Wholeheartedly Embracing the Mission



Scripture:

Jer. 1:4   Now the word of the Lord came to me saying,
5 “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.”
6 Then I said, “Ah, Lord God! Truly I do not know how to speak, for I am only a boy.” 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,
8 Do not be afraid of them,
for I am with you to deliver you, says the Lord.”

Observation:

Jeremiah was a young man, living during the time of king Josiah. The world would change dramatically during his lifetime and God wanted to use him in a significant way. God had known Jeremiah from before he was born and had called him out to be a prophet. The mission of being a prophet was not something to be sought ought by the individual, but rather it was God who chose the person for the role of prophet. When Jeremiah discovered this was God’s will for his life, his responsibility was to respond, giving himself wholly to the mission. This would transform his entire life. 

This calling was specifically from God, and it’s a gentle reminder that trying to assess others’ spiritual gifts for ministry may not fit a human pattern. This is a gift and calling from God that comes to us, even as we are young. John the Baptist responded to faith in the womb, and Jeremiah was knit together in his mother’s womb, for ministry. For each, they had to respond and embrace the mission which God had prepared for them. 

Application:

Jeremiah was afraid of the task which God seemed to be laying before him. He didn’t think that he had the talent or ability to complete the job. He was far too young to be a prophet. Everyone knows that prophets are old and have long white beards! By all outward signs, he is not the right man for this job! And yet, God had a mission in store for him.

The mystery of all of this is our engagement with God in the mission. When we begin to think that our ability to accomplish the impossible laid out before us is our responsibility, we get it all wrong. This is the mystery of God, which we cannot explain. For Jeremiah, and for John, and also for Jesus, the pathway was laid out before them long before they were born. But along the way, they had to decide whether they would participate in, and embrace the mission.

How often do we make excuses for the things of God? I’m afraid that God is wanting us to participate in the mission at far greater levels than we are. We are right there with Jeremiah, explaining why it’s not possible! "I have too much to do." "I have to take the kids to sports on Sundays." "I need to work a few extra hours this week." "I don’t have the skills needed to do the task." "People would think that I was weird if I were whole-heartedly devoted to Jesus." 

So instead of embracing all that God has for us, we settle for a mediocre faith and practice. The problem is that we don’t live into the DNA which has been knit into our very being and we live a lifetime of fighting against who we really are. No wonder so many people are miserable. It’s as if we are trying to wear misfitted clothing, a size or two too small, and we can’t figure out why we don’t feel free to run. When we embrace the mission, we are freed from all that entangles us and we can relax in being ourselves. No longer do we try to be like anyone else. Jealousy and pride fall away and are replaced by the joy of fulfillment. You see, not only did Jeremiah discover his pathway, but God also empowered him for the journey. 

Discovering who we are in Christ can be a moment of release and freedom. Instead of fighting against Christ’s leading and finding it constricting, in him we will find the joy and energy to run in his peace. 

Prayer:


Lord, I’m just a girl and I’m not sure what I have to offer, but please help me to daily embrace the mission. Amen. 

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