We have been looking at the book of Jeremiah for the past few months and have noticed the similarities between our day and his. The government a mess, religious leaders apparently not knowing what they believe, God’s people infiltrated by false teaching, living with a legacy of pagan and true worship. Jeremiah was called into the mess that had been left by the ungodly leaders of God’s people.
God tells Jeremiah “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; and before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations.” Jeremiah was no mistake. Matthew Henry says “Original endowment not education makes a prophet. A seminary never made a preacher. They are born, made in the womb.” They are ‘purpose built’! Then they are moulded by the Word of God, the Holy Spirit, experience, and brothers and sisters in Christ.
What an encouragement for those of us called to serve. We can fret about our lack of ability, education etc. BUT God made Jeremiah and you, for the task. He is pleased with His handiwork – yet so often we hear people say ‘if only I was……..’ God wants you to be you as He conforms you to the image of Christ. Jeremiah was a gift to Judah. Paul was a gift to the church. You are a gift to your community, sent by God to deal with His people in mercy and grace. Remember, a word of rebuke or correction, ( as Jeremiah brought), was an offer of God’s goodness and grace. Judgement followed when the people wouldn’t listen and obey.
Jeremiah was called age 12 to face the King, his counsellors, and the nations leaders about their idolatry, sin, and false prophets. He was ‘sandwiched’ between God and the nations leaders. Today, we are sandwiched between God, and our godless community. Between the face of the people and the face of God. Jeremiah did not feel up to the task, but God said “Do not say I am a youth; because everywhere I send you, you shall go, and all I command you shall speak.”
If we are to know the anointing of God we must share the truth of the Gospel. We do not have the freedom to “tickle men’s ears” or to tell them what they would like to hear. We must share the whole counsel of God not our ideas. God IS with us when we do – we are then on the Lord’s side as Jeremiah was. If we share a compromised message we disappoint God and fail the communities we are called to serve. It is not easy to face people with God’s word – but it is daunting to think of falling into the hands of an angry God.
Jeremiah’s ministry was tough but God sustained him for 40 years. He was imprisoned, put in stocks, was attacked by religious leaders. Even invading nations treated Jeremiah better than the people of God. Success in ministry is not numbers but being where God wants you to be – living and speaking truth. As we have seen, Jeremiah was prepared in the womb.
Be encouraged. What we face in the UK today is not unknown. Our only hope is Jesus Christ and to preach, as far as we have revelation to do it, the Bible in all its fulness AND THE LORD WILL BE WITH US.
“They will fight against you, but they will not overcome you, for I am with you to deliver you declares the Lord”