Turning up the heat

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Learning what it means to belong to God is not without its difficulties and we soon learn that God controls the circumstances of all things. When we hear the call to deny ourselves, to take up our cross and follow Jesus, where do we look to know what this means? In other words, it is one thing for God to withhold information about the Christian life, which He does not do, it is another matter to warn us of the costs, without us grasping the full extent of what the experiences of those costs would feel like. So where do we look to know what all this means? We look at the life of Christ and we look to Christ the Author and perfecter of our faith.

The prophet Jeremiah feels that he has a strong complaint against God, that he has been deceived by God, but the Lord never withheld any information from him. Jeremiah questions his suitability to the call that God has given him to speak the word of God. These questions have been prompted as he struggles with the cost and consequences of his calling. But it’s the Lord’s persuasion which overcomes his reluctance to continue and Jeremiah feels this inevitable divine force with which God accomplishes His will.

Jeremiah reflects on how the word of God in him, in his heart is like a fire, a fire in his bones. A fire he has to let out, words which he has to speak, he cannot but continue to speak to word of God, even though to do so means that he will only face the very abuse that has caused him to retreat and raise his complaint to God in the first place. God turns up the heat of his word within the life of Jeremiah at the same time Jeremiah feels the pressure of the crowd. God overpowers Jeremiah with the heat of His word so that he does not become overcome by the constant abuse of the crowd.

By Daniel Ralph

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