• Jason Wade


9 But if I say, “I will not mention his word

or speak anymore in his name,”

his word is in my heart like a fire,

a fire shut up in my bones.

I am weary of holding it in;

indeed, I cannot. Jeremiah 20:9

Have you ever had so much passion about something that it completely consumed every area of your life? I am amazed at the passion that God is able to place in our lives in such a way that it becomes something that is a part of everything that we think about. And I honestly have to say that it is not what I would call an obsession. There is a difference between a fiery passion for God and a physical obsession from the world. Obsessions deal with something that we cannot control and is used to trap us in a pattern that can become unhealthy. Passion is something that is directed by God based on our hearts and spiritual gifts. And please understand that there is a very thin line between passion and obsession. When it becomes more about you than it is about God it is an obsession. A passion that has been created within us is always something that directs us closer to God and helps to lead others to God as well. Even in the midst of struggles and frustrations, we can recognize the difference when God and God's Word is a part of the equation. Even when we cannot see God in the midst of the foggy situations, God's Word will well up within us and light our way. When we are obsessed and fall into the same situation, we find that what erupts in the midst of fear, frustration or even anger is something that directs others to ourselves and away from God. That is a quick measure for any of us that are struggling to see truth out of the situations that we are in.

I say that because there are many days that I have faced frustration, confusion, stress, and anger in the ministry. There are also days that I have faced joy, peace, patience, kindness, and because of God's foundational Word that lives in my heart, I find self-control and grace. When I am stuck on the Merry-Go-Round of this world that has seeped into every area of our lives, I can easily turn and try to blame it on God, but I already know that it is not God's fault. When I don't get the answers I want or need in my time frame, it is easier to blame God instead of looking at my life and recognizing where I continue to fall short in my journey. I say ALL of this to help us all recognize that on this journey for the last 5 weeks, we have been truly asking all of us to join together and consume God's Word. Why? Why have we been

doing this? Some will answer, because we all agreed to do something for Lent and I didn't have another option. Others will say that they truly wanted to begin a habit that will continue after Lent is over. Some of us have been struggling for such a long time and we are at the end of our ropes and we are truly searching for truth or help from somewhere. There are tons of answers we can give, but let me share with you my answer. We have been doing this to inspire us all to grow in our desire to study God's Word so that it will well up within us and help us in the moments where we are out of control. We are desiring that our first words and our last words be words that are comprised of God's Word. WE want to see a world that is transformed for God and we want to watch as the power of God's Word can inundate our lives in such a way that we want to grow more and more each day. I'm tired of letting people think that they are ok and they really are not. I have a passion and a desire to see people transformed for God in hopes of seeing a world that is transformed. It will happen if we are willing to allow God's Word to catch our hearts on fire and become our passion.

So as we draw closer to the end of this journey, realize that it is not the ending but the beginning of a new journey that will continue to grow and stretch us even more. Jeremiah is sitting in the same place that many of us have been. Jeremiah was able to preach to God's people and encourage them to see that change needs to happen. Jeremiah is seeing God's people separated all over the world and his heart has been given a passion by God to draw them back to their home. Jeremiah is frustrated because things are not happening exactly to his specifications and he begins to realize that there is a deeper passion in his heart that began to be revealed in one of his dire moments. God's Word is an uncontrollable force that cannot be contained by us. It will spill and overflow out of our lives into the lives of others. Jeremiah is disgusted and then all of a sudden the power of God's Word consumes His heart. He realizes that he cannot stop speaking God's Word because it has become his desire and his passion. All for the glory of helping others to see and experience God. Man I hope and pray that I can continue to grow in my faith journey to reach that point. That even when I feel as if I cannot go on any more, God's Word presses me to move forward. God's Word becomes an all consuming fire that cannot be squelched but will explode into the world. Jeremiah literally stops in mid track of complaining and begins to realize that God's Word is taking over his heart and his actions. Jeremiah had faithfully proclaimed God's Word and had received nothing in return but persecution and sorrow. But when he tried to stop prophesying God's Word, it became an uncontrollable fire within his bones that he could no longer hold back. He was compelled to share it with every person that he encountered and from this scripture today, we gain a better understanding of wholistic worship.

So my question for all of us today is do we have a passion for God or an obsession for the world? Do we desire to grow stronger in our faith so that no matter the circumstance, God's glory will be revealed through our lives? Or, do we seek the answers from the world that will lead people to follow our lead and meet our goals. Are we only interested in the survivor of the fittest model of maintaining life or do we desire to do all that we can to change the world for the glory of God? It is definitely going to be a challenge and we are definitely going to see days where we question if we are even making a difference, and I want to say

yes we are. If we continue to prepare ourselves for the battles that lie ahead by equipping ourselves with the power of the Word of God, we will never fall short of God's plan. We may fail, but God will be right there to pick us up and prepare us for the next stage of the fight. I pray that we will all have the same experience as Jeremiah. That the Word of God is so consuming that our hearts cannot contain the message that is living within us. I pray that every word that comes out of our mouths and the meditations of our hearts lead others to experience the presence of God in that moment. And I promise when the power of the Holy Spirit comes upon you, you will never be able to describe it more than just being in the AWE inspiring power of God. For the fire to be in our bones means that God has infiltrated our core structure and every movement now becomes a part of God's glory. Father, here I am. What can I do for You today? Amen.

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