“But if I say, ‘I will not mention His Word or speak anymore in His Name,’ His Word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot”
(Jeremiah 20:9, NIV). “The words are fire in my belly, a burning in my bones. I’m worn out trying to hold it in. I can’t do it any longer!” (Jeremiah 20:19, MSG)
I want to welcome you to the 4th month of the year of Flying High. We are living in times very parallel to the days of Jeremiah in the kingdom of Judah. That is, a period of shocking moral decay, a spiritual pandemic, increasing international threats, failure of national leadership, falsehood, and false prophets, and the love of God’s people growing cold. Also, soul winning messages have been replaced with prosperity preaching, and little or nothing is said about the work and power of the Holy Spirit.
In Jeremiah’s time, God nevertheless patiently taught and toughened this prophet to meet the conditions which he was going to encounter increasingly. This is also what God has designed to teach us this season — to meet the conditions of a rapidly worsening world. Jeremiah was a testament to the immeasurable presence and power of God shut up in his bones. The fire became irresistible, undeniable, and unbearable in Jeremiah until he spoke.
Jesus made us to understand that the Word of God is Spirit and therefore life-transforming (John 6:63) . Jeremiah experienced the transforming power of the Spirit of God. The word in his heart built his faith and he was fearless, and his inherent potential was enhanced to do more for the God Who sent him:
- Fire in the bones could be referred to as the Holy Spirit: Acts 2:1-4 says, “And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”
- Jesus likened fire in the bones to Rivers of Living Water and that it will flow out of one’s belly: John 7:38 says, “He that believeth on Me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.”
- The Word can also be described as fire shut up in the bones: Fire is that which burns. Fire has these wonderful characteristics.
- Fire is focused. It does not do two things at a time. It does only one thing at a time – burning and nothing else. Luke 19:10 is an example of this kind of focus in Jesus’ life.
- Fire has integrity. It does not double-talk. This is exemplified in Joseph’s experience with Potiphar’s wife in Genesis 39:12-14; his actions matched his words.
In short, fire is aggressive, confrontational, uncompromising, and militant. Whenever fire comes into contact with anything, it will want to subdue it, change it to itself if it likes it, or change it to ashes if it does not like it. These characteristics of fire point to one salient virtue that determines the rise or fall of an individual.
Experiences with Fire:
- Jesus Christ encountered fire: Luke 4:18-19 says, “The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me because He hath anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He hath sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the LORD.”
- Paul encountered the fire: After Saul’s encounter in Acts 9, he was converted and his name changed to Paul. Then, he was able to say, in Galatians 1:15-17, “But when it pleased God, Who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by His grace, To reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood: Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia and returned unto Damascus.”
- Talking about the fire: This places an emphasis on the Holy Spirit in the life of a believer when we talk of the fire that was shut in Jeremiah’s bones.
EFFECTS OF HIS WORD:
The Word of God was in Jeremiah and the Spirit of God was on him. While we may not be called as a prophet, in the unique way Jeremiah was, we are all called to be fed by the Word and led by the Spirit. Over time, the cumulative effect of this kind of life and lifestyle is that of becoming a signpost of revelation ourselves. We each become a touchpoint of the wholeness of God, bushes on fire yet not being consumed.
Account of Faith:
How do you handle frightening situations and discouragements? The only solution or answer to the faith question is to begin with God, the unchangeable One, the One Who sees things the way they really are. Start with Him and with what He has told you, and work from that back to your situation, and you will see it in an entirely different light.
CHARACTERISTICS OF SERVANTS OF GOD WITH FIRE IN THEIR BONES:
We will consider some characteristics of a man or a woman that has God’s fire shut up in his/her bones.
- They are men and women that pant after, and are zealous about, the things of God.
- Psalms 42:1 says, “As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after Thee, O God.” Psalm 69:9 says, “For the zeal of Thine house hath eaten me up; and the reproaches of them that reproached Thee are fallen upon me.”
- They have humble spirits.
- Psalms 51:17 says, “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, Thou wilt not despise.”
- They are worshippers.
- John 4:23 says, “But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship Him.”
- They are men and women of prayer.
- Abraham interceded for Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 18:23-33).
- Elijah prayed for rain (1 Kings 18:36-46).
- They are men and women undaunted when it comes to soul winning, teaching or preaching the Word, and healing the sick. As many as have fire shut up in their bones, they cannot refrain from doing what Jesus did (Matthew 4:23-24).
- They are men and women that attract followers.
- Not only do they attract followers, but they also follow the Master and never allow distraction. They are men and women that look up to the Master for direction because they know their Master is connected to the Source.
- They are men and women full of power by the Spirit of the LORD.
- Micah 3:8 says, “But truly I am full of power by the Spirit of the LORD, and of judgment, and of might, to declare unto Jacob his transgression, and to Israel his sin.”
- The fire in Jeremiah’s bones caused him to prophesy the judgement of God without fear or favor.
- Stephen was a man full of faith and power who never denied God even in the face of death (Acts 6 & 7).
- They are men and women that will always acknowledge the truth that they are not immune from sin.
- They run and flee from any evil appearances of sin because 1 Thessalonians 5:22 says, “Abstain from all appearance of evil.”
- They are men and women of vision and they know how to press on.
- Their vision is what fuels their fire. The vision one carries has a lot to do with the fire of God within. The vision propels them never to rest on their oars, or be distracted by tiredness, relaxation, noise or anything else around them. They simply run with the vision God has given them (Habakkuk 2: 2-3).
- They rejoice in persecution and are bold.
- Jeremiah announced to Pashur boldly that he himself would see all these things happen. The city would be plundered and annihilated; their treasures, which led them into apostasy would be taken away. Afterwards, Pashur and his family would be taken off to captivity in Babylon in humiliation and disgrace, and there he would die.
- Jeremiah 20:2 says, “Then Pashur smote Jeremiah the prophet and put him in the stocks that were in the high gate of Benjamin, which was by the house of the LORD.”
- Philippians 4:4 says, “Rejoice in the LORD always: and again, I say, Rejoice.”
- They are men and women of faith.
- Hebrews 11:6 says, “But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He Is, and that He Is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.”
- They are men and women determined to see God at His appearing in Glory.
- Colossian 1:26-27 says, “Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to His saints: To whom God would make known what the riches of the glory of this mystery is among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:”
SELF-EXAMINATION: When was the last time you worshipped God from the depth of your heart (Psalms 51:14-15)? Are you sleeping when you are supposed to be on the warfront for the LORD Jesus Christ (2 Samuel 11:1-4; Matthew 13:25)? When was the last time you spent hours enjoying time alone in fellowship, praising and fervently in prayer with Jesus the lover of your soul? Is your heart pure or filled with immoral, dirty, vengeful thoughts? Do you still have the joy of salvation (Psalms 51:12; Hebrews 1:9)? Are you at peace with man and God (Philippians 4:7)? An inability to remember these events or state of being in your life is a sure sign that fire no longer burns in your bones!
On December 8, 1934, a Christian couple who were missionaries to China, John and Betty Stam from the Netherlands, were sentenced to death by beheading by the communists for preaching the gospel. The couple, rather than renege or recant, remained undaunted and instead reaffirmed their faith in the LORD. They publicly thanked God for giving them the grace to serve Him in their little way, all because the fire of the Holy Spirit was shut up in their bones. Shall we pray?
- Father, thank You for Your Word, which endures forever. Thank You for this new month; thank You because you are a prayer answering God; thank you for your faithfulness and kindness towards me.
- Thank You, heavenly Father, for this reminder of Your faithfulness to the prophet Jeremiah, and Your faithfulness to Your promises even today. Keep us from trembling in our faith. Keep us from charging you with falsehood. Keep us, LORD, from weakness.
- Begin to plead the Blood of Jesus upon your life for redemption from all sins.
- Father, I want Your Word to be in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. Kindle this fire in me, O LORD. I dedicate my entire life as a living sacrifice wholly and acceptable to God as from today in Jesus mighty name.
- Psalm 126:1 – “When the LORD turned again the captivity of Zion, we were like them that dream.” O LORD turn the captivity of (mention each country) like a dream.
- I dedicate my entire life to please, satisfy and fulfill all of the will of God for my life as from today, in Jesus’ Name.
- LORD, make my heart a fireplace for Your Word and Spirit to burn with a passion to love You and a purpose to do Your will. Give me the courage to share Your will with grace and boldness and with even more humility, in Jesus’ Name.
- Father, I want signs and wonders to follow my spiritual assignment for You to demonstrate gracious acts of God when fire fall. Lord, baptize me afresh with the fire of the Holy Spirit.
- Your mouth is very important, and your miracle is voice activated. You shall have what you say, “what I hear them say from their mouth, that will I do.” If you say it, you shall have it. Let God hear you, let the devil hear you, let the enemy, your environment, and everything in you hear you.
- Father, I receive the grace to court and secure the Presence and Power of the Holy Spirit that they might be as fire shut up in my bones, in Jesus’ Name!
- I decree to every Pashur of your life, your ministry, and your health: “For thus says the LORD: Behold, I will make you a terror to yourself and to all your friends. They shall fall by the sword of their enemies while you look on. And I will give all Judah into the hand of the king of Babylon; he shall carry them captive to Babylon, and shall slay them with the sword. Moreover, I will give all the wealth of the city, all its gains, all its prized belongings, and all the treasures of the kings of Judah into the hand of their enemies, who shall plunder them, and seize them, and carry them to Babylon. And you, Pashur, and all who dwell in your house, shall go into captivity; to Babylon you shall go; and there you shall die, and there you will be buried, you and all your friends, to whom you have prophesied falsely” (Jeremiah 20:4-6).
- Begin to thank God for answered prayers.