The prophet Jeremiah had a deep struggle with his burdens. He wrestled with God in 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 worn out trying to hold it in! I can’t do it.”
I love the imagery here. It’s as if Jeremiah was trying to hold back a volcano in his heart.
In this verse, we see that the more Jeremiah wrestled, the more God’s WORD stirred him up! The mystery of God’s work in Jeremiah’s life was undeniable. God’s endless life is uncontainable! God was doing a secret work that was becoming an outward manifestation.
This hidden work is what I like to refer to as an “Inner Revolution.”
Inner + Revolution
We can know God theoretically through facts and theories but to fellowship with Him as Savior, Father, and friend is what touches our hearts. Our understanding of who He is brings comfort. We begin to recognize that He is touched with all our infirmities and went through all things to identify with us. As we grasp this, we shift from self being our center to allowing Christ to be the eternal center, the One in control.
The consequence is revolutionary. Wisdom, peace, joy, love, gentleness, patience and meekness are all fruits and qualities that come from this eternal source. We can generate fragments of these fruits temporarily, but if they are to last, they must come from an inner life where God produces real strength. Without wonder, our knowledge is limited and reduced to information that does not touch our hearts.
As we believe, embrace, and fellowship with God, these qualities are transferred from the inner man to our outer lives. We then live in the effect and power of these fruits, and they govern our heart, and we begin to thrive.
In Isaiah 64:7, “And there is none that calleth upon thy name, that stirs up himself to take hold of thee.” This is a shocking reality that we can all relate to today. God is ready to do so much more than we can ask or think.
The prophet Amos also testifies in Amos 8:11: “’The days are coming,’ declares the Sovereign LORD, ‘when I will send a famine through the land—not a famine of food or a thirst for water, but a famine of hearing the words of the LORD.’”
To be stirred-up is to live in the authority of the Spirit in our lives; to remind, rehearse and repeat to ourselves God’s promises; this will bring us deeper into a personal revelation of who He is in us.
A personal revelation is when we go beyond the knowledge of something, and we experience the life of the nature of God. Our heart is deeply touched, and there is a transference of life and wisdom.
There is the difference between knowing God theologically, based upon biblical facts, and knowing Him personally, through personal impartation.
As we discover the greatness of God and are aware of His presence, we stand in awe, and we are surprised by how good He is. Through such childlikeness, faith renewal comes, and we have a new insight that produces understanding, drawing us into the life of God.
Here are some ways to stir up yourself
- Faith Promises: Who God is will complete His promises to us.
- Thankfulness: Remember what God has done.
- When the promise is fulfilled it will be divine timing.
- Eternal Purpose: Remember why God has you where you are.
- Where revival starts with us, then others.
- How things unfold is God’s business, not mine.
- People: Examples in your life that show you a living Christ.
Inner Revolution (defined)
This term describes the cause and impact of what we orbit around, and this produces radical results. The image of what we put at our center changes us. Think of an inner revolution or revival where areas of life that were once inactive are now passionately involved.
We may feel as if we are on fire. The wounded can love again. The untrusting can choose to be vulnerable and trust again. The unforgiving can release their burdens of self-justification and swallow injustice, knowing that Christ is God. He turns the bitter experience to a sweet purpose.
This radical change happens through a more profound death where we allow the Holy Spirit to take charge of all our rights and outcomes. We seek His face and the result is resurrection life.
As we radically rely upon the Lord, we become a testimony to the mystery of Christ.
Religion doesn’t produce revolution because its foundation is fairness and man’s best efforts.
Revolution happens as we are changed into the absolute truth of what we believe.
God brings us to the place of growth where we live in the meaning of what we believe.
Burdens to Burnings
We all have things we wrestle with—challenges we can’t change, such as people, problems or besetting sin. Burdens can be defined as anything that weighs you down and steals your strength and hope from God.
It starts with a distraction to capture our attention, then as we focus on that distraction it skews and misinterprets what we see.
This gives an opportunity for fear, guilt, and shame to rush in. We begin to move away in our heart as the weight bears down.
Burdens have a useful function in our lives—they can bring us closer to Jesus. None of us like friction, but often it is necessary.
Like the matchstick, carbon needs friction to set it ablaze.
Jesus often allows circumstances beyond of our control to be used as a roadway back to Him. If we walk alone, we will be crushed and overwhelmed by our troubles. The devil’s ultimate plan for burdens is to “wear out the saints” (Daniel 7:25).
When you love someone, you can sense their burdens. Often when one is in pain, we feel it too. Jesus felt every one of our infirmities in Hebrews 4:15 and he promises to be our sustaining power in Isaiah 63:9.
Knowledge of needs can touch our hearts and even give an attitude of concern, but through wrestling, in prayer, our burdens turn to burning. When this Inner Revolution touches our heart, we move with compassion—we are ignited and we help ignite others.
Love and grace are more than just words; they are healing agents of change.
God’s master plan is taking those weights and turn them into momentum that moves us forward. What was meant to hold us back, propels us forward!
Even when facing insurmountable odds, God carries us through. (Ezekiel 47:2-5)
Joseph shares with his brothers, in Genesis 50:20 “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives” The prophet Isaiah in 58:17 declares “no weapon turned against you will succeed. You will silence every voice raised up to accuse you.” These verses point to divine reversals that come through prayer. Prayer shows us the unseen reality and purposes of God and His way through the burdens of life.
Here are some healthy questions to keep your heart on fire:
- Heart Change – What is our focus on change? Real transformation comes as our heart changes not our behavior alone.
- Perspective Change – Is God in the driver seat? Letting go is the beginning of restoration.
- Language Change – Are our words creating something or defeating us?
- Attitude Change – What is my filter? Attitude determines how I interpret things in our everyday lives.
- Time Change – Build on small things that encourage you!
Do you see the progression here? Our situations may not change, but WE do! Just like Moses who stood in awe of the burning bush – so will others, who sit in darkness, notice the light burning brightly in you.
Continue focusing on God’s thoughts about you, this allows His light to shine through these jars of clay.