The Inside Struggle Wins!
Today we continue in the book of Jeremiah. Jeremiah’s life was a difficult one. He was called by God to pronounce judgment on the people of Judah. He was greatly persecuted for the words he said. He was not allowed to marry or have children. He was imprisoned. Attempts were made to kill him. But God spared his life. Jeremiah was faithful and pronounced the words that God told him to say. But it was not easy…
In Jeremiah 20:9 we read the following words, which give us a little insight into the struggle that went on inside of Jeremiah: Then I said, “I will not make mention of Him, Nor speak anymore in His name.” But His word was in my heart like a burning fire Shut up in my bones; I was weary of holding it back, And I could not. Apparently Jeremiah had reached a point where he was tired of the persecution and rejection by the people. He was tired of suffering for God. So he decided to “check out”. He decided to stop proclaiming the words that God had told him to say. But it didn’t work. Jeremiah describes the words that God had given him as a “burning fire, shut up in my bones”. Jeremiah could not stop speaking the words of God. The conviction He felt on the inside was a greater burden than the persecution he suffered on the outside.
Praise God for this inner conviction. Praise God that He continues to burden His people to do His will, even when we’ve decided to do something else. There are more times than I can count where I decided to do something that God didn’t want; and I felt an inner conviction to not go in that direction. The Holy Spirit convicted me. Sometimes I listened, and sometimes I didn’t, but each time, after it was over, I wished I had obeyed God’s inner “voice”. How about you? Is there an area in your life where you’ve become weary of following God? Are you ready to just give up and go your own way? Please heed the words of Jeremiah. Not doing what God desires will not lead to peace. Rather, the inner conviction of God will rob you of peace and joy until you go back to intimacy with God.