“O Sovereign Lord,” I said, “I can’t speak for you! I’m too young! The Lord replied, “Don’t say, ‘I’m too young,’ for you must go wherever I send you and say whatever I tell you. And don’t be afraid of the people, for I will be with you and will protect you. I, the Lord, have spoken!” Then the Lord reached out and touched my mouth and said,“Look, I have put my words in your mouth!” – ” Jeremiah 1:6-9
We all know those fortunate people who know exactly what they want to be when they grow up. Some want to be rock stars, some want to be veterinarians, and others want to be teachers. You have to admire those people, especially when they achieve the calling they set out for themselves. But the majority of people seem to have a clear vision for their life, but get sidetracked along the way. The world held seemingly endless possibilities, but along the way, paths changed.
The story of Jeremiah is different. His calling was clearly and specifically communicated to him. Scripture tells us that long before he was even born, God intended to use him as His prophet. “I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as my prophet to the nations.” (Jeremiah 1:5). Jeremiah received instructions for his calling very early on in life—a clear purpose with detailed words from the Lord. Even so, Jeremiah protested, saying, “O Sovereign LORD,” I said, “I can’t speak for you! I’m too young!” (v.6). Imagine how intimidating it must’ve been to be chosen as God’s mouthpiece. Not only was the job description itself daunting, but Jeremiah was also young and without much life experience. But God reassured Jeremiah again and again that He would be there to rescue him (vv.7–8, 19).
God knew Jeremiah, chose Jeremiah and appointed Jeremiah. He was known by name, hand-picked by God, and commissioned to serve. Those facts give one a great sense of purpose. The promise of God’s purpose allows us to let go of our own plans and receive God’s plan without fear. Like Jeremiah, we need to accept that our future is not our own. We are God’s. He has a distinct plan and purpose for our lives.
Before Jeremiah could experience God’s presence, he had to go where God sent him, speak what God told him, and reject fear. When God calls us to a task, He does not give us a road map to follow and then leaves us to our resources. God walks with us. His presence gives us the strength to stand in the face of every barrier.
What about you? God chooses all of our callings. Designing us to carry out a unique purpose at a specific time and place, He equips us with gifts to help bring restoration to the world: “may he equip you with all you need for doing his will. May he produce in you, through the power of Jesus Christ, every good thing that is pleasing to him. All glory to him forever and ever! Amen.” (Hebrews 13:21).
God will fulfill His purpose in you, He will equip you, He will enable you, He will protect you, He will accompany you and He will accomplish His purposes no matter how people respond.
- What is God’s primary calling for each of us?
- What are some practical steps you could take to follow your calling this week?