Today I would like to jump right into Scripture.
Is that okay with you? 🙂
Let’s turn to the first chapter of Jeremiah…starting with verse 4…and look how that young man was called:
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! Behold, I do not know how to speak, for I am only a youth.” 7 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.
8 Do not be afraid of them,
for I am with you to deliver you,
declares the LORD” (Jeremiah 1:4-8)
And let’s scan not quite 10 verses down to verse 17…part of a section that starts with “The word of the Lord came to me [Jeremiah] a second time…” (Jeremiah 1:13):
17 But you, dress yourself for work; arise, and say to them everything that I command you. Do not be dismayed by them, lest I dismay you before them (Jeremiah 1:17).
Pretty impressive calling, eh? Known before he was formed in the womb…consecrated…and appointed a prophet!
Our calling is far more ordinary…more bland…right?
Peter can help us with that:
9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
11 Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. 12 Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation (1 Peter 2:9-12).
Wow! Chosen race! Royal priesthood! Holy Nation!
A people for his own possession!
Notice also that we may not have been “appointed a prophet,” but we are to “proclaim [God’s] excellencies.”
So, we don’t have the same exact calling as Jeremiah…but it sure seems equally impressive, doesn’t it?
Please notice one more thing. Both callings came with an exhortation to commitment. With Jeremiah he is told not to fear…and “Do not be dismayed by them, lest I dismay you before them.” With us, we are urged “as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh that wage war against your soul.”
These are not commitment-less callings. We represent the Most High!
And…I think we can be confident that just like Jeremiah would be expected “to abstain from the passions of the flesh,” we would be expected to stand up for God and not be dismayed. If you don’t agree with the latter, how about these words from Jesus Himself?:
32 So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, 33 but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven (Matthew 10:32-33).
Seem’s very similar to “do not be dismayed by them, lest I dismay you before them,” does it not?