Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Burning Bushes and Green Lanterns

Suggested Reading: Jeremiah 1:4-19

When the Ryan Reynolds' Green Lantern movie came out, one of the major conflicts of the movie was that Hal Jordan, the man chosen to be Green Lantern, did not believe himself capable of the responsibility. Having suffered the loss of his father in a tragic accident when he was just a small child, he was scarred and had no confidence in himself. He did not believe himself capable of doing the job of the Green Lantern. Repeatedly, he was told, "The Ring does not make mistakes." (Because  the ring was the one that mystically chose him to be a green lantern.) But he didn't really believe it until he was forced to choose between losing his planet or losing his excuses.

Reading through the book of Jeremiah, I noticed a similar dynamic in the young prophet. God called Jeremiah to be a prophet to the nations and Jeremiah responded, "Oh no, Lord, God! Look, I don't know how to speak since I am only a youth" (Jeremiah 1:6, HCSB). Moses had a similar experience at the burning bush, telling God that he simply wasn't qualified or capable of doing the job to which God called him. But God responded to Jeremiah and Moses in very similar fashions. To Jeremiah, God said, 'Do not say, "I am only a youth," for you will go to everyone I send you to and speak whatever I tell you. Do not be afraid of anyone, for I will be with you to deliver you" (Jeremiah 1:7-8, HCSB).  Then God reached out to Jeremiah and put God's words into Jeremiah's mouth and encouraged Jeremiah that the only way anyone would be able to harm him was if he allowed himself to be intimidated (Jeremiah 1:17-19).

People commonly experience the same reaction as Jeremiah, Moses, or Hal Jordan on discovering the call to a higher task. We often feel unworthy, incapable or unprepared. But in the same way that "The Ring does not make mistakes," neither does God make mistakes when calling us out to a special task. Peter was incapable of walking on water, John was incapable of healing the lame, Paul was incapable of raising the dead, but when God called them to the task, God also gave them the ability to perform it. When we allow God to move, the Holy Spirit empowers us in a much more powerful way than Hal Jordan's ring empowered him as a Green Lantern. We just have to be willing to trust that God knows all of the variables and the extent of HIs own power when calling us.

Have you felt God's call on your life? Have you experienced the prompting of the Spirit, urging you to take on a particular task for which you feel ill-equipped, unprepared, or utterly incapable? Remember that God provides the power to accomplish the work to which God calls you. And like the green lantern ring, God doesn't make mistakes.

What Did You Think Was Going to Happen?

Suggested Reading: Judges 16:4-21 or Judges 16 (the whole Samson and Delilah story) I may lose some readers over this statement, but.....