Monday, September 28, 2015

This week's lesson (September 26 - October 2): the prophetic calling of Jeremiah

"You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you," declares the LORD. . . . "Do not be terrified by them, or I will terrify you before them. Today I have made you a fortified city, an iron pillar and a bronze wall to stand against the whole land -- against the kings of Judah, its officials, its priests and the people of the land. They will fight against you but will not overcome you, for I am with you and will rescue you," declares the LORD. -- Jeremiah 1:7b-8, 17b-19, NIV, emphasis supplied.
What would you do if you weren't afraid to do it?
If the first chapter of his book is any guide, after all, Jeremiah is none too sure about being a prophet -- and with good reason.
  • He lacks experience (verses 6f).
  • He lacks support (verses 18f).
  • And his message isn't going to make anyone very happy (verses 14-16).
That's why Jeremiah's very first words in this book are an attempt to explain why he shouldn't be a prophet (verse 6) . . . 
And that's why God repeatedly tells Jeremiah not to be afraid -- a command, notice, that wouldn't be necessary unless Jeremiah was afraid!
All of which suggests another word for "faith" is "courage" . . .
  • Courage enough to follow God when you don't know how to do it.
  • Courage enough to follow God when nobody else wants to do it.
  • And courage enough to follow God when nobody else wants you to do it!
In short, there's always a good reason to say "no" to God -- and if there's not, then your fears will always help you find one.
But if God wants you to do something . . . 
Then what have you to fear?

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