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.” Jeremiah 1:7-8
God was calling Jeremiah to declare the coming of His judgement on the nation of Judah. This isn’t the kind of news a young guy – or old one, for that matter – probably feels good about spreading around. Jeremiah had never done this before, and it seems that he wasn’t an eloquent speaker (1:6). But, God assured the young Jeremiah he would be with him. And isn’t that the most important to any calling – that God be with us? Jeremiah didn’t have to worry, because God called him to speak. And not on his own authority, but on God’s.
We each have a calling and a part to play as members of the Body of Christ. This can be a scary thought for us too, as we face the responsibility we have to other believers. Thankfully, God’s call never requires us to lean on our own talents and abilities first and foremost.
And the vessel he was making of clay was spoiled in the potter’s hand, and he reworked it into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to do. Jeremiah 18:4
In Chapter 18, God helps Jeremiah understand what was happening and why with the people of Judah. He sent Jeremiah to the house of a potter where Jeremiah saw the skill of the potter as he formed and fashioned a pot on his turning wheel – and as he fired and baked the pot in the furnace of fire.
Through all the twists and turns of the rotating wheel as well as the heat of baking kiln, the artistry and skill of the potter was used to shape and mold and form and complete whatever vessel the potter chose to make. If the clay in the hands of the potter was ruined in process – he would start right over again, turning it into another vessel – a good vessel – a vessel that seems right to him.
The picture of the potter demonstrates that the vessel that stays patiently in the hands of our heavenly Potter, as He carries out His best purpose in our lives, is the one that will be formed and fashioned the best way for us.
Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is anything too hard for me? Jeremiah 32:27
Here, God asks Jeremiah to buy land in Jerusalem. At the time this seemed crazy because Jeremiah was in prison, Jerusalem was under attack and disease filled the streets. But Jeremiah trusted God and bought the land without delay. The action showed his confidence in God’s ability to fulfill His promise of restoring Jerusalem and bringing His people back.
As Christ-followers, we can have the same confidence knowing that nothing is too hard for God. The same God who fulfilled His promise to rebuild Jerusalem is the same God who will keep His promises to us. Our steps of faith look different from Jeremiah’s, but our willingness to obey should be the same. By trusting and acting, we will grow in our relationship with Jesus and move boldly into God’s plan for our lives.
He may call us to quit a job, move to a new town or start a small group, but no matter how big or small the step, we have to have faith.