By Waylon Bailey
God’s call of Jeremiah to be a prophet (Jeremiah 1:4-10) to the nations is a treasure chest for understanding service to God.
Though Jeremiah had no special abilities or background, God called him to go to the nations with the message of God. His call teaches us about serving God.
What are those special lessons about serving the Lord?
First, whatever God commands, He provides. Like almost every other messenger of God, Jeremiah was an ordinary person who was called not for his ability but his availability. Jeremiah knew that he didn’t have all he needed, but he soon learned that God provides what His servants need.
God does not call us to do something in our own power; He calls us to do what He can do through us. That truth makes all the difference.
Second, wherever God sends you, He will be there as well. God told Jeremiah that he should not be intimidated or afraid because He would be right there with him: ” ‘For I am with you to deliver you,’ declares the Lord” (Jeremiah 1: 8).
Third, It’s not about me. It’s easy to get caught up in ourselves. We want “our” ministry or “my” work. None of it is ours, and it’s not about me. It is all about God.
Jeremiah teaches me to be more concerned with the Master than the servant. When Jeremiah said, “Alas, Lord God, Behold, I do not know how to speak, because I am a youth” (Jeremiah 1: 6), he had his eyes on himself. This passage teaches that we need to keep our eyes on God.
God did not call Jeremiah to lead; He called him to follow. God said, “everywhere I send you, you shall go, and all that I command you , you shall speak” (Jeremiah 1:7).
Ministry is about God alone. It is not about what I can do or what I hope to accomplish; it is about the Sovereign Lord of the universe.
God wants us to learn to obey and follow Him. When we do, we will see Him bless us with the desires of our heart.
Waylon Bailey is pastor of the First Baptist Church in Covington and president of the Louisiana Baptist Convention Executive Board. This editorial first appeared on his daily blog.