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Monday, April 27, 2009

Embracing Jeremiah's Burden

We talked about how Jeremiah felt that he would forbear and not speak of God due to experiencing rejection from the people. Jeremiah had a challenging task like every prophet does--he had to give the people the word of the Lord and in Jeremiah 19:10-11 he was given instructions by God to break the bottle in the site of the people demonstrating how God would break them in such a way that they could not be put back together again. Remember these were God's people!

It's no surprise Jeremiah wanted to remain silent-- to forbear. To have to deliver such a message of rebuke and to provide a visual demonstration of God's plan for an unrepentant people would certainly cause any of us to want to remain quiet. Despite the difficulty of proclaiming what God had given him, Jeremiah, the weeping prophet obeyed God.

A true prophet of God takes no pleasure in having to deliver God's word of rebuke but understands that doing so will enable the people to repent and be redeemed. Jeremiah's nickname was "the weeping prophet", he carried such a tremendous burden for the people and had a heart for God--a prophet of God will always have a sincere burden for the people.

The cry of Jeremiah was so intense in Jeremiah 20:14-18 that he wished he had not been born. Far to many of God's new testament prophets are concerned with their titles, self-images, being rejected, entourages, media ministry and next money making prophetic conference. Many lack the burden that we we see ribboned throughout the bible from old to new testament. In order to throughly equip (perfect) the saints(Ephesians 4:11) a prophet will need a passion and a burden for equipping; an integral part of this equipping will involve delivering unpopular words to the corporate body of Christ and to individuals. It may not be easy but it is necessary for every prophet.

A prophet that is not willing or ready to deliver the word of the Lord will require more time to mature and should continue to seek God in prayer for growth in their prophetic anointing. A burden for the people also includes a humble obedience to God and obedience to speak the truth in love. This is often challenging but like Jeremiah the prophet understands that without delivering the word the people have no chance ot repent and be redeemed--so obedience is necessary.
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