But if I say I’ll never mention the Lord
or speak in his name,
his word burns in my heart like a fire.
It’s like a fire in my bones!
I am worn out trying to hold it in!
I can’t do it! Jeremiah 20:9 (NLT)
Jeremiah prophesied in a hard season. It was a time when destruction was eminent. It was a hard and unpopular task he had. He suffered physically. He was called a traitor for telling people to surrender to Babylon. Even those who claimed to speak for God ridiculed him.
Jeremiah often wondered why God gave him this message. It would be easy to play it safe and just stay quiet. He could simply go along with what was considered acceptable prophetic ministry. If he did, though, he felt the words just burn within him and he could not hold it in.
Sometimes I identify with Jeremiah. I feel a burning sense that things are not right with the world. It feels as if things are off kilter. Sometimes it even rests within attitudes considered acceptable by popular religious culture.
Speaking of these things seldom bring a pleasant response, except by those whose hearts have been softened by the Spirit and have ears to hear. It is easy to be misunderstood, even by those who claim to follow Christ.
It would be easy to play it safe: just be quiet and go along with the flow. Still, I cannot. I cannot help but feel that some attitudes need to really change if we are going to ever truly be Christ’s royal priesthood on this earth. So, I say something. I must. To hold it in would only be more painful than any negative response from those who do not want to hear.