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.
Fire in the Bones
For more than 20 years a fire has been burning deep within the earth of Centralia, a small community of 1,200 residents in the heart of Pennsylvania's anthracite coal fields. Fifteen federal, state and local agencies have spent more than $3.5 million to extinguish the flames without success. You can touch the earth and feel the heat. I have driven through the town to see smoke rising from the ground. Government officials have stopped trying to put out the fire; it's a futile task.
It was a fire like this that smoldered in the depths of Jeremiah's soul. After being accused and abused, God's servant decided simply to ignore the need around him. If people didn't want to hear what God had to say, he would oblige them. But it wasn't that simple. As he shut up God's words within him, they felt like a fire burning in his bones. Nothing was able to extinguish the flames. He had to express what God put in his heart.
This should be true for every Christian too. We should have a burning message in our hearts. Like an underground fire, God's message of salvation should be burning a hole in our souls. It is not a message the world will like to hear, and there may even be unpleasant consequences if we share it. But when a fire burns deep within you with no hope of quenching it, you simply must share the message. People need the Lord.
Pray that God will fan the flames in your soul today. Look for every opportunity to share the message in your heart, and when you find those opportunities, take them. Touch people's lives with your fire and spread the flames.
It's better to be ablaze for Jesus than smolder in quietness.