Excuses For Not Serving The Lord Jer 1:6-19 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
The Lord ordained Jeremiah a prophet unto the nations [Jer 1:5]. He called Jeremiah to preach against them and he knew that Jeremiah would try to excuse himself from this call. In this passage, therefore, we can find some excuses for not serving the Lord that men offer God. Some excuses are these:
I’m too inexperienced – Jer 1:6 – Jeremiah said, “I am a child.” Certainly for some things that the Lord might want you to do, maturity and experience are necessary [for example, a pastor 1 Tim 3:6]. But, as a general rule, you learn to minister by ministering, you learn to serve by serving, you learn to teach by teaching, you learn to lead by following and so forth. In Jeremiah’s case the Lord said, “… whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak.”
I’m too scared – Jer 1:8 – the Lord knew that Jeremiah might shirk from this call out of fear so he told him, “Be not afraid of their faces,” [Jer 1:8]. You would not admit that you are afraid, but the dread inside of you is palpable as you consider an area of service to the Lord. So, you make up some other reasonable excuse to cover the fact that you are scared. In Jeremiah’s case the Lord said, “I am with thee to deliver thee.”
I’m not judgmental – Jer 1:10-17 – Jeremiah’s calling was predominately negative. He had to root out, pull down, destroy and throw down and he had to pronounce the Lord’s judgments against their wickedness and idolatry. Most men want to sweet talk people and get along well with everybody. When you serve the Lord men often hate you. In Jeremiah’s case the Lord said, “… lest I confound thee before them.”
I’m not a fighter – Jer 1:19 – Jeremiah had to stand against the kings, princes, priests and people of the land with the understanding that they were going to fight against him. Many people excuse themselves from the fight. But we are told that we are to be good soldiers of Jesus Christ. Soldiers fight. That’s why we have been given the whole armour of God. In Jeremiah’s case, the Lord said, “… they shall not prevail against thee; for I am with thee, saith the Lord, to deliver thee.”
Conclusion: These excuses certainly sound legitimate but they are vain, nonetheless. The Lord would not lead you into an area of service without making the appropriate provisions for your care. If the Lord is preparing you and leading you to serve him then you need to trust him to take care of you in the same way that you have trusted him to save you.