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Through "The Basics with Beth," Beth Jones is helping people to live the life they love and love the life they live. Get the basics to live an empowered life!

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DON'T SHRINK BACK

Meghan Hock

“I’ll tell you where to go and you’ll go there. I’ll tell you what to say and you’ll say it. Don’t be afraid of a soul. I’ll be right there, looking after you.” Jeremiah 1:8 MSG

Often times the very thing God has called us to do with our lives is the very thing that makes us the most afraid. Deep inside we know it’s what we were meant to do, created for it, designed to go after–but when the opportunity comes we often shrink back.

There was a young man in the Bible who experienced this very thing. Jeremiah was somewhere between the ages of 17-25 when God called him to be a prophet. Let’s read it:

5 “Before I shaped you in the womb,
    I knew all about you.
Before you saw the light of day,
    I had holy plans for you:
A prophet to the nations—
    that’s what I had in mind for you.”
6 But I said, “Hold it, Master God! Look at me.
    I don’t know anything. I’m only a boy!”
7-8 God told me, “Don’t say, ‘I’m only a boy.’
    I’ll tell you where to go and you’ll go there.
I’ll tell you what to say and you’ll say it.
    Don’t be afraid of a soul.
I’ll be right there, looking after you.”
    God’s Decree.
Jeremiah 1:5-8 The Message (MSG)

Jeremiah’s first reaction to this weighty call on his life was to look at his inadequacies and shrink back. “Are you sure you’re talking to the right person, God?” “I’m a twenty-something, with no real life skill, no clout, no connections, I can barely speak. Are you sure you want me?”

Have you ever asked a similar question? 

Today, let’s find encouragement through God’s promises in this passage:

#1: Before we were born, He had holy plans for us. 
When we were least qualified, with no experience - not even born! - God had us in mind. He had a holy plan for our lives, and it wasn’t because we were so very impressive to Him. It’s because He created us, and He knew before we walked one day on the earth that we’d be capable to live out our call through Him. He created us with holy plans that He intends to help us fulfill!

#2: He’ll give us the words and be right with us!
For us to fulfill these holy plans over our lives, God gave us the promise of Himself! It will be His words, His wisdom, His guidance that helps us in our journey. Even when we physically go into something alone, spiritually we are never alone because He promised to be right there with us, looking after us. It’s not our human effort that impresses God and moves us into His call - it’s the humble position of trusting that He called us and He will equip us!

Jeremiah responded with his inadequacies but God immediately shut down that train of thought with His promises. God wants us to know that to fully live out His holy plan for our lives means we have to take our eyes off our inadequacies and put our eyes on His promises. He does the calling, and He does the equipping. Our part is to trust Him, shake loose the fear, and boldly step into the holy plan He has for our lives - knowing He will never leave us nor forsake us!

Say It: “Father, what a promise today for me to cling to. I ask for forgiveness when I’ve looked at my inadequacies and shrunk back from Your call on my life. Today, I look at Your promises and make a decision to move forward into all You have for me. I know You called me before I was born, and I know You’ll be with me as I walk out Your holy plan for my life. Thank You for this promise! In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”