Burning Fire: A Devotional Thought

"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 could not." (Jeremiah 20:9, NKJV) 

Many have commented on this verse and related it to their own desire to preach. It is important to note, however, that Jeremiah did not desire to preach; he was compelled to do so. There he was, locked in the stocks for preaching God's Word, wishing he were somewhere else.  There is a big difference between a desire and a compulsion. A desire can be quenched by adverse circumstances. A compulsion (especially one that is divine) cannot be stopped. The Gospel preacher who is compelled to preach will do so as long as he is able to speak, whenever he is able to speak. It is when the Gospel preacher wants to stop preaching but cannot that he discovers his call to ministry is true. It is not a desire or a fantasy. It is a compulsion from The Lord. 

May our preaching be driven by a compulsion from the Lord, not our selfish desires. May it be fueled by the filling of the Holy Spirit, not our feelings. May it contain the Word of God, not our opinions.