October 9, 2019·Kristin Gentry
The Lord gave me this message: “I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as My prophet to the nations.” “O Sovereign Lord,” I said, “I can’t speak for You! I’m too young!” The Lord replied, “Don’t say, ‘I’m too young,’ for you must go wherever I send you and say whatever I tell you. And don’t be afraid of the people, for I will be with you and will protect you. I, the Lord, have spoken!”
— Jeremiah 1:4-8 (NLT)
Have you ever noticed in the Bible that each time God specifically calls out an individual to be His mouthpiece, each of the interactions between God and the prophet are all quite similar? It begins with the Almighty telling the prophet whoHe is and what He has done, followed by His calling of the human to partner with Him. Next, in true human nature, the prophet begins to explain to God why they are not suited for the position: “I’m too young!” states Jeremiah. “Who am I?” asks Moses. Jonah just runs for the hills… well, the sea! Ha! Yet, the Lord, in His kind patience, once again explains to the prophet exactly who will be doing the true work, and He commissions the prophet to cooperate with His plan.
Interestingly enough, some time passes for many of the prophets between their initial calling and the actual fulfillment of their calling. As a youth pastor, I can attest that this scenario still plays out in the lives of those God has set apart and appointed. For example, I’ve seen hundreds of students receive a call from God (many in a camp setting), and they don’t really begin to function in that calling until after a significant amount of time has passed and, for some, even decades later are still not functioning in their calling.
Each time I read these passages, they remind me of a couple of things: 1) How important it is that I listen to God when He speaks to me and calls me to do His Kingdom work, and how essential it is that I know it’s not by my own doing, but by His might! 2) How important it is to come alongside young people and remind them not only who they are, but of the One who works inside them and through them.
I know there are some reading this who would say they have heard a call from the Lord and yet, for whatever reason, are not operating in the capacity to which the Lord has called them. Perhaps you’ve given your reasons to the Lord for why you are not suited for the job, but let the Scriptures reaffirm you! It really is God working in and through you because, let’s face it, if we try it on our own, we will always come up short.
Perhaps you’re functioning in your calling, but someone else you’ve been praying for needs to be encouraged and reminded that God is with them. My hope is that you will find ways to reassure and encourage them – especially if they are young!
Oh Father! Thank you for Your love and incredible patience with us. Teach us to listen to Your voice and to obey without hesitation. Show us how to grow in our calling and how to share Your love with others along the way. We adore You, Lord. Amen.
Pastor Kristin Gentry