Whoa! The Lord is moving on me and having me return to a message he was working within me back in 1981-1982 . . . when the words of Jeremiah literally came alive. It was (and is now) as real and alive as if He were sitting right next to me and looking into my eyes saying:
“I knew you before you were formed within your mother’s womb; before you were born I sanctified you and appointed you as my spokesman.”
I suppose that’s not new. Jesus, undeterred, gave this charge:
“God authorized and commanded me to commission you: Go out and train everyone you meet, far and near. Then instruct them in the practice of all I have commanded you. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned” (Matthew 18:18-20 MSG)
One time Jesus prayed,
“Father, I spelled out your character in detail to the men and women you gave me. They were yours in the first place, and then you gave them to me. So I pray for them. I’m not praying for the God-rejecting world but for those you gave me” (John 17:1-12)
It was if He was looking into my eyes and said,
“I gave you My word; but the godless world will hate you because of it. I expect you to avoid the world’s ways, just as I avoided the world’s ways.
“I’m not taking you out of the world, but I will guard you from the Evil One.
You are to be no more defined by the world than I am defined by the world. I have made you holy — consecrated — with the truth; My word is consecrating truth. In the same way that I was given a mission in the world, I am giving you a mission in the world. I have consecrated myself for your sake, So I expect you to be truth-consecrated in your mission” (adapted from John 17)
But Lord . . . [we always have our excuses]
“Don’t even start to say anything because you will go wherever I send you and you will speak whatever I tell you to.”
But Lord . . .
“Don’t be afraid of the people, because I, your Lord and Master, will be with you and see you through.” Then he touched my mouth and said, “See, I have put my words in our mouth!” (adapted from Jeremiah)
I’m beginning to feel like Elihu, the fellow who spoke to Job after the other three guys failed to console/counsel him. He sat there in the background, quietly listening to everything the old guys said, when finally he says he couldn’t sit there any longer. He mentions the constraining of the Spirit within him, so that he was “ready to burst.”
That’s what I often feel. Ezekiel refers to this “heat of the Spirit” when the Lord had moved him to speak. Jeremiah spoke of God’s word being “in his heart like a burning fire” and being “weary of holding it in. Indeed (he) could not” (Jeremiah 20:9). When “the Sovereign Lord has spoken, who can but prophesy” (Amos 3:8)? “Woe to me, if I do not . . .” (I Corinthians. 9:16).
I don’t know what lies ahead, all I know is that I’m dissatisfied with the status quo, I desire to be consumed with passion; that a Holy Desire would burn within me and burn off all the dross. I’ve found that I am daily (over-and-over) praying “Start a Fire,” by Among Thorns:
Start a fire in me,
Let the flames run free,
Burn away the dross,
Holy fire of God. (repeat)
Let it begin, let it be new,
Let me be used for Your sake,
Bringing glory to Your Name.
I can live knowing that You
Reside in my heart.
Oh Lord, You are the fire,
You’re the fire of God.
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