“Get yourself ready!” God said to Jeremiah. “Stand up and say to them whatever I command you. Do not be terrified by them, or I will terrify you before them” (Jer. 1:7).
The King James Version of the Bible begins this verse with words, “Gird up thy loins,” a phrase that means to tie up a long flowering robe in order to run without encumbrance. Another way of putting it is, “Get up and get dressed” (NLT). God was saying, “Dress yourselves with clothes I have prepared for you so you can run freely to do my will.”
I have been impressed with the way modern parents encourage their young children to choose which clothes to wear each day. As early as four or five, young children think about the activities of the day and learn which clothes are appropriate for each activity. The parents give them freedom to choose.
God gives us that freedom, too. We need to dress ourselves suitably for the work of the Lord. We need to choose “clothing” that will not hinder us in getting the job done. There is a tough job ahead for God’s soldiers, and we need to learn to dress our souls appropriately for battle.
God warned Jeremiah that he would have many enemies. Being forewarned was being forearmed. God would make him a tower of strength and help him to overcome all of his inadequacies. He was not to lose his nerve. In fact, God knew better than Jeremiah did that Jeremiah could fulfill his calling because God had made him ideal for the job. Knowing in advance what He would ask him to do, God had made him able to do it.
God believed in Jeremiah; God knew he could do it. To have someone believe in you is all the empowering it takes for you to move mountains. To have God believe you can do it should be all you need to face the foe. To know I am a part of the plan, to be empowered by the Spirit, and to be assured of His presence can help me get up, get dressed, and go out and tell the world whatever God tells me to say.
Jeremiah would need special clothing because his ministry would be both destructive and constructive. The emphasis was, however, to be on the destructive side. “See, today I appoint you over the nations and kingdoms to uproot and tear down, to destroy and overthrow, to build and to plant” (Jer. 1:10). God also told Jeremiah that those who heard his message would not appreciate it.
Many of us have the idea that God would not call us to a difficult task—only to a glorious one. I would prefer to “build up and plant” in people’s lives rather than “tear down and destroy.” I would hope He would fill my mouth with comforting words, not confronting words. But sometimes we are given unpleasant messages to deliver, and that takes extra grace and enabling. The battle often begins when we must point out sin or tell someone an unpalatable truth.
It is hard to be obedient to your appointed task, isn’t it? Jeremiah was to experience unbelievable reactions to his unsought words of spiritual advice, but he faithfully stuck with his tough assignments to the end.
Twice God tells Jeremiah, “I am with you and will rescue you” (Jer. 1:8). As you read this man’s story, you may be tempted to wonder about that. Did anyone ever accept his hard sayings? Didn’t the prophet get hunted like an animal and tortured nearly to death? Yes, he did. God doesn’t promise to always save you externally, but He always promises to save you internally—to give you faith for fear, peace in your problems, serenity in the storm, and faith enough to finish. He will never leave you nor forsake you, no matter how difficult the task. He who has appointed and anointed will assist you with the power to finish.
In His Love,
Just Between Us Magazine