The word of the LORD came to me, saying, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” “Ah, Sovereign LORD,” I said, “I do not know how to speak; I am only a child.” But the LORD said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am only a child.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the LORD. Then the LORD reached out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me, “Now, I have put my words in your mouth. See, today I appoint you over nations and kingdoms to uproot and tear down, to destroy and overthrow, to build and to plant.” – Jeremiah 1:4-10
“But… I can’t.” “But… that’s too hard!” “But… I don’t know how.” “But… someone else can do it better than I can.” How often during our day do we focus on our limitations and make excuses why we didn’t do something or why we can’t do something. Unfortunately, these same excuses transfer from the daily activities of life to the important spiritual matters of life. Excuses abound. “But… I don’t have time for church right now.” “But… it’s all too confusing to figure out.” “But… when my kids get older then I’ll think about those things.” “But…” The list goes on.
The prophet Jeremiah had a direct call from the Lord to be his spokesman to the people of Israel. Granted, he was going to have a rough task and a very difficult message for the people to hear. However, the first thing he did was make an excuse, “I do not know how to speak.” Our sinful human nature resists the call of God.
Not many can claim a direct call from God, but we all can claim making excuses in response to God’s will. A friend brings up a spiritual discussion to which we say, “I don’t want to talk about it.” A family member invites us to come with them to church. We say, “It’s my day to sleep in.” Our child asks us about God and who he is and we say, “Go ask your mother.” A fellow church member asks us to serve and we say, “I don’t have the time.”
We can only marvel that God in his love continues to reach out to us. He didn’t cast Jeremiah aside for his excuses, but rather reminds him that he has nothing to fear. The all-powerful God, who knew him before he knew himself, was present with him.
Today God wants to remind you of two things when you are tempted to make excuses and steer away from his call. One, you are part of the Lord’s plan. He knew you before you were formed in the womb and he desires that you, now outside of the womb, come to know and believe in him. And, two, with that reality in mind, he wants us to understand that life is not about me as an individual, rather we are here on this earth to carry out the Lord’s purpose.
So stop making excuses. The Lord is calling you to believe in his Son, Jesus and live for him. Enjoy living for your Lord today!