Jeremiah 29:11 Amplified Bible (AMP)
For I know the plans and thoughts that I have for you,’ says the Lord, ‘plans for peace and well-being and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.
This is a “fridge-magnet-scripture” for many Christians. God has good plans for us; a prosperous future filled with hope. If you don’t believe that, then you should because it’s true! That’s God’s heart for you! I’ve never met someone who didn’t desire a good, prosperous and hope-filled future for themselves – this is something that we all want. The problem is that we’re seeking after it.
God never gave us any instructions to seek after a prosperous future filled with hope; He never told us to seek after the abundant life or a prosperous life. We so often take Jeremiah 29:11 out of context and we tend to ignore the next two verses:
Jeremiah 29:12-13 Amplified Bible (AMP)
Then you will call on Me and you will come and pray to Me, and I will hear [your voice] and I will listen to you. 13 Then [with a deep longing] you will seek Me and require Me [as a vital necessity] and [you will] find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.
In these verses, there is a lot of talk about seeking God and seeking Him wholeheartedly. It’s easy to fall into the trap of seeking direction (for example) because you need direction, and it’s not wrong to seek direction when you need direction – it’s good to consult God, but God wants to be more than your consultant. God is your Father and wants to live life with you – He wants to have a relationship with you not merely be your sounding board for making decisions. You can seek gifts (like direction, wisdom and even healing) from God and get them because they come by putting your faith in God’s grace (Ephesians 2:8) but if you seek the Giver of the gifts, you’ll end up with so much more than the gift you think you need!
And here’s good news for you: God is not hiding from you! I’ve heard many Christian saying things like, “I’ve been seeking God and just haven’t had any breakthrough… God must be hiding from me so I will seek harder…” No. That completely contradicts God’s Word which says, “Then [with a deep longing] you will seek Me and… [you will] find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.” Even Jesus said that when we seek, we will find because everyone who seeks finds (Matthew 7:7-8). God is not hiding from you and He is not even “hiding for you” (as some people wrongly think). Jesus came to reveal the Father to us. Jesus is “the way” to the Father not “the maze” to the Father. Jesus wasn’t crucified in private but publicly. Through God’s Word and Holy Spirit He reveals His will to us. There isn’t much hiding going on. If we seek Him, we will find Him.
Matthew 6:33 New King James Version (NKJV)
But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.
If we seek direction, or healing, or whatever we need, yes, we can get it. But it is to our advantage to rather seek a relationship with God because it is much more valuable than anything else. As we keep Him as our priority, and as we seek His kingdom first – His way of doing things (which is a relationship with Him) – we will get the direction, healing, wisdom etc that we need.