Friday, November 9, 2012

I'm afraid I'm not qualified

How often do we panic thinking we possibly could not be meant for such an opportunity, job, or calling? I can be honest and say I have done it many times.

“Who me, Lord? No. That must not be what I heard. I must be thinking too much of myself. I must be confusing my thoughts with Gods. I need to do a better job at hearing from Him.”

Have you done it?

I was called to be the mother of two amazing boys. I remember when they entered into my life and how stunned and shocked I was at the responsibility and idea that I would be their mother. I was not ready. I had anger issues. I was frustrated. I was not organized enough. I could barely take care of the house I lived in, and then I had two boys to take care of as well.

When they got older and the idea of homeschooling crossed paths with me I knew it was what we were to do, but I panicked. I panicked a lot the 12 years following. What if I messed them up? What if I was wrong and they should have been in another educational setting? I didn’t envision myself as the right person for the job many many times.

But God.

When God calls us to something, He also qualifies us. They were our boys, so I was then qualified to be their mother. He called us to homeschool, so I was then qualified to teach them. Did I do it perfectly? No. I believe I learned more than they did most days, both educationally and personally. I grew through the experience of being their mother and teacher. I became more of who I was designed to be simply by being in their presence. There is nothing like seeing yourself through the eyes of your child to send you to your knees.

God purposed me to raise these two boys, and with His help that is what has been happening around here. His purpose for me made me more dependent on Him. I did not do it on my own. The two young men in my life are not due to anything I have done. But I can look at them and know God is doing a good thing in their life, as He did with mine when He gave them to me.

Sometimes it’s hard to step out in what God has called us to do. Sometimes the fear overtakes us and we simply stop. Keep walking. Grow more dependent on God. Allow Him to work through you for the purposes He designed for you. Choose Him.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The fear we aren't ready

Jeremiah 1:8
“Do not be afraid of them,
for I am with you and will rescue you,”
declares the Lord.

Jeremiah was called to be a prophet to the nations. For this position only one who has truly been called should apply. It must have been a dangerous and scary proposition which was set before him, but one he could not turn away from. Had he learned from Jonah’s story what happens to the rebellious prophet? Or did he simply know in his heart he had no choice but to follow the One True and Living God? I don’t know, but what does that have to do with us? We are not Jeremiah, and few of us have been called to be a prophet to the nations.

We have still been called to something. God has set plans in motion so there are good works we are to do; works we are specifically designed to accomplish. Do you hear His call? Have you heard it but are in the middle of telling Him He couldn’t possibly mean… you?

You are in good company. But learn from those who went before you. Learn from Jonah who ended up in the belly of the whale. What would your whale be? Learn from Jeremiah who trusted God to be with him. God designed you with a purpose in mind and He will call you to that purpose.

Following God’s plan for our life is not always safe. God told Jeremiah the nations would fight against him, and he has told us we would be persecuted as well. Why would they like what we have to say, when they don’t like Him who we speak for? But this is where we can’t choose fear. This is where we have to choose life or death.

Question 1: Do you fear God or man? It’s so easy to become fearful facing the man who is ridiculing, oppressing, or hurting us. But God saves our soul. He will not leave us, nor forsake us. Whom do you fear?

Question 2: What has God called you to do? Are you in the season of small things? Grasp them with your whole being and dig in. Has he called you to speak to nations? Take a deep breath and know He won’t leave you unprotected in the midst of your enemy.
Dear Father
It is so easy for us to lose focus
When what we see feels so real
Remind us that You are the Truth
You are the Life
You are the Way
Help us walk in it, Lord

Monday, November 5, 2012

Jeremiah's fear

Jeremiah is the weeping prophet. Through his book you see more about him than any other prophet shares about himself. He starts right from the beginning sharing how he received his calling from God.

Jermiah 1 8
Where was Jeremiah when he first heard God call his name? Was he standing with the sheep? Was he walking to his home? What do you do when you hear the Lord, Almighty, tell you his plan for your life, especially when that plan isn’t so prosperous here on earth?

Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart. I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”

Me? But Lord I’m just a child!

“Do not say, ‘I am only a child.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you.”

But these people, Lord, are not following hard after you. They will not want to hear what you have to say.

“Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the Lord.

Rescue me? Ah, that does sound foreboding. Are you sure you want me, Lord? I’m not very strong.

“Now, I have put my words in your mouth. See, today I appoint you over nations and kingdoms to uproot and tear down, to destroy and overthrow, to build and to plant.”

Oh Father, can my heart take what you have set out for me to do?

“Get yourself ready! Stand up and say to them whatever I command you. Do not be terrified by them or I will terrify you before them.”

Forgive me, Lord. I have been behaving as this was a request, but it is not. You have designed me for this purpose. You have equipped me for this purpose. You have told me how they will respond to me. But you have also told me you will take care of me. I choose life, Lord. I choose You.

Jeremiah 1:8

"Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you," declares the Lord. (NIV)
"Do not be afraid of them, For I am with you to deliver you," declares the Lord. (NAS)
"Be not afraid of them [their faces], for I am with you to deliver you, says the Lord. (Amplified)
"Don't be afraid of a soul. I'll be right there looking after you." God's Decree (The Message)

Reformation Study Bible: "I am with you" These words are the Lord's essential promise to His people.

Matthew Henry: It becomes us, when we have any service to do for God, to be afraid lest we mismanage it. Though a sense of our own weakness and insufficiency should make us go humbly about our work, yet it should not make us draw back from it when God calls us to it. Those that have messages to deliver from God must not be afraid of the face of a man. God goes along with those whom he sens, and is, by his powerful protection, at all times and in all places present with them; and with this they ought to animate themselves.

Adam Clarke: That is, the Jews, whom he knew would persecute him because of the message which he brought. To be forewarned is to be half armed. He knew what he was to expect from the disobedient and the rebellious, and now be prepared to meet it.

Geneva Study Bible: 1:9 "Then the Lord put forth..." Which declares that God makes them meet and assures them, whom he calls to set forth his glory, giving them all means necessary for the same.

Jamieson Fausset Brown: Such was the perversity of the rulers and people of Judea at that time, that whoever would desire to be a faithful prophet needed to arm himself with an intrepid mind; Jeremiah was naturally timid and sensitive; yet the Spirit moulded him to the necessary degree of courage without taking away his peculiar individuality.