While the morning was quiet and my green tea was steeping in the french press, God began to speak:
“The Word of the Lord came to me, saying, ‘Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart, I appointed you as a prophet to the nations’.” Jeremiah 1:4-5
I have a call to be His voice to the nations. This call is one I’ve known ever since I was a young girl. In my life, I’d journey to other continents in a quest to fulfill this mission that is deeply embedded in my heart.
The truth is that we all have a call. Because God is extremely purposeful and wise, He intends for each of us to live a life of purpose with Him at the center of our gaze. Regardless of your particular occupation, we should always work with the following three commands in mind:
1. “Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:37-40
2. “But first be concerned about God’s kingdom and his righteousness, and all of these things will be provided for you as well.” Matthew 6:33 ISV
3. “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20
This is about you and Jesus. And living the most incredible, purposeful life while here on earth.
A couple of nights ago, Keith and I were browsing the TV guide and saw that a movie about Jeremiah was on. Out of curiosity, we turned to the channel, and within minutes my heart was captivated. You see, the Lord has consistently brought me to both Isaiah and Jeremiah as tools of training for my call and to emphasize that I was hearing Him correctly. And He will do the same for you, beloved.
God will always use His word (because it doesn’t fade like emotions) when preparing and confirming your purpose in life.
After the movie, I opened His Word and began reading the first few chapters of Jeremiah and was struck by three important lessons. The story begins with an everyday man responding to a high call and obeying His Lord.
1. “The Word of the Lord came to me, saying, ‘Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart, I appointed you as a prophet to the nations’.” Jeremiah 1:4-5
This passage confirms God’s sovereignty over our lives. Each of us (every person from every nation) is created in God’s image and has a call to fulfill once we enter this world. We are created on purpose for a purpose. Yet, we must seek God (with our free will) to find what He is calling us to, and then we must allow Him to faithfully direct us along the way.
2. “Ah Sovereign Lord’, I said, ‘I do not know how to speak; I am only a child’.” Jeremiah 1:6
Pay attention to this response of Jeremiah. First he refers to God as “Sovereign” (all-knowing, all-powerful, owning all things). Then he adds, “I do not know how…” This contradicts his initial description of God as sovereign, because he is attempting to limit God’s call with Jeremiah’s own inabilities. Finally, Jeremiah (a grown man at this point) closes his statement by saying he is “only a child.”
Is this not what we do as humans? We say “That’s nice Lord and thanks for thinking of me, but I’m not qualified to do that (I’m in too much debt, I don’t have that particular skill set, or I have a set agenda and that really isn’t apart of it). While we’re prone to focus on our own inadequacies, we forget that the very One who is calling us is more than adequate.
We as humans will never accomplish the will of God through mortal strength. If we could, we wouldn’t need God. A supernatural challenge requires a supernatural response. That is why we can do all things, but only through Christ who strengthens us. We must depend on God. We must take our eyes off of us and puts them on Jesus. This is where intimacy is built.
3. “But the Lord said to me. ‘Do not say , ‘I am only a child.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you’, declares the Lord.” Jeremiah 1:7-8
Look at how God responds to Jeremiah here. He wants us to focus on Him instead of our inadequacies and environment. This is where many of us (including myself) often stumble. We pray for God’s will in our lives, but when the time comes, we’re more focused on the will of man. Allow me to elaborate. Jeremiah was afraid of what people would say or think of him once he actually went through with what God’s calling on him. He didn’t just feel inadequate; he also desired the approval of man. If we are to obey God in this life and walk closely to Him, we must forsake the desire to please man. And the fear of God must reign over the fear of man. May your heart be encouraged with His truth today.
“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15
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