s a child of God, and a chosen servant of God,
Jeremiah faced a watershed decision in his life. He expressed it this way:
O Lord, You induced me, and I was persuaded … 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 … (Jeremiah 20:7, 9). He had met the Lord and had been given a
message from Him.
But in sharing God’s message Jeremiah was met with
great rejection and personal discomfort. He wanted to stop sharing! But he just
could not! The "message" he had been given by God was too crucial—both to God’s people and the
surrounding people in the world. He simply could not limit the message to
himself. God’s Word, in him, in his heart, was like a burning
fire, and he could not hold it in, or keep silent. He just had to
The apostle Paul felt this same "fire" within him,
and expressed it this way: it is God who works in you both to will and to
do for His good pleasure (Philippians 2:13). In sharing with the
Christians in Corinth, Paul said: For the love of Christ compels
us…Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation … all things are of
God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us
the ministry of reconciliation…now then, we are ambassadors for Christ,…as
though God were pleading through us (2 Corinthians 5:14,17,18,20).
Paul, like Jeremiah, had his heart radically
touched and changed by God Himself. For out of it [the heart] spring the
issues of life (Proverbs 4:23).
Paul therefore, diligently guarded his heart. It
was in his heart that Jesus Christ, his Lord, had come to dwell (Ephesians
3:17), and therefore he was filled with all the fullness of God (Ephesians
3:19). There was no way Paul could remain silent about the truth God had
entrusted to him. Paul literally felt that he was a "debtor" to others (Romans
1:16)—he had to share Christ! The love of Christ, within him,
compelled him to share.
Paul was compelled to share with his fellow believers, so
they could come to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ
(Ephesians 4:13). So deep was this love of Christ—shared through him to
fellow believers—Paul called them, My little children, for whom I labor in
birth again until Christ is formed in you (Galatians 4:19).
Serving as a pastor for almost 30 years, I knew
these "labor pains" for God’s people. It comes from deep within, and it cannot
be withheld. But Paul felt this for all who did not know his Lord, and so deep
from within was this drive to share Christ, that he said about the unbeliever
in Rome, I tell the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience also
bearing me witness in the Holy Spirit, that I have a great sorrow and continual
grief in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ for
my brethren, my countrymen according to the flesh (Romans 9:1-3).
It is true. God is not willing that any should
perish, but that all should come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9). Therefore,
the deepest motivation to share comes from the heart, where Christ
dwells and is living His life in and through each of us. With His presence and
His Word in our hearts, out of our hearts comes God’s Word, to His people and
to a lost world. Our motive? The love of Christ, from within, "like fire."
The author of Experiencing God, Henry
Blackaby is president of Henry Blackaby Ministries. Visit www.henryblackaby.com
for more information. Bible references are from The New King James
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