In reading through the book of Jeremiah found in the Hebrew scriptures, I came to chapter 20 a few days ago. The passage was somewhat familiar to me, but verse 9 captured my attention once more: “If I say, ‘I will not mention him, or speak any more in his name’, there is in my heart as it were a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I am weary of holding it in, and I cannot.” Oh, how rich would be the witness of the church if more of those who claimed to be members could proclaim such a testimony!
What is the reason for the lack of passion? Jeremiah was a lone voice proclaiming God’s truth yet he could not hold it in. What’s our excuse? Have the pleasures of the world choked out the truth that has been planted within us?
In reading God is the Gospel by John Piper last night, I read a statement that may shine light on our topic: “One of my main concerns in writing this book is that many people profess faith in Christ in this way (referring to a quote by Jonathan Edwards). It is not a faith founded on the glory of Christ himself but on tradition or education or other people’s opinion. If that is the case, the faith is not saving faith. Saving faith in Christ is built, as Edwards says, upon ‘real evidence, or upon that which is a good reason, or just ground of conviction’.”
I find truth here. Each person must encounter God personally. Each one of us must encounter the gospel of the glory of Christ – it cannot be merely based on facts, tradition, what momma and daddy did, the words of the pastor, etc.
Seek the heart of God and he will be found! Repent and trust in the everlasting arms…
“Jeremiah tell me about the fire, that burns up in your bones…” – Sara Groves, Jeremiah