On Sunday, Pastor Jeremy Johnson continued our series "Church of Power" by reminding us of our identity in Christ: as ones who are new creations, appointed and set apart for such a time as this. Jeremiah 1:5 says, “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.” Notice that God didn’t say, “I want to use you.” He said, “I have appointed you.” Often times we ask God to use us, and then wonder why we feel so used. We were never called to be used; we were called to be strategically placed for divine appointments.
In verse 6, Jeremiah responded in fear as so many of us do. He said, “I do not know how to speak; I am too young.” God responds by saying, “Do not say, ‘I am too young.’ 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.” Often times we use fear as our protection, but the only thing it’s doing is keeping us from our destiny. It may have been true that Jeremiah was too young and didn’t know how to speak, but God didn’t see that as an excuse not to appoint him. He saw it as an opportunity, just like He did with Saul who later became known as Paul.
Saul used to imprison as well as murder Christians in hopes of eradicating Christianity. When he was on his way to Damascus to continue his misguided quest, the Lord appeared to him. Acts 9:4-9 says,
“As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, ‘Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?’ ‘Who are you, Lord?’ Saul asked. ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,’ he replied. ‘Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.’ The men traveling with Saul stood there speechless; they heard the sound but did not see anyone. Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing. So they led him by the hand into Damascus. For three days he was blind, and did not eat or drink anything,”
When he got to Damascus, a disciple named Ananias prayed for him and the scales were removed from his eyes. He was then filled with the Holy Spirit and began to preach the Gospel. Many people questioned him because they knew who he had been and they even plotted to kill him, but eventually they realized he was no longer that person. He had been transformed just like the water that was turned into wine in Jesus’s first miracle. You may find the first miracle of Jesus to be comical as well as puzzling, but really it was a prophetic picture of what Jesus came to do. He didn’t pour the water into the wine making it watery wine. He literally transformed the water into a new substance. He changed the water’s past, present, and future just like He did for us.
Many of us may feel like God is just trying to make us into a better version of ourselves, but He’s actually made us into something completely new. Why then do we feel like the transformation is a process, rather than a “suddenly”? Because the transformation didn’t happen in our emotions, but it happened in our spirit. Our emotions are playing catch up. Ask God to show you how He’s transformed you from water into wine, and to help you walk into the appointment that He has created you for. The fears you’ve learned along the way that you’ve used to disqualify yourself from greatness have held you back for too long. It’s time to believe that He has made you into a new creation; past, present, and future!