“…But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay” (Jeremiah 20:9). Jeremiah was tired of holding in the message that burned in his heart. It was forbearance or fire, and he chose to release the fire. Of course, there is a difference between unburdening our hearts and just getting things off our chests, but too much forbearance will smother the flaming bone-fire and leave only smouldering coals. For one reason or another, there is too much restraint and not enough constraint nowadays. We become so cautious that we are no longer consumed.
HURT BEFORE HEALING
Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing: and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.
II Corinthians 6:17,18.
There can be no normal Father-and-son fellowship until sin has been dealt with and put away. It is all very well to talk of just leading a normal daily Christian life without having to be “revived,” but most Christians are not ready to lead such a life. One might as well tell a sick man to get out in the sunshine and follow his usual habits. We are subnormal and abnormal, and sometimes drastic measures are necessary before we can be normal Christians again. Even surgery may be indicated and the offending eye or foot or hand must be removed. We let Christians and churches go on in their sick condition rather than remove infection and employ spiritual catharsis. Sometimes radical procedure is necessary, and it may be disturbing to sick souls who prefer to be unmolested, but there can be no recovery without it.
Paul followed this course with the Corinthians, and our Lord called for repentance among the ailing churches of Asia. Sometimes we must feel worse before we can feel better. Hurt often must come before healing.