By Brooke Holt
“Now the word of the Lord came to me, saying, ‘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.’” – Jeremiah 1:4-5
The Old Testament prophets were not popular people among the Israelites, even among the religious leaders of their day. While their words were ordained by God and delivered with power, they were often not the words that the people wanted to hear. Prophets spoke challenging words, words that cut to the heart as they exposed the sin and idolatry of the nation of Israel. As you can imagine, there was not an abundance of people awaiting the call to serve as God’s prophet.
Jeremiah was not seeking this appointment. Jeremiah was an Israelite who lived in tumultuous times. King Josiah sat on the throne of Israel and faithfully led God’s people; however, after Josiah, the nation of Israel quickly went downhill. Hearts were led astray as God’s people compromised the commandments. Instead of faithfully seeking the Lord, they more fervently sought the ways of the world and found themselves in idolatry. The challenging call of Jeremiah reflects that challenging times of Jeremiah.
As God’s people fell away from him, the Lord summoned Jeremiah and appointed him to be a prophet to the nations. And while Jeremiah was not longing for this call, he quickly learned that God had set him apart for this call and for this time. Even as Jeremiah was being knit together in his mother’s womb, the Lord saw him and knew the plans for him. How important it is to recognize that God saw the evil that was coming before it came to pass. God knew his people would turn away from him, and he had a plan to continually warn his people and to remind them of their call to covenantal faithfulness. Jeremiah was part of that plan.
God’s call on our lives is not always easy nor desired. Yet, each one of us has a divine call on our lives. Do you recognize his call to you? Do you appreciate that everything about your life has been arranged by the sovereign God? You live in this day for a purpose. Like Jeremiah, we live in tumultuous times, and God is calling us to respond faithfully to him during these times. Maybe you aren’t called to be a prophet, but instead you are called to show hospitality in opening your home for Bible studies. Maybe you are called to be an intercessor for your neighbors or to serve on the prayer team at your church. Maybe you are the one being called to remind your colleagues of the need for integrity and honesty. Whatever it may be, you have a call on your life. It may not be easy, but it is important for the building of God’s kingdom. As you exercise your gifts and faithfully respond to your call, God will surprise you with joy in obedience, and you will faithfully make the impact you were meant to do.
What is God calling you to do and how are you responding? If you truly don’t know, ask the Lord, and he will show you his will and way. God created you and called you for such a time as this. We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
In our six-week small group Bible study on the book of 1 John, you are invited to live and celebrate true life in Christ. Throughout his first letter, John wrestles with the assurance of salvation. How do we know that we are genuine Christians, and how can we recognize authentic faith in others? The Apostle John taught that you can enjoy full assurance through believing in the incarnate Son of God, walking in the light of obedience, and loving God and his children. Embark on this study with us today!
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