Spiritual heartache

Spiritual heartache

Then in my heart it becomes like a burning fire shut up in my bones; and I am weary of holding it in, and I cannot endure it. – Jeremiah 20:9

Jeremiah 15:16-20

 16 Your words were found, and I ate them, and your words became for me a joy and the delight of my heart; forI have been called by Your name, O LORD God of hosts.

 19 Therefore, thus says the LORD, “If you return, then I will restore you – before Me you will stand; and if you extract the precious from the worthless, you will become My spokesman. They for their part may turn to you, but as for you, you must not turn to them.

 20 “Then I will make you to this people a fortified wall of bronze; and though they fight against you, They will not prevail over you; for I am with you to save you and deliver you,” declares the LORD.

Amanda Smith was born a slave in Maryland. By the age of three, Amanda was freed from physical slavery. But her soul was still in spiritual bondage.

At one time, she thought if only she would go to the altar rail at the front of the church, she would achieve peace with God. But she was afraid that she would embarrass herself. Eventually, she became so weary of the ache inside of her that she went to the altar to pray for salvation. But she came away just as miserable as when she went.

Amanda was ready to throw in the towel regarding her search for the Father, but a whisper said, “pray again.”

“I will pray once more,” said Amanda to herself, “and if there is any such thing as salvation, I am determined to have it this afternoon or die.” On Tuesday, March 17, 1856, she went down to the cellar to pray.

Amanda half-expected that the family would find her dead. She had prayed before without results. She had no assurance of acceptance with God. She wrote,  “I cannot remember the time from my earliest childhood that I did not want to be a Christian, and would often pray alone.”

Again her prayers seemed futile. Darkness settled on her. She remained at odds with God. Finally, in desperation, believing that God would strike her dead because she had promised to get saved or die, she looked up and said, “O, Lord, if You will help me, I will believe You.” In the act of telling God she would believe, she did believe. “O, the peace and joy that flooded my soul!”

Now she was freed from spiritual slavery. From that day forward, Amanda wanted nothing more than to know Him and share the incredible reality of the Father’s presence in her life (https://www.christianity.com/).

Some of the Father’s children ache for Him before they come to know Him. So it was with Amanda Smith. She felt as though she could not live another day without experiencing the peace and joy that salvation would bring her. Before that fateful day, the Father’s peace and the joy were only theoretical constructs. But the day that she met Him, they became realities. Her life was totally changed.

For others like Jeremiah and David, the spiritual hunger and heartache for the Father were the passion of their lives after they were His children.

REFLECT & PRAY

“God’s highest priority for our lives is to develop an intimate and growing relationship with Him. He made us to thirst for Him as we thirst for water and to seek Him as we seek relief from a parched throat” (Stanley).

Father I long to have the heart of David and the passion of Jeremiah for You and Your word. Please ignite and stoke a passionate fire within me and never ceases.

INSIGHT

David, the king of Israel, had an intense love for the Father God. His heart longed for Him. His heart hunger was as intense as extreme thirst.

Psalms 42:1-3

 1 As the deer pants for the water brooks, so my soul pants for You, O God.

 2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God; when shall I come and appear before God?

 3 My tears have been my food day and night, while they say to me all day long, “Where is your God?”

Jeremiah was called to be a prophet, one of the Father’s special servants. It was at an extremely dangerous time. The judgment of God was about to fall. Judah was about to be conquered and Jerusalem destroyed along with the temple by the Babylonians. The people were rebellious and defiant. They refused to receive and believe Jeremiah’s message. They treated him dreadfully. He became so discouraged that he wanted to give up and stop speaking, but he could not.

The Father would not allow Jeremiah to be silent. Although the message would fall on deaf ears. The more he tried, the greater the passionate fire for the Father and His word burned within his heart.

Jeremiah 20:9 But if I say I’ll never mention the LORD or speak in his name, his word burns in my heart like a fire. It’s like a fire in my bones! I am weary with holding it in, and I cannot.

Rather than allowing Jeremiah to give up, something special and marvelous occurred. Jeremiah was supernaturally empowered to declare the message. And he was supernaturally protected. It was as though he was surrounded by an impenetrable wall of bronze.

Jeremiah 15:19-21

 19 Therefore, thus says the LORD, “If you return, then I will restore you – before Me you will stand; and if you extract the precious from the worthless, you will become My spokesman. They for their part may turn to you, but as for you, you must not turn to them.

 20 “Then I will make you to this people a fortified wall of bronze; and though they fight against you, they will not prevail over you; For I am with you to save you and deliver you,” declares the LORD.

 21 “So I will deliver you from the hand of the wicked, and I will redeem you from the grasp of the violent.”

Jeremiah models for all the children of the King how to respond to the Father’s exhortation. Rather than be despondent and move backwards in disappointed disobedience, Jeremiah repents and acquiesces to the Father’s will and purpose for his life.

Each child of the King has a choice. Jeremiah had chosen to be faithful to his calling. Now he must do so under extremely difficult circumstances. The Father instructed Jeremiah to do only two things. He had to separate the precious from the worthless and continue to speak the message.

It is incumbent upon all of the children of the King do the same.

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