Jeremiah 1:4-5 ESV
“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.’”
We read in Psalms 139 that God knit us together in the wombs of our mothers and that in his book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for us, when as yet there was none of them. And then we read in Romans 8 that those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son Jesus Christ.
And we read in 2 Timothy 1 that God saved us and called us to a holy calling because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began. And in Ephesians 1 we read that God chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him.
Also we read in Ephesians 2 that we who are saved by God’s grace, through God-given faith in Jesus Christ, that we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. And we read in 1 Corinthians 12 that God arranged the members in the body of Christ, each one of them, as he chose, and that the Spirit apportions spiritual gifts to each one individually as he wills.
So none of us are here by accident. God designed us all with a purpose. And he did so even before he laid the foundation of the world, and before the ages began, and before he knit us together in the wombs of our mothers. So he didn’t give us the breath of life and then just leave us to figure it out for ourselves. Those of us who are in Christ, by faith in Jesus Christ, have an assignment from God that was ours to do even before the ages began.
Example: God had planned for my life exactly what he has been having me do these past seventeen years in writing down what he teaches me from his word and then placing it on the internet. This was not something I created in my own mind and one day just decided to do. I would never have imagined myself doing this in my wildest dreams.
So, just saying that if you are a follower of Jesus, he has a specific assignment for you that he had planned for you before the ages began.
(Ps 139:13-16; Rom 8:29; 2 Tim 1:8-9; Eph 1:3-4; Eph 2:10; 1 Co 12)
Jeremiah 1:6-8 ESV
“Then I said, ‘Ah, Lord God! Behold, I do not know how to speak, for I am only a youth.’ 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.
Do not be afraid of them,
for I am with you to deliver you,
declares the Lord.’”
Where the Lord calls us, he will supply all that we need to do what he has called us to do. We don’t have to have any particular skillsets ahead of time, or any particular book smarts. And our age doesn’t matter, either. What we have to offer God is our lives as living sacrifices on his altar, living holy lives pleasing to him, no longer conformed to the ways of this sinful world, but transformed in heart and mind of the Spirit of God so that we discern what is the good and perfect will of God for our lives (Romans 12:1-2).
Example: I am not doing what I am doing today because of my own smarts, I guarantee you. I graduated high school with a 1.4 GPA (D-). And I began college reading on a 4th school grade level, and I am still a slow reader, but I think I got up to 7th grade level. So, the Lord took me through 4 years of college again (part-time) when I was in my 50s to teach me that I could learn, as I leaned on him to help me to learn.
So, there are no excuses for us not obeying the Lord in doing what he called us to do from even before he created the world. And that is because these callings are of God, and not of ourselves, and therefore they are spiritual, and not of human flesh nor of human effort. And God is the one who designed them for us, not us, and so he is the one to equip us with all that we need to do them. So, we are totally dependent on the Lord.
Yet, for us to answer the calls of God on our lives we need to be walking according to the Spirit and no longer according to the flesh. We need to be students of the Scriptures and be those who are listening to the Spirit’s voice in following him wherever he leads us. Otherwise we will not be in tune to the Spirit spiritually to even be able to discern what God has for us to do, and we won’t be prepared spiritually to do the work God has for us.
Jeremiah 1:9-10 ESV
“Then the Lord put out his hand and touched my mouth. And the Lord said to me,
‘Behold, I have put my words in your mouth.
See, I have set you this day over nations and over kingdoms,
to pluck up and to break down,
to destroy and to overthrow,
to build and to plant.’”
When God calls us to a specific area of ministry, and we know that it is him calling us, and not ourselves, then we don’t take it from there. We surrender it all to the Lord. We don’t try to figure it out ourselves, but we totally rely on the Lord Jesus to lead us every step of the way. And we don’t follow the plans of other humans in how to do it, either, but we follow the leading of the Holy Spirit and the teachings of the Scriptures and we let the Lord work his will in and through our lives for his glory and praise.
Example: When the Lord gives me songs or poems to write he literally pours those lyrics or those words into my mind and then I write them down. They don’t come from my own mind or my own creative thinking.
And as I sit down to write devotions each day (what the Lord is teaching me from the Scriptures) I do not know what I am going to write ahead of time, or even what passage I will be writing from. The Lord directs me in what passage to write on and then he leads me in what to write. For if we are operating in the Spirit and not in the flesh, what we do should come from the Spirit and not from ourselves.
But we only know in part, and we are but clay in the Potter’s hands, so we share what we receive from the Lord as best as we understand it. And as we grow in the grace and the knowledge of Jesus Christ, we will mature in our walks of faith and in our understanding of the Scriptures and what they teach as we are unlearning some things and are having to relearn some things and as we are learning new things we didn’t know before.
And with regard to what the Lord was telling Jeremiah here, what he was called to do was to speak the words of God to the people, which involved some rebuking and correcting, and some exhorting and urging, and some pointing out of sin, and calling people to repentance and to obedience to our Lord, and to the forsaking of their sins and of their idols, in order to do what the Lord commanded them to do.
And if we are sharing the truths of the Scriptures and the gospel of Jesus Christ with others, we should be doing some of this, too, because this is what the Scriptures do. They rebuke, correct, instruct, train, guide, counsel, encourage, comfort, and call out sin, call people to repentance, call them to the forsaking of their sins and their idols, and they call them (us) to following our Lord Jesus in obedience to his commands.
And whatever we do, and whatever God has called us to do, it should all be done in the power and strength of God’s Spirit and not according to our flesh, and it should all be done for the praise and glory of God, and not for the glory of our own flesh. And so, if we do receive any praise from other humans, we should give God all the glory and not take it for ourselves, for we know that it is God working in and through us for his glory.
We Will Glorify
By Twila Paris
We will glorify the King of kings
We will glorify the Lamb
We will glorify the Lord of lords
Who is the great I am
Lord Jehovah reigns in majesty
We will bow before His throne
We will worship Him in righteousness
We will worship Him alone
He is Lord of Heaven, Lord of Earth
He is Lord of all who live
He is Lord above the universe
All praise to Him we give
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