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Only a Youth



"But the LORD said to me, 'Do not say, "I am only a youth"; for to all to whom I send you, you shall go, and whatever I command you, you shall speak'" (Jeremiah 1:7).


It's easy to feel inadequate. When God calls us to something, it's inevitably going to be a task that's far too big for us, and our initial response will probably be overwhelmed fear. How can God expect us to do this? How is it fair for Him to demand something of us that's clearly impossible to do?


The prophet Jeremiah had that reaction when God called him to proclaim His words to the people of Judah. Like Moses centuries before him, Jeremiah shied away from the task, insisting he didn't speak well. He was too young, he protested, and no one would ever listen to him. He just didn't have what it would take.


But God didn't give him any room for excuses. He told Jeremiah that He had planned this job for him before he was even in the womb. It was for this very purpose that he had been created.


Then God touched Jeremiah's mouth, symbolizing that He had given him His own words to speak. It didn't matter that Jeremiah was young and inexperienced. He wasn't relying on his own strength. He was speaking the words of God Himself, and those would always be exactly what the people needed to hear.


Finally, God gave Jeremiah a promise. "'Do not be afraid of them,'" He said, "'for I am with you to deliver you'" (1:8). God answered every one of Jeremiah's fears with a reminder of His own power. Jeremiah was as weak as he believed, but that didn't matter. It was God who would do the work through him.


Jeremiah had only to obey.

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