Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.Jeremiah 1:5
When does God appoint? He appointed Jeremiah the prophet within the womb. That means that his calling preceded his résumé. It helps me remember that God’s calling is more secure than my abilities.
Jeremiah served as a prophet during a difficult time in Judah’s history. Oftentimes, he talked about quitting because his ministry was so challenging (Jer. 20:9). In the opening pages of his book, he revealed why he would endure to the end even when he often felt like giving up.
Read his description in Jeremiah 1:5-10.
4 Now the word of the Lord came to me, saying,
5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
and before you were born I consecrated you;
I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”
6 Then I said, “Ah, Lord God! Behold, I do not know how to speak, for I am only a youth.”7 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.
8 Do not be afraid of them,
for I am with you to deliver you,
declares the Lord.”
9 Then the Lord put out his hand and touched my mouth. And the Lord said to me,
“Behold, I have put my words in your mouth.
10 See, I have set you this day over nations and over kingdoms,
to pluck up and to break down,
to destroy and to overthrow,
to build and to plant.”
We often think that it is only our experiences and education that prepares us. Too regularly do we assume that our networks solely provide us the opportunities given to us. While much of that is true, we must realize the importance of God’s appointment over our lives. Others have taught us that it’s not what you know, but who you know that will define our lives. If that is true, we must take to heart that we know God, and he knows us.
Not only does he know us, but he designed us for specific purposes. Before Jeremiah ever took a breath, God appointed the purpose of his breathing. He appointed Jeremiah, and he has appointed every single one of us to particular callings. God appoints people to be intentional fathers and mothers, gifted preachers and teachers, and Kingdom-minded blue-collar workers and white-collar workers.
To what roles do you believe God has appointed you?
Are you walking according to God’s appointment?
Travis Agnew serves as the Lead Pastor of Rocky Creek Church in Greenville, SC. His most recent book is Just (About) Married.