Have you ever felt comfortable in your sin? Or maybe just comfortable in the routine of daily life? You may be at the point in your career where your work and life finally balance perfectly to create what culture encourages us to view as a thriving lifestyle. The truth is, in today’s nonstop, do more, digitally distracted world, the enemy doesn’t have to tempt us with some terrible sin. If he can simply keep us busy with the everyday, we will never be of any threat to him.
As we dig in to Zechariah chapter 2, we find the Israelites in an unexpectedly comfortable spot. They had been living as captives in Babylon for so long that they couldn’t remember what it was like to be free and Babylon was starting to feel more and more like home. God tells them in verse 6 that the time has come to be free from captivity and return to Jerusalem. But many of them had become so comfortable in captivity, so content with their day to day in Babylon, that they weren’t sure they wanted to accept the blessing God had prepared for them and return home. I think it’s important to point out here, that throughout scripture, Babylon is used synonymously with the world or worldliness. When you look at the Israelite’s situation through that lens, I think it is easier to understand where they were coming from. At first glance, we may judge the Israelites for not jumping at the chance to do God’s will and return home to Jerusalem. But how many times have we found ourselves choosing something else, something familiar, instead of God? I know I have. Sometimes it’s hard to tell what we’re even supposed to do. In this chapter, God tells his people exactly where to go next. But I think more often than not, he says, “stay close enough that you can hear me, I will whisper the way.”
Let’s look at verses 6 & 7 and dig in to the Lord’s instruction to his people.
“Up on your feet! Get out of there—and now!” God says so. “Return from your far exile. I scattered you to the four winds.” God’s Decree. “Escape from Babylon, Zion, and come home—now!” Zechariah 2:6-7 MSG
The Lord’s words here are urgent. I believe this is because living apart from God or even just half heartedly following him, is a dangerous place to be. The Israelites had almost forgotten their homeland, the Temple and the favor they enjoyed when they were in right relationship with God. I think the insistent language used here makes it clear that the Lord is eager to bring his beloved people safely home. He is ready to bestow his blessing not only on his people but on the land. And he wants them to be excited about what is to come.
“The Lord says, “Shout and rejoice, O beautiful Jerusalem, for I am coming to live among you.” Zechariah 2:10 MSG
“Be silent before the Lord, all humanity, for he is springing into action from his holy dwelling.” Zechariah 2:13 MSG
Whether you’re on the edge of believing or a worn out believer dabbling in the things of this world— I would encourage you to draw near to the Lord. Give him your all. Dive in. Read your Bible. Praise and pray expectantly. Look underneath the surface, believe there is always more. Breath in forgiveness and exhale all guilt and shame. Become new. Let freedom flow into every part of your being. Step in to a position of power. Choose to be fearless because you are more than a conqueror. And as you begin to walk in the fullness of victory, watch and see what the Lord will do.
“So we are convinced that every detail of our lives is continually woven together to fit into God’s perfect plan of bringing good into our lives, for we are his lovers who have been called to fulfill his designed purpose.” Romans 8:28 TPT
Do you ever find yourself distracted by things that are unimportant or even destructive? Do you see how the enemy can use all sorts of things to distract us from the Lord and his plan?
What can you do this week to intentionally return your time to the Lord and eliminate the pull to instant gratification and distraction?