Jeremiah 1:6-8 – Then I said, “Ah, Lord God! Behold, I do not know how to speak, for I am only a youth.”  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.”
Any work done for God is a work that is too much for us to do. The believer who thinks he/she has everything that they need in order to serve God is a fool of immense proportions. It is better, by far, to look at oneself and say “I cannot do this” than it is to look and say “bring it on, I can handle anything.” Self confidence can be a great millstone about a person’s neck if it becomes presumption and leads to laziness, prayerlessness and bravado.
On the other hand, it is no less a matter of sinful pride to conclude that we cannot do as we are commanded since we are so incompetent, for whatever reason. To do nothing out of a sense of regret that we are not more gifted or because we think that it takes great ability to serve God is equally as offensive to God as the sense of independence. In fact, they are both the same thing. One says that he can serve God since he is so talented. The other agrees with him that great talent is the secret ingredient and that since he does not have any there is nothing he can do. They both ignore God.
If we read our Bibles with our eyes open at all then we will see that the incompetent is who God calls the most. Murderers, cowards, schemers, fearful, … . In short – us. And why is it that they accomplished so much? They looked up. They obeyed. They trusted Him, rather than themselves or their ability to see just how everything was going to work out.
We think our churches are small due to our lack of talent. We think that the reason the big names in Christianity are big because of the great things they can offer God. None of us are exempt from this. There is something in all of us that thinks that if only our circumstances were different, or if only this thing hadn’t happened or if only another thing had happened. None of it is true.
We are called by a great God to do a great thing for Him, no matter what it is, or, as I heard one preacher put it, “God has no small works.” What are you called to do? If it does not strike fear into your heart, then you should be very concerned, because you are not up to the challenge. But if the fear does not drive you to Him then you are wasting it. Trust Him. He does not call you to something that He will not equip you to accomplish. He will be with you if He has called you to this thing. And the evidence that He has been with you is your perseverance and attempting to do that for which you know can only be done by Him.
God’s answer to Jeremiah when Jeremiah complained that he was too young and too ignorant was not to contradict him. God did not say “There, there, Jerry, You’re special because I don’t make no junk.” No. What He did say was “I am with you”. In other words, “OK, so you’re young and ignorant. Big deal. I am not and I am going to be with you wherever and in whatever I send you to do.”
What is your handicap? Do you think that it hampers the Almighty? Can He accomplish whatever He has called you to do through even you? Jeremiah entered into a ministry of immense hardship and pain and opposition. God never promised him easy. But He was there for him. And He is there for you, if you obediently submit to Him.
There are other things that need to be considered as we look at obeying God’s call upon us and we’ll have a look at some of them next week.