Read Jeremiah 1
Jeremiah knew all that he needed to know. He had all he needed.
“… say whatever I command you (v8).”
Called to speak God’s message, all Jeremiah needed was communion with Him. All He needed to know was how to listen to God and do what He asked. Speak the words He gave him.
So much of this story deals with Jeremiah’s physical senses. What he saw. What he spoke. And that limited perspective is what fed his fears. Because of what he thought he didn’t know how to do. (See verse 6.)
Jeremiah’s calling was not an easy one by any means. He had to tell his own people about God’s impending judgment. He was commanded to call his own family out on their wicked ways. No easy task from anyone’s perspective this side of heaven. It provided a lot of fodder for afraid.
But God had a plan that involved fear of a completely different kind. God was calling Jeremiah to life. Unafraid. Truly, all he needed to fear was God Almighty.
I think it’s funny that Jeremiah’s first response to God’s call included the words, “Ah, Sovereign LORD.” Because, really, if God is Sovereign, then Jeremiah had nothing to dispute.
How many times do we do the same thing. God calls us to obey Him in a certain way — maybe to speak His truth at work when we know it will only bring ridicule — and we know that He is almighty and sovereign, but our senses don’t agree. So we dispute His plan and argue against His choosing us. Because it’s scary. Because, as far as we can tell, we are not properly equipped and we have every reason to be afraid. Because from our perspective, our co-worker or even our pastor would do a much better job.
But all Jeremiah needed, and all we need, for unafraid was to trust what God could see. To look to Him and Him alone.
To prove His point, God asked what Jeremiah saw. That’s when he said something like, “I shaqad a shaqed.” And the words he spoke sounded like I see seeing. For, the almond tree he saw had a name that sounded just like the Hebrew word for watching.
And when he spoke the words, he knew God was watching, backing up His every word. Every stroke of Jeremiah’s vocal chords.
Trusting God’s watching, His always almond-tree-I-will-stick-with-you-and-will-be-all-you-need-to-fear. Because He was enough for Jeremiah, and He is enough for us. Indeed, trusting and fearing God alone is the only way to really live. Unafraid.
*I’ve written a short e-book on living unafraid. A manifesto, if you will. And I would love for you to read it, to find the challenge to really live. Unafraid. Just click here for the download. Then start living. Unafraid.