I was an emotional wreck a few weeks ago. Every now and then I tend to feel a little blue but to feel that way for several days in a row is unusual. As I laid in the bed trying to make sense of my feelings and the resulting tears, I recalled the words of a friend: “You need deliverance from people”.
It was something that I had never considered before but she couldn’t have been more right. I need deliverance from people’s opinions of me and deliverance from over-analyzing their words. More than anything I want to be delivered from the need to feel accepted.
At 31 years old, it’s a little sad that I have such juvenile issues but at least those few days of being in a dejected state weren’t for naught. What I Iearned while in that place is that my failure to act and carry out the assignment God has given me stems from feelings of inadequacy, a lack of validation and perceived rejection. I have a number of reasons for not having published a new blog post since last year but it was only recently that I realized that this was at the core of them.
If you too are allowing issues to talk to you out of obeying what God has charged you to do, consider this: what if Jesus had done the same? Imagine if He had chosen to completely disregard just how badly mankind needed His sacrifice because of those that constantly questioned and doubted him. What if he had given into the fear that overcame Him while he was in the garden and decided against going to the cross because He wasn’t able to get past the thought of the mockery and torment that He’d have to endure first? How hopeless our lives would be!
If someone who was as much divine as He was human wrestled with thoughts like these, then you can imagine there were many others who endured that same mental struggle. One such person was Jeremiah.
When Jeremiah was hand-selected to prophesy, it was during a time when it was painfully obvious that there wouldn’t be much good news to deliver. As explained in this piece titled ‘What can We Learn from the Life of Jeremiah?’, “…God sent Jeremiah to give Judah the last warning before He cast them out of the land, decimating the nation and sending them into captivity in the pagan kingdom of Babylon… [He]…was called to tell Judah that, because of their unrepentant sin, their God had turned against them and was now prepared to remove them from the land at the hands of a pagan king”. Even someone highly regarded by his audience might be less than enthusiastic to render such dire words; so then think about how it would feel to have to speak them to a group that includes seasoned individuals that might have considered themselves much wiser than you. That’s a job that anyone with good sense would try to run away from – if there weren’t any consequences for doing so, of course.
Jeremiah was about 17 years old when God revealed what He had in mind concerning his lifework. Whether out of humility or fear I’m not sure but his natural reaction was to give reason for why he wasn’t qualified for the job. After being told that he had long been ordained to be a prophet he said, “Ah, Lord God! Behold, I cannot speak, for I am a youth” (Jer. 1:5). Isn’t it just like us to see something completely different – someone far less competent – than what God sees when He looks at us? The task of wrapping our minds around what He really thinks of us seems beyond our ability.
It is important to know and remember that the assignment God has given us was not an afterthought; it is something He has had in mind since the very beginning. We mustn’t allow our seemingly crippling issues to cause us to walk away from everything that He has in mind for us. If they cause momentary hesitation then so be it but we cannot allow them to become a permanent roadblock in our path. God has big plans for all of us but it’s up to us to lay the crutches down and dare to walk in that truth.