Jeremiah...Tell Me About the Fire!

I Lay This Broken Alabaster Jar At the Father's Feet...

13For my people have done two evil things: They have forsaken me--the fountain of living water. And they have dug for themselves cracked cisterns that can hold no water at all! – Jeremiah 2:13 NLT

For years, and well, to be quite frank still even now, I’ve chosen a cracked cistern that holds no water at all over the fountain of living water. I have discovered a wealth of knowledge and wisdom from reading Jeremiah, Lamentations, and Ezekiel. Jeremiah had a deep and passionate love for the Israelites, so much so that God had to tell Him not to pray for them because He wouldn’t hear him. Ezekiel as well had an ache for his people; God said that he would tie his tongue so that he couldn’t pray for them. The Israelites were wicked, serving two masters. While, laying offerings to idols and other gods, they still hoped to appease the Lord by placing burnt offerings before His throne as well. It is a great lesson to me to realize that I do this on a daily basis. I lay down alms before the Lord almighty and serve my other gods without one thought of any wrong doing. The people believed that God would not punish them, that they were doing just fine. He was comfortably set on the back burner of their hearts and that is exactly where they liked Him, but He was a jealous God and He set out to remind Jerusalem who they served. He planned to completely and totally destroy them, but at the same time He promised that His love for them was still strong, that He would rebuild and woo them back unto Him. His heart ached for them…His love and justice never failed.

6You have rejected and forsaken Me, says the Lord. You keep going in reverse. Therefore I will stretch out My hand against you and destroy you; I am weary of relenting [concerning your punishment].
7I will winnow them with a fan and a winnowing fork in the gates of the land; I will bereave them [of children], I will destroy My people; from their [evil] ways they did not return. – Jeremiah 15: 6-7 AMP

5Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying,
6O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter? saith the LORD. Behold, as the clay is in the potter's hand, so are ye in mine hand, O house of Israel.
7At what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, and to pull down, and to destroy it;
8If that nation, against whom I have pronounced, turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do unto them. – Jeremiah 18: 5-8

So, so, so many times I think my ways are so much more. I can’t see the forest for the tree. Satan convinces me that the smaller story is simply easier to handle, more readily and available for the picking. I tell God, “I got it, I’m fine, when I need you I’ll let you know, this life thing is working out great, don’t need you, thanks anyway.” My lesser gods are easier to tame. I like order, I don’t seek ciaos. I like my comfort. I don’t care to be filled up or pushed beyond my boundaries. I’m comfortable with this Christian faith. Sara Groves wrote a song about Jeremiah that asks the question how do I obtain the fire that he had.

To live authentically is to lay down the pieces of the jar and allow God to make something new. We, as Christian’s can only live so long in our own stories until they start to suffocate us. We were never meant to be the author, we weren’t even meant to be the hero, we were meant to reflect the Son, and the only way to truly do that is to turn our face towards Him.

16 Thus says the LORD:
“ Stand in the ways and see,
And ask for the old paths, where the good way is,
And walk in it;
Then you will find rest for your souls.
But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.’
17 Also, I set watchmen over you, saying,
‘ Listen to the sound of the trumpet!’
But they said, ‘We will not listen.’ –Jeremiah 6: 16-17 NKJV

23Thus says the LORD, "Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches;
24but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the LORD who exercises loving-kindness, justice and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things," declares the LORD. – Jeremiah 9: 23-24 NASB

23 I know, O LORD, that a man's life is not his own;
it is not for man to direct his steps.
24 Correct me, LORD, but only with justice—

not in your anger,
lest you reduce me to nothing. – Jeremiah 10: 23-24 NIV

There is a wonderful movie called “Joshua”. I encourage all of you to check it out; it is probably one of the best Christian movies besides “Passion of the Christ”. There is a beautiful scene where a broken woman comes to Joshua, pouring out her soul; she explains to him that life has not turned out at all the way she envisioned. She was hoping for something more, more than this pain, more than this hallow of a life that she has. There is a beautiful glass heart sitting on the steps. In her anger she smashes it to pieces, a true representation of her brokenness. In the end Joshua leaves the young woman a gift when he leaves town…he had gathered up all the broken pieces of that glass heart, everyone, and made a beautiful angel out of it. God uses broken things, and not only will He make something completely new out of it, He will use every piece. Those pieces we think are useless and discard able, every ounce, every scrap, every shard, it valuable to the Father. There is nothing in our lives that wasn’t purposed, and there is nothing He cannot us if we would but surrender.

I think back about my Living in a Broken Dream post…if you haven’t read it please do you will be able to see where I have been. I think about the comments left on this post and how I couldn’t even listen to them. I couldn’t even recognize truth in it. I look back and see how far I’ve come, how far I have grown. I want to shout it out, this thing shut up in my bones. I desire to be like Jeremiah…passionate, heartsick, and desperate to have someone to listen. God can use us, God has a purpose for us, if we would but lay it all down before Him.

7O LORD, thou hast deceived me, and I was deceived; thou art stronger than I, and hast prevailed: I am in derision daily, every one mocketh me.
8For since I spake, I cried out, I cried violence and spoil; because the word of the LORD was made a reproach unto me, and a derision, daily.
9Then I said, I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name. But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay. – Jeremiah 20:7-9 KJV

And what an awesomely great God we do serve:

15 "He made the earth by his power;
he founded the world by his wisdom
and stretched out the heavens by his understanding.
16 When he thunders, the waters in the heavens roar;

he makes clouds rise from the ends of the earth.
He sends lightning with the rain
and brings out the wind from his storehouses.
17 "Every man is senseless and without knowledge;

every goldsmith is shamed by his idols.
His images are a fraud;
they have no breath in them.
18 They are worthless, the objects of mockery;

when their judgment comes, they will perish.
19 He who is the Portion of Jacob is not like these,

for he is the Maker of all things,
including the tribe of his inheritance—
the LORD Almighty is his name. – Jeremiah 51: 15-19 NIV

I find it ironic that I still try to hold onto anything. I’m scared. I’ve become accustomed to my own story, and part of it gives me the warm fuzzies. It’s safe, it’s comfortable, it’s where I can just give up, it’s where I don’t have to sacrifice, it’s where I can be numb, and content and seemingly happy in my misery. The Deceiver knows how to work in our lives. He knew exactly what to say to me about the trip to Asheville to cripple me for a few days. He knows us better than we know ourselves. He is out to destroy us because he is still mad at God, and he knows that through us is where he affects God the most. God is painting another story, He says…come, I will give you joy and life more abundant than you can ever ask or imagine…I love you, you are mine. You have served other gods long enough; come walk beside the shore line with me, taste what this adventure can really be.
In my re-journey through the Sacred Romance I’m reminded of a poem I wrote concerning Satan and God…if you would like to take a look at it please do…simply pop on over to the Writer’s Corner.

My prayer is that all of us can live authentically and fully in Christ Jesus. God bless you all.


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