In the book of Jeremiah, we see a stirring picture of the life and ministry of the prophet Jeremiah. The task of leadership given to him by God was anything but easy. It was full of criticism, conflict, and opposition.
He was called to be a prophet in Judah under the great King Josiah and his two sons: Jehoiakim and Zedekiah. Jeremiah saw the kingdom rise to spiritual heights under Josiah and then he watched it fall completely under the next generation. He saw one generation live wholly for God and the next rebel against God and be destroyed.
As a young man, God gave Jeremiah a ministry of confrontation. In Jeremiah 1:18, the word “against” is used five different times to describe all those that he would oppose. The people had fallen to a sinful state and Jeremiah was sent to confront their sin and call them back to God.
For, behold, I have made thee this day a defenced city, and an iron pillar, and brazen walls against the whole land, against the princes thereof, against the priests thereof, and against the people of the land. And they shall fight against thee; but they shall not prevail against thee; for I am with thee, saith the Lord, to deliver thee. Jeremiah 1:18-19.
Later in life, Jeremiah is seen running frantically through the streets of Jerusalem looking for one righteous person (5:1—3). He could find none. He could see and hear destruction coming, but nobody would listen (4:19—22). At one point, he was put in stocks. At another point, his life was threatened. Daily, he was mocked (20:7—8).
Viewing his life through the Bible book attributed to his name, we see that ministry is not always easy. However, words spoken at the beginning of his life were the anchor in his hard times. God told Jeremiah before it all began that he was called to be a “defenced city,” “an iron pillar,” and a “brazen wall.” Using this language, God challenged Jeremiah to stand firm, live with courage, and remain true to his calling… no matter what.
When the task of leadership is not easy, stand firm. Be brave. Do not bend under criticism, confrontation, or opposition. No matter what or who falls around you, continue to rise to new heights. The call to lead is a call to be an iron pillar… no matter what.
The good news is that whatever rises to fight against you or to oppose your faith, nothing compares to your God.
And they shall fight against thee; but they shall not prevail against thee; for I am with thee, saith the Lord, to deliver thee.
Be encouraged today. Stand tall. Be a pillar.