The words of Jeremiah son of Hilkiah, one of the priests at Anathoth in the territory of Benjamin. 2 The word of the LORD came to him in the thirteenth year of the reign of Josiah son of Amon king of Judah, 3 and through the reign of Jehoiakim son of Josiah king of Judah, down to the fifth month of the eleventh year of Zedekiah son of Josiah king of Judah, when the people of Jerusalem went into exile. 4 The word of the LORD came to me, saying, 5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” 6 “Ah, Sovereign LORD,” I said, “I do not know how to speak; I am only a child.”Jeremiah 1:1-6 (NIV)
Every person has a call of God upon his/her life. No matter the circumstances of one’s existence, be it gender, race, nationality, age, economic status, etc, everyone was created by God to accomplish a certain purpose in his/her generation. That’s why the story Jeremiah’s call resonates with me (and I think should resonate with anyone who is trying to figure out what God has called him to be and to do). This week I share three observations from this story…
- Our call is grounded in history (verses 1-3). God created time for a purpose. As it has been rightly said, history is His Story. In every generation God calls out his servants to serve his purposes. Time, or history contextualizes our calling. It gives it the urgency and relevancy. To understand your calling you kneed to ask: “What is going on?” What is happening around you and is there something God might be saying to you about it? It could be something to do with your community, nation or something global. It could be something that has generally been accepted as normal but deep inside you, you sense God telling you that things should be different.
- Our call is springs out of God’s purpose for us (verses 4-5). God has a purpose for every single person He has created. He also has a purpose for communities and nations. There is a reason why you are in a place where you are right now. For now, it may not make sense for some people. You may even be tempted to ask why things are they way they are. God knows you intimately and has a specific task for you. “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” (verse 5). God called Jeremiah to be His prophet (spokesperson to the nations). What is it that God has called to you to do in His name in your generation?
- Our call evokes human response (verse 6). Whenever we are faced with the realization of the task God has given us, our natural (human) response is a feeling of inadequacy. We feel that we are not up to the task. Maybe you feel you do not have what it takes to pursue your dream. This is normal because the calling God gives us is impossible to accomplish, humanly speaking. It takes God to to what God has called us to do. What are your excuses for not doing what God has called you to do?
Next week we will explore the answer to our human responses….