One of my most favorite things about the Christian life is how paradoxical it is. In order to live, you have to die to self. In order to be exalted, you have to humble yourself. And God uses the smallest people to do the biggest things.
This makes me personally excited because I am a physically small person (barely 5’1″). Although I know He can, and does, use tall people, it’s just a little extra encouragement that “though she be little, she is [truly] fierce”! (that’s from Shakespeare)
In Jeremiah, God gives the prophet a job. Just like Moses; just like Elisha and Elijah; just like Abraham and Jonah, God gives Jeremiah a mission. Jeremiah is to warn Israel that if they don’t come back to God and turn from evil, they’re going to get one massive, divine kick in the pants.
Now, each of the guys I mentioned had a different reaction.
- Moses said he had a disability.
- Jonah said, “I’m outta here” and booked it to the next boat going far, far away.
- Elisha accepted the challenge and asked for more wisdom and power than his predecessor had.
- Abraham followed in complete faith.
We talk about each of these guys a lot but, personally, I had never heard of Jeremiah’s excuse. What did Jeremiah say back?
“I’m too young.”
(Literally, He says “I do not know how to speak, for I am only a youth.”)
Have you ever felt like you’re too young to do what God is calling you to do? Maybe you have a burden for orphans in China, but you just feel too small, too young, to uninformed to do anything. But, friend: YOU AREN’T.
If God guides you to it, He’ll guide you through it. You can count on that.
Let’s check back with Jeremiah. I know, I know; whenever you see large chunks of Scripture in a blog post, you kind of scan over it. I know, because I do that all the time too. But read this!!! It is seriously so good, and it encouraged my soul beyond words.
4 Now the word of the Lord came to me, saying,
5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
and before you were born I consecrated you;
I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”
6 Then I said, “Ah, Lord God! Behold, I do not know how to speak, for I am only a youth.” 7 But the Lord said to me,
“Do not say, ‘I am only a youth’;
for to all to whom I send you, you shall go,
and whatever I command you, you shall speak.
8 Do not be afraid of them,
for I am with you to deliver you,
declares the Lord.”
1. God called us to [insert calling] before we were even born.
Friend, you have nothing to do with it. He wrote your story since eternity past, and He has written it into your life to do this seemingly impossible thing. He doesn’t necessarily need you to accomplish His plans, but how cool is it that the King of the Universe actually wants to use you? It’s like starting one of the bench players in a very important soccer tournament because the Coach knows that the kid is capable of it and has prepared him for this moment.
He consecrated you to do this, pal. So let’s go!!!
2. God isn’t impressed by our excuses.
I’m a writer, so I often accidentally make myself into the heroine of an epic story. I tell God, “I can’t do this!” and then feel like I’m being that humble protagonist we all admire . . . but, really, we’re just telling God “YOU can’t do this.”
3. God is greater than our weaknesses.
God replied to Isaiah with an almost jaw-dropping, powerful monologue. He says Where I send you, you’ll go; what I command you, you’ll say. He’s telling you that whatever He’s purposed, He’s going to make happen.
And if you’re scared? He’s greater than your fear too.
So, I hope you take that jump. I hope you do the crazy things you feel God leading you to do. They tell us to stand up, stand up for Jesus; well, let’s also take that risk for Jesus.
Let’s take that jump for Jesus.