In my devotions, I’m reading through Ecclesiastes and Jeremiah. I stopped to reflect on the following passage:
17 “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. 18 Today I have made you a fortified city, an iron pillar and a bronze wall to stand against the whole land—against the kings of Judah, its officials, its priests and the people of the land. 19 They will fight against you but will not overcome you, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the Lord. (Jeremiah 1:17-19)
what I love about this passage
I love the clear call to be bold and make a difference, following God’s leading to change the world—and to do all of this without fear. It’s obvious that Jeremiah faced obstacles on a scale I can’t imagine. He stood before kings and kingdoms! However, I can identify with the call to be faithful in the moment. I can be ready to be used by God. I can stand up and say the right thing. I can be strong through trusting in God’s strength and refuse to give into fear. This passage reminds me of a few others:
“Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season” (2 Timothy 4:2)
15 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity… (Ephesians 5:15-16)
11 “When you are brought before synagogues, rulers and authorities, do not worry about how you will defend yourselves or what you will say, 12 for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say.” (Luke 12:11-12)
Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold. (2 Corinthians 3:12)
how I am challenged by this passage
I’m challenged in a few different areas by this passage. I need to be better at being ready, listening to what God has to say, and trusting him enough to say the right thing. There are times when I’m not listening well enough, and then I’m not ready when the moment comes. There are times I’m not bold enough, I know what to say but I don’t. There are also times when I say something, with boldness and without fear, but it’s more my message than it is God’s message.
I need to be better at listening and speaking without fear, and speaking God’s words and not my own!
, or that I’m not bold enough. There are also times when I am too bold, and speaking a message that’s my own, rather than making sure it’s what God wants me to say.