‘You are braver than you believe, stronger than you imagine and smarter than you think…And remember, even when you are alone I will always be with you…’
What a great encouragement given by Christopher Robin to his beloved, and world famous, bear – Winnie the Pooh!
This quote reminds me of the conversation between God and one of his reluctant prophets – Jeremiah.
Reading through Jeremiah 1 v 4-10 reveals a very honest conversation between a man who was clearly called by God, yet initially unable to grasp that he was strong enough and worthy enough for God to use him.
Jeremiah needed courage. he needed to be brave!
Immerse yourself in the dialogue between God and Jeremiah:
God: Before you were born I knew you and I’ve chosen you Jeremiah.
Jer: No – I’m too young, I don’t know what to say Lord
God: Don’t say that Jeremiah – I’ve chosen you and will give you that all you need
God: Here, let me touch your lips… Now follow my lead and be who I called you to be
Sometimes having the courage we need to accept that God has called us AND will use us seems a bit beyond our reach. We think we are…too young, too old, too ordinary, too ill informed or even too sinful.
Yet one of the powerful truths of this story (and many other stories of God at work in his people) is that when the Lord calls us, He is asking of us is to join in with what He is doing in His world – just as we are. After all, God knows us before he calls us!
Two key thoughts spring to my mind from Jeremiah’s experience
1. God knew Jeremiah BEFORE He called him. God didn’t call Jeremiah ‘despite’ who he was, but BECAUSE of who he already was and who he would become
He didn’t call Jeremiah by chance. God formed him knowing he was calling him for this purpose.
What an encouragement – each one of us is formed by God and fully known by Him. It isn’t an accident that we are like we are. Our personality, gifts, positioning in life are all a part of God’s activity in our lives.
This means that we can be courageous. When God prompts us to respond to a particular calling on our lives He isn’t being random in His word to us, He knows us. Having made us who we are He continually prompts us to follow Him AS THAT PERSON.
And as we do so, we are used – like Jeremiah – to reveal God in our nation, family, work place, relationships, GB group….
2. Jeremiah is touched by God, and the presence of God in his very being is what empowers Jeremiah to follow, do and speak for him as the days and years roll on
What an encouragement – each one of us can know that deep empowering presence of God’s Spirit in our inner being. This means that we can be courageous.
We don’t need to live for God and follow His lead through our own strength and determination. The more we allow the Lord to touch us and infill us, the stronger we will become.
So – live courageously.
- GOD formed YOU…. with all your personhood, personality and gifts
- GOD knows YOU….weaknesses, strengths, fears, limitations, passion
- GOD chooses YOU…As you are today. You can follow and be used by God today
- GOD fills YOU with the power of His Spirit….lean into His touch as the source of your power to follow and serve
After all …You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think!