Note: Isabella and I are headed to the Dominican Republic tomorrow. We will check on the construction project, and we will also give away backpacks and school supplies to underprivileged children while we are there. If you would like to donate to this effort, please visit https://ripministries.org/donate. All donations are tax-deductible in the United States.
Today we continue our series entitled “Destiny’s Child – You Are Not a Mistake!” We have looked at Jeremiah’s call for the past few days. I want us to back back to it today.
(Jeremiah 1:5-9 NKJV)
5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.”
6 Then said I: “Ah, Lord God! Behold, I cannot speak, for I am a youth.”
7 But the Lord said to me:
“Do not say, ‘I am a youth,’ For you shall go to all to whom I send you,
And whatever I command you, you shall speak.
8 Do not be afraid of their faces, for I am with you to deliver you,” says the Lord.
9 Then the Lord put forth His hand and touched my mouth, and the Lord said to me: “Behold, I have put My words in your mouth.”
So what does this mean for you today? A few things.
1. Faith is accepting and aligning with God’s plans for your life.
— Faith is not you convincing God to agree with your plans. Faith is what happens when God convinces you to accept and align with the plans He made for you before the world began.
— Jeremiah did not come up with the idea to be a prophet. If it were up to him, he would have done something else with his life. But God revealed to Jeremiah that He had already made plans for him before he was born. For Jeremiah, the life of faith meant accepting, believing, and deploying into his purpose. It’s basically the same for you!
— When your confidence is in God, and what He has already done, you don’t take on any pressure to perform, you don’t rely on your humanity at all, and you can actually feel the weight/pressure fall off of you as you enter into God’s rest. You can rest because you know you are not pursuing your will. You are pursuing God’s will. You are not doing anything you came up with and then asked God to bless it. You are simply doing what you believe God came up with, and He is asking you to pursue it. This is faith!
— You can live your life based on the confidence you have in your ability to perform, or you can live your life based on the confidence you have in God’s ability to perform (through you) everything He planned before the world began.
— Jeremiah ultimately walked in his purpose, and he found peace in knowing that he was doing what God planned before the world began. I pray you find this peace as well.
2. God is looking for you to believe what He believes about you.
— Abram, the idol worshipper, did nothing to earn to deserve his divine call. God chose to call him, make his name great, and bless all the earth’s families through him. This did not happen because Abram (later Abraham) came up with the idea. No, it was God’s idea before the world began. All Abraham did was accept his assignment, die to his old identity, and pursue his God-given call by faith.
— David was a shepherd boy, minding his own business, hanging out with his father’s sheep, when he was pulled out of the field to be anointed as the next king of Israel. David’s life did not turn out the way he planned. He could have never imagined ‘in a hundred years, while he was tending sheep, that he was going to wind up as the King of Israel. But it was God’s plan. It was God’s idea. It was something birthed in the heart of God before the world began.
— Joseph was the 11th son of his father. During his day, being the 11th of 12 boys did not really set him up for success. But God had other plans. God placed His dream in Joseph’s heart. God chose Joseph to be the person He would use to lead the Israelites into Egypt. Joseph was destined to be Prime Minister. Along the way, Joseph had to endure the pit, Potiphar, and prison phases of his life before he could enjoy the palace. Looking back, there is no way Joseph could have written his own story. This was God’s story, penned in God’s journal before the world began.
— Gideon was a scared farmer when God called him a Mighty Man of Valor. Gideon saw himself as the weakest man from the weakest clan in all of Israel. God saw him as a military General. Gideon could have never come up with God’s plan for his life, but since he was willing to die to self, God converted him from a coward to a champion. By God’s grace, Gideon led one of the most lopsided military victories in history. Gideon did it because God planned to do it before the world began.
— Simon the Fisherman was content running his fishing business until he met a man named Jesus. This man asked to use his boat. Simon invested his time, talent, and treasure into Jesus’ ministry. In turn, Jesus caused him to land a net-breaking, boat-sinking load of fish. After the hauling in the biggest catch of his life, Simon fell on his knees, and he started following Jesus. Jesus made him a fisher of men. Simon the Fisherman was converted to Peter the Apostle. On the Day of Pentecost, Peter preached the first New Testament sermon, and 3,000 people were saved. I am sure Peter never imagined his life would turn out this way when he was running his fishing business. But God knew because God planned it before the world began.
— Saul of Tarsus spent years becoming a Pharisee of the Pharisees. He used his passion and his connections to persecute Christians with all his might. He was too young to stone Stephen, the first Christian martyr, so he held the coats of the men who were there. Once he was a man, he personally saw to it that there were many more Christian martyrs. He had Christians arrested and executed. But God had special plans for this murderer. God saved him and called him away from the religious Jews. While Saul was a Jew, he had no dealings with Gentiles. Guess what? God called him to minister to the Gentiles he had avoided all his life. He was changed from Saul of Tarsus to the Apostle Paul. He went on four legendary missionary journies. He started churches all over Asia minor. He was a Pastor or Pastors. He wrote half the New Testament. And none of this was Paul’s idea. It was all birthed in the heart of God before the world began.
— Jeremiah that he was too young, too afraid, and not equipped to be a Prophet. But in the end, all Jeremiah needed to do was get to the point where he believed what God believed about him. What was true for Jeremiah is true for us today! If you ever get to the point where you believe what God believes about you, and you start living as the person God destined you to be, you will live an amazing life, God will use you mightily for His glory, and you may even change the world!
*** Please believe what God believes about you!
3. You will get frustrated if you pursue the wrong thing.
We just briefly discussed the lives of Abraham, David, Joseph, Gideon, Peter, Paul, and Jeremiah. In every case, there was a man who was living his life one way until God revealed to him the plans He had before the world began. In each case, the person had to die to self, die to their limits, and muster up the courage to exercise the faith God provided. They had to believe what God believed about them. Once they did, they became who God called them to be, and they changed the world. And in every case, it had nothing to do with anything they came up with. This was all about God and what He came up with before they were born.
Jeremiah tried up to come up with excuses. He thought he was too young. He was afraid of public speaking (which is bad for a Prophet). He was afraid of people’s faces. He was afraid that he would not know what to say. But God reassured him. God let Jeremiah know that He had already prepared for his arrival on this planet. The plans were set. The words Jeremiah needed to say would be provided by God Himself. The people Jeremiah needed to speak to would be prepared by God too. God would give him the audience. God would set up the divine appointments. God would lead him where to go and tell him what to say when he got there. And God would be with him every step of the way.
What was true for Jeremiah is true for you. God prepared for your arrival. God already set up your success. God already stored up what you would need to accomplish your purpose. Now here’s a warning: everything you need to do what God called you to do is already prepared. But if you pursue something else, and you make your life about something that is NOT what God planned, then you are going to need things that God did not already store up. You are going to ask God for things that are not yours. You will get frustrated when you feel like God is ignoring your prayers. You will get tired of trying to do things and MAKE them happen with human power, ability, and strength. All of this frustration happens because you are NOT aligned with what God assigned you to do. Powerful things happen when you make a human alignment with your divine assignment. But when you are not aligned, you are resigned to living your life as a mere human.
The last thought I will give you as I release you into the weekend is this: God will not bless what He did not plan! Let that sink in!
Declaration of Faith:
Father, this is a season of LEVELING UP for me! I LEVEL UP by making a human alignment with my divine assignment. You made plans for me before the world began. You reveal those plans to me by Your Spirit. I believe what You believe about me, no matter how impossible it seems. I deploy into my purpose, pursuing it by faith, fully believing that everything I need to get it done is already stored up for me. I don’t rely on human power or ability. I don’t have to MAKE everything happen. I am not a self-made man. I am a God-made man. You bless me by grace. You prepared for my success. I become what You planned. I am whom You say I am. I can do what You say I can do. My life is all about YOU! This is why I keep declaring: GREATER IS COMING FOR ME! I declare this by faith. In Jesus’ name. Amen.