What Can God Do Through Me?
Contributed by Jim Butcher on Dec 6, 2011 (message contributor)
Summary: A look at the calling God places on each of us as well as some of the excuses we use to try to avoid that calling.
GOD ONLY CALLS PREACHERS, RIGHT? We all have a calling from God.
- Jeremiah 1:5.
- NT references to call/jobs: Matthew 21:28; Mark 13:34; 1 Corinthians 15:58; 1 Corinthians 16:15-16; Philippians 4:3.
- Does God call only preachers?
- There can be a call for someone to be a preacher, but a “call from God” really refers to every time God speaks, pulls, tugs, coaxes, or pushes us to do something.
- God knows ahead of time what you are meant to do and what you can be most effective doing. He intends to put you in situations where you can be most effective for Him.
- God’s vision for our lives brings together both what would be most useful for the Kingdom and what best utilizes our given talents.
- Every Christian has a spiritual gift.
- God has given each of us a gift and within our general obedience there will likely be specific areas where we are unusually drawn: maybe mercy, maybe leadership, maybe financial giving, maybe creativity.
- Jeremiah’s call was to be “prophet to the nations.” That’s probably not what God is calling you to do. But that doesn’t mean that He doesn’t want to use you in His service.
- In our little corner of the world, there are opportunities that only we may have.
- Think of a war effort. People may concentrate on the general, but it’s the G.I.s who are going to really make the difference in whether there is victory.
"WHO, ME?!?!": More respond with doubts than respond with eagerness.
- Jeremiah 1:6.
- Jeremiah 1:8a – He acknowledges the fear that we feel.
- Other places where God tells us not to fear in NT: Matthew 1:20; Matthew 10:26, 28; Matthew 28:5, 10; Luke 1:13, 30; Luke 2:10; Luke 12:4, 32; John 12:15; John 14:27; Acts 18:9; Acts 27:24; Revelation 1:17; Revelation 2:10.
- This is not good, but not overly surprising.
- This is important. It’s good to know that God is aware of and to an extent sympathetic to our fear. He wants to encourage us.
- He knows that we’re human and we fear.
- It’s a pretty consistent pattern in the Scriptures that the message from the Lord to do something is greeted by the person of God saying they can’t do it. Over and over the angel of the Lord (or whoever the messenger happens to be) starts with or quickly goes to, “Do not fear.”
- This is fundamentally because what God usually calls us to pushes us beyond where we are comfortable and demands us to step out in faith.
- In fact, the very nature of faith is that we step out beyond what we can see. That’s tough.
FOUR PROMISES GOD GIVES TO HELP US COMBAT OUR FEAR:
1. We’re afraid of getting lost. . . but God promises His presence.
- Jeremiah 1:8.
- Genesis 28:15; Isaiah 43:2; Matthew 18:20; Matthew 28:20; John 14:18; Hebrews 13:5.
- I think most folks are afraid that they’ll get into whatever God is calling them and end up lost.
- “What next?”
- “Where do we go from here?”
- The idea of stepping out in faith intrinsically means stepping out without knowing where the end point is. It’s like Abram being called to go to a country that God would show him. That’s a tough thing to do.
- But God promises His presence.
- He will not leave us. He will not forsake us.
2. We think we might get stuck. . . but God promises rescue.
- Jeremiah 1:8.
- Luke 1:74; Romans 7:24; Galatians 1:4; 2 Timothy 4:18; 2 Peter 2:9.
- Another concern is that we might get stuck. It’s the idea that we might get into a situation and not know how to fix it or how to solve it.
- What do I do if I get in there and don’t know how to get out?
- God promises rescue.
- If we find ourselves in a situation that’s too much for us, He promises that He won’t leave us hanging.
3. We fear we won’t know what to say. . . but God promises words.
- Jeremiah 1:9.
- Acts 17:11; Romans 1:16; Romans 10:8; Romans 15:4; Ephesians 6:17; Colossians 3:16; Hebrews 4:12.
- As I step out, what am I supposed to say?
- God has given us the message. God has given us the things that we’re supposed to share.
- This is true:
- We have the Word of God that applies to so many situations. It establishes the broad picture of what we are to share.
- There are times when God will give us a specific word in a situation so that we know the right word to speak.