Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Set Apart, Called, Strengthened

“Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying: "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations." Then said I: "Ah, Lord GOD! Behold, I cannot speak, for I am a youth." But the LORD said to me: "Do not say, 'I am a youth,' for you shall go to all to whom I send you, and whatever I command you, you shall speak. Do not be afraid of their faces, for I am with you to deliver you," says the LORD. Then the LORD put forth His hand and touched my mouth, and the LORD said to me: "Behold, I have put My words in your mouth.” -Jeremiah 1:4-9

The Lord had set Jeremiah apart before his birth. The name Jeremiah even means ‘chosen by God.’ See, Jeremiah was a young man when God called him to be a prophet. In fact, Jeremiah may have been younger than you think. The word he uses to describe himself is the same as our word for child. Young, inexperienced, fearful, intimidated by the people God called him to preach to, this is the Jeremiah we are introduced to in the beginning of his book.

Humanly speaking, Jeremiah was too young, too weak, and too afraid to be a prophet for God. But God had a specific purpose in mind for Jeremiah. He had ordained Jeremiah to be a prophet to the nations. This was a privileged position. Most prophets in the Old Testament had a specific word to say to a specific people. Jeremiah was to be a prophet to the nations. I would be intimidated by such a calling!

Jeremiah couldn’t do this by his own strength. However, Jeremiah had the reassurance of the Lord. The Lord promised Jeremiah, “I am with you to deliver you”. The Lord, himself, was with Jeremiah, empowering him, putting His own words in Jeremiah’s mouth. Only through this promise would Jeremiah be able to successfully minister the word of the Lord to the people.

Has God called you to a ministry? Has He set you apart for a specific purpose? Remember your calling. Your calling will give you confidence in the ministry, reassurance when times are tough, and a boldness to speak the words that God wants you to speak. You may seem too young, too weak, and too afraid to minister successfully for the Lord, but if God has called you to speak, then speak! May you never speak any words but His.

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