"His word was in my heart like a burning fire shut up in my bones;
I was weary of holding it back, and I could not."
Do you feel it? Is it so powerful that you feel like you are about to burst? Are there days when it is so strong that it seems to be more of a burden than a blessing? If you were to ask these questions to Jeremiah, his answer would be yes to all three. What was it that he felt so strongly? At the core of Jeremiah was the truth of the Word of the Lord. He had been given a prophetic message for the nation of Israel. It was not so much the specific words that burdened him as much as it was the principled message of God's holiness and righteousness. Through his communication with God, he had come to know God more. He saw the intensity of God's holiness, and because of that he could now see his sin and the sin of Israel so clearly. The result of this intimate relationship with God was an intense fire and burden in the life of Jeremiah. This fire would not allow him to hide from his responsibility, and it raged in him so greatly that he could not help but speak up for God.
What about you? Is there a holy fire raging in your soul? Most of us live in the tepid waters of Christianity that have not been stirred for years. The sad part is that we are fine with it. We wake up each day and go to bed at night without ever thinking of how much we need God to do in us. We have grown accustomed to the embers of our spirituality being cold and lifeless. Today, ask God to make every thing change. Look deep within your heart and consider whether or not you are happy just existing in the Christian life. Ask yourself if you want more of God today than you had yesterday.
Jeremiah lived in a land that desperately needed to hear and heed the Word of the Lord. He grew weary from day to day with the thought of their judgment, and in his own power he could not speak. However, there was a fire raging in him so greatly that he was able to speak with boldness in spite of the consequences. We live in a world that needs to hear the message of Jesus Christ. Many of us have children, spouses, parents, friends and coworkers that need to feel the flame of God's truth in their lives. You are God's ambassador to them, but if you are cold and lifeless with no fire in you, you will not share the truth that they so desperately need. Ask God Almighty to ignite a fire with a flame that burns so brightly that all will be able to feel it and see it. Ask God for the flame of boldness to be an intense heat in the very core of your soul. It is only that fire that will allow you to speak more boldly than ever before.
Songwriter Gene Bartlett wrote, "Set my soul afire, Lord, for the lost in sin. Give to me a passion as I seek to win. Help me not to falter; never let me fail. Fill me with Thy Spirit; let Thy will prevail." Make that your prayer today, dear child of the Most High God.
May you experience the fire of God today!