1:4 Now the word of the LORD came to me saying, you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”
1:6 Then I said, “Ah, Lord GOD! Truly I do not know how to speak, for I am only a boy.”
1:7 But the LORD said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am only a boy’; for you shall go to all to whom I send you, and you shall speak whatever I command you,
1:8 Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you, says the LORD.”
1:9 Then the LORD put out his hand and touched my mouth; and the LORD said to me, “Now I have put my words in your mouth.
1:10 See, today I appoint you over nations and over kingdoms, to pluck up and to pull down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant.”
Jeremiah is one of the many examples we read about in the Bible that express their fear of being inadequate to be used by God. Whether its due to our age, experience, willingness to do it, there is always some reason we pick to hold us back from carrying out God’s calling for our lives. We often forget that despite our state and weak condition, its God’s power and strength that enables us to do His work and faithfully obey Him.
This passage provides three ways in which God provides for us when it comes to accomplishing the impossible.
- God has a Predestined Plan for our lives (v5): This passage highlights the fact that our God is all knowing and sovereign. Before Jeremiah was even conceived, God had a pre-set plan for His life. With this in mind, we know that if God chose to outline a plan for our lives before even being born, then we can confidently say that He will carry us through whatever situation we face.
- God works through our weaknesses (vs6&9): In verse 6 we see Jeremiah coming up with two reasons why he is inadequate to answer God’s call. Jeremiah is pleading the fact he is too young to take on such a prominent position to lead the people of Israel. However, despite Jeremiah’s objections, in verse 9 God promises to give him the words and tools he needs in order to be successful at his role. God used him as a mouthpiece to spread His word to the nation of Israel
- God promises us peace despite our fears (vs 8&10): God makes Jeremiah an everlasting promise that He will be with him and as a result not to be afraid. Not only does God prove that He is with Jeremiah, but He emphasizes the point that because it is God speaking through him, the message has divine authority.
God’s word says “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26). This is a promise that God makes to us that holds the reminder through Him we witness His strength being played out in our lives.
When Jeremiah claims that he is just a boy, God corrects his thinking, “do not say ‘I am only a boy'”. Why would God do such a thing? He did so because it is God to enables us, not our own greatness that enables us. This is an important distinction in understanding the hero of the Bible. No prophet is great on their own right but only with the empowerment of God.
So, while we might have a tendency to look at our own flaws and shy away from serving God, that is now how God sees us. Many have heard the quote that “God does not call the equipped but He equips the called.” This is not inaccurate but I think it overlooks one thing; many times God does not equip, He just uses. This is what He did with Moses. When Moses was afraid of what to say to Pharaoh God told Moses that He would give Moses the words. So, even when we are unprepared and unequipped God can use us. God can use us any time, any where, and way!
Never be discouraged that you cannot be used by God to make a difference. Just have faith that God will give you the strength and wisdom as you proceed to serve Him.