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
Think back to your years in middle or high school. What were you like? What captivated your thoughts and affections—girls, guys, schoolwork, or sports? When the prophet Jeremiah heard this calling from the Lord, he was a young man who was much like you during those adolescent years. He probably was not dreaming of a career in ministry, especially that of a prophet. In Israel then, the prophet was not the most popular person around. At least, not the prophet who listened attentively to the word of the Lord and then faithfully spoke that word. The popular prophets were those who spoke what the people wanted to hear.
Jeremiah chose faithfulness over popularity. Though young, Jeremiah spoke the word of the Lord despite resistance and ridicule. Many years after Jeremiah’s ministry, Paul wrote these words that seem to apply well to our young prophet: “But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong” (1 Corinthians 1:27). God took a young man and used him to deliver prophetic warnings to the nation of Israel and beyond. In fact, Jeremiah would write one of the longest books of the Bible, a book filled with warnings of God’s judgement and destruction but also of God’s ultimate grace and restoration for those who would trust him.
Cleary, Jeremiah had a big call on his life! And take note of when God’s call originated. It was not after Jeremiah had been circumcised or had lived as a law-abiding Jew for an appointed time. God’s call was put on Jeremiah before he was born. The Lord created Jeremiah for that appointed time and role as a prophet to the nations.
Jeremiah’s life had a purpose and godly direction. So does your life! We often read these biblical callings and only think it is for them. You know, people like Peter, Paul, Moses, and Jeremiah. Each of these men had a calling on his life. So did Mary and Elizabeth, then Mary Magdalene. The Lord’s anointing was not unique to men nor just the people of the Bible. The anointing of the Lord is for all his people and for his church’s continual building and revival.
That means God knew you before he formed you. He had a plan for your life, and he longs to empower you to fulfill that calling. You may not be called to speak hard words as a prophet but to cook meals for the homeless or host a Bible study in your home. You may be anointed as a prayer minister or the one who stands before the church each Sunday to proclaim the word of God. There are many callings, but the same Lord. He designed you with your unique gifts, personality, passions, and circumstances so that you could go out and faithfully build his kingdom here on earth.
Are you listening for the word of the Lord in your life, and are you faithfully responding to that word and his calling on your life? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments. We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
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