Fire in the bones
“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 with holding it in, and I cannot.”
Under great weeping and toil, Jeremiah, a prophet of God’s own choosing, cried out from the depths having been lit by a passionate fire for God’s glory and receiving the revelation of truth amidst a wicked culture. A burning fire shut was up in his bones, a consuming passion to glorify God and proclaim truth for the repentance and salvation of souls was deeply infused. The depth of this weariness so very few know, especially today amongst our ever darkening landscape of sin and corruption. Many have made reference to such a powerful statement, but there are few who preach under a true application and pressing refinement of God’s mighty hand. So few have seen the valley of dry bones and truly understand the condition of men’s souls. To speak and preach in such a way is a deep burden of the true prophet.
The pragmatism from the pulpit today is not that which is born out of a fire shut up within, but rather the creative mental ascent of men, engineered and fashioned in the flesh because “Ichabod” has been written across many of the meetings. The most truly pragmatic messages ever spoken are those that are birthed in the revelation of God’s truth, led by His Spirit and splitting down unto bone vs. marrow. Nothing less than the authentic power of God Himself speaking into the souls of men bringing about convictions, repentance and a lifestyle leading to true piety will do.
Psalm 29 has always represented to me a deep understanding of culture’s true condition. As David sought to close his mouth, just like that of Jeremiah, he was led to seek God Himself and to know His own wretched condition.
David says he will not speak.
I said, “I will guard my ways, that I may not sin with my tongue; I will guard my mouth with a muzzle, so long as the wicked are in my presence.” I was mute and silent; I held my peace to no avail, and my distress grew worse.
David burns inside.
My heart became hot within me. As I mused, the fire burned; then I spoke with my tongue: “O LORD, make me know my end and what is the measure of my days; let me know how fleeting I am! Behold, you have made my days a few handbreadths, andmy lifetime is as nothing before you. Surely all mankind stands as a mere breath! Selah
Surely a man goes about as a shadow! Surely for nothing they are in turmoil; man heaps up wealth and does not know who will gather! “And now, O Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in you. Deliver me from all my transgressions. Do not make me the scorn of the fool! I am mute; I do not open my mouth, for it is you who have done it. Remove your stroke from me; I am spent by the hostility of your hand. When you discipline a man with rebukes for sin, you consume like a moth what is dear to him; surely all mankind is a mere breath! Selah
“Hear my prayer, O LORD, and give ear to my cry; hold not your peace at my tears! For I am a sojourner with you, a guest, like all my fathers. Look away from me, that I may smile again, before I depart and am no more!”
The burning truth of God’s word and revelation of culture’s vulgar reality is either in our bones or it is not. To preach pragmatic messages void of the Spirit of God only leaves men lukewarm in their sins at best thus leading many to be spewed out.
“Our pulpits today are occupied with puppets rather than with prophets, with organizers rather than with agonizers.”
We need men to come to God on humble and contrite knees, seeking to boast only in knowing Him and seeking to be given the gift of being a true prophet, a prophet with eyes fixed on Christ, seeing the realities of men’s souls. Speaking to the wayward condition of men’s souls, with conviction unto new life in Christ, is the only way to escape the luke-warmness of many professing believers. Let us seek to be filled with a burning fire under the pressing of God’s hand of sanctification and purification.
I heard it said of a preacher of old that he was asked by a news reporter why he preached the way he did. Having said nothing, the preacher walked over to his office window and looked out. He motioned for the reporter to walk over to him. He then asked the reporter what he saw. The reporter said that he saw trees, cars, building, people, etc. The preacher then said to him, “I see dead souls going to hell everywhere. That is why I preach the way I do.”
If our messages do not point men to look intently upon Christ, do not center on the majestic work of His true grace, nor speak volumes to Him being our supreme value and worth, we have indeed performed a great disservice to the people of God, if not possibly committed an eternal crime.
 Jeremiah 20:9
 Ezekiel 37:1
 1 Samuel 4:21
 Hebrews 4:12
 Revelation 3:15, 16
 Leonard Ravenhill
 Jeremiah 9:23-25