When God Calls
When God Calls
Jeremiah 4:1 – 10
David Livingstone became a famous missionary to Africa – “Dr. Livingstone, I presume?” – but there was a time when the young Scot was called on to preach his first sermon in the village of Stanford Rivers. When the time came for the sermon, Livingstone slowly read his text, but by the end of it, the rest of his sermon had apparently evaporated right out of his head. He announced, “Friends, I have forgotten all I had to say,” and with that he hurriedly left the chapel and went home!
Jeremiah must have felt some of the same terror that day as he encountered God and the challenge to be a prophet to his own people. Yet when God calls us to a task, we receive some divine promises to carry with us.
God Calls Us
If you compare Jeremiah’s call to that of other spiritual leaders – like Moses, Samuel, Amos, Isaiah – one thing that is common to all is that the initiative is with God. These are not people who decided one day to take on a new work for God. Indeed, Jeremiah and Moses each struggled with God and sought to avoid his call. Each offered his lack of speaking ability as a reason to pass over him; to that, Jeremiah added the further reason of his youth (v. 6).
Yet God is not interested in our capabilities or gifts – after all, any talents we have are gifts he has given us. God is interested not in our ability but in our availability. Will we respond to God’s call with a willingness to follow his will?
God Equips Us
God does not call us and then send us out empty-handed. God will provide whatever we need in order to fulfill his call in our lives.
Jeremiah believed he could not speak adequately to serve as a prophet, but God reached out and touched his mouth. It was not Jeremiah’s words that would make the difference, but God’s equipping and empowering hand upon the prophet’s life.
Still wondering what God has called you to do? Perhaps one way to identify that is to look at the way God has equipped you already – what gifts has God already given you that may be used in his service?
God Works Through Us
Despite the awesome challenge God has given to the young prophet, Jeremiah can be assured of God’s presence in his life. “I am with you” (v. 8), God tells Jeremiah. “I have put my words in your mouth” (v. 9). It was not Jeremiah the prophet who would play such an important role in the nation’s life; it was God working through Jeremiah that would bring both judgment and hope to God’s people.
Eight times in this chapter, Jeremiah uses the statement “the word of the LORD came to me.” Jeremiah had no authority of his own; his sole authority came from God’s work through the prophet.
God also calls us to serve him. The call may take a variety of forms, but it always carries with it the promise of God’s presence and power. Even today, he wants to work through you and me to accomplish great things. Are we willing to respond to his call?