when we stop asking, “Where is the Lord?”
Have you ever found yourself in that spot? You’re wandering, and you’re so empty. And you realize, “I haven’t really concerned myself with where the Lord is.” And I know what you’re thinking, “The Lord is everywhere. Didn’t you go through the Men’s Development Program?” I know the Lord is everywhere, but you get what I’m saying. What is the Lord up to right now in your life? What is he wanting our church, our team, and our ministry to be centered on right now? Because whatever he wants, that’s what I want to be centered on. That’s what I want my whole life and passion and skill and energy and resource to be pointed in the direction of. “Lord, whatever it is you want, wherever you are, wherever you’re going, that’s where I want to be.”