It’s a wonderful experience to be invited by God to speak on His behalf, especially when the listeners are open and excited to hear what you have to say. Hand-picked by God as a divine messenger before he was even born (Jeremiah 1:5), the prophet Jeremiah had the difficult task of speaking God’s truth where truth was not welcome. Needless to say, Jeremiah was an extremely unpopular guy.
According to the original Hebrew, today’s scripture could be read, ‘The speech of the Lord came to me’. When God speaks, nothing becomes something. ‘Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. And God said, “Let there be light and there was light”’ (Genesis 1:2-3).
Where we find the speech of God, we find the Spirit of God, who can be depended upon for courage to proclaim the word God gives us to speak. Jeremiah said that God’s word was in his heart like a fire, a fire shut up in his bones. He claimed that he could not hold it in (Jeremiah 20:9). In the book of Acts, we see the Holy Spirit descend upon the disciples in what seemed to be tongues of fire (Acts 2:3).
God’s word is inspired by the Holy Spirit, who knows and searches the deep things of God (1 Corinthians 2:10), and is ‘useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man or woman of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work’ (2 Timothy 3:16-17). A good test of your maturity in the Lord is how well you receive correction. The people of Jeremiah’s day rejected God’s rebuke and therefore reaped great hardship.
‘God’s word is eternal, and it stands firm in the heavens’ (Psalm 119:89), therefore it is always current, applicable and authoritative. ‘The word of God is living and active, sharp and penetrating and will judge the thoughts and attitudes of the heart’ (Hebrews 4:12).
It has been said, “We are not to judge the word; it is the Word that judges us”. When was the last time you sat before the Lord, Bible open, heart open, eyes closed, welcoming His holy presence to search your heart and reveal His to you?
‘The unfolding of God’s words gives light and understanding to the simple’ (Psalm 119:130). Jeremiah’s youth and insecurity did not deter God from appointing him to be a prophet to the nations. Those whom God chooses, He equips and empowers (Jeremiah 1:9). ‘For the Lord gives wisdom and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding’ (Proverbs 2:6). The word of the Lord came to Jeremiah at a very specific time in history when God had something incredibly important to say and we would be wise to heed the words that he spoke.
Prayer: Father God, thank You for Your Holy Spirit who teaches me and guides me into all truth. Forgive me for the times that I have not heeded Your word or have been worried about what people will think when I speak what I hear from You. I open my heart to You today and welcome Your holy presence. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
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