The Word of God Is like a Fire in Our Hearts and Bones


January 23, 2021

Jeremiah 20:9 (NIV)

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.


If there is anything we are learning in this series, it is the deeply engaging, personally invasive nature of the Word of God. We eat it like bread. It tastes sweeter than honey. It can turn sour in the stomach. Like a surgical double-edged knife it pierces and penetrates to the inaccessible places of our inner life. It teaches, corrects, rebukes, and trains us in righteousness. It landscapes our souls. 

Today brings us to yet another deeply interior impact of the Word of God: 

His word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones.

Jeremiah was something of a prophet’s prophet. He was a master of the prophetic gesture; his life became the signs he prophesied. He had to say many hard things to God’s people concerning their own idolatry, their neglect of the people in need all around them, and the coming judgment of God in response to their callous rebellion. This gap between the word Jeremiah received from God and what he witnessed in the world led him to describe his reality as follows:

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.

The Word of God was in Jeremiah and the Spirit of God was on him. While we may not be called in the unique way of Jeremiah, as a prophet, we are all called to be fed by the Word and led by the Spirit. Over time, the cumulative effect of this kind of life and lifestyle is that of becoming a signpost of revelation ourselves; a touchpoint of the transcendence of God; bushes on fire yet not being consumed. I like the way Paul puts it in 2 Corinthians 4:7, “But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.” 

His word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones.

Several years ago I found myself in church on a Sunday morning listening to an intriguing message from a Jewish scholar, a professor at a highly noteworthy Christian seminary. Her teaching exuded a winsome mixture of plausibility and polish that had everyone leaning forward in their seats. Because she was a professor of the New Testament, people assumed she was a Christian. As a New Testament scholar, she said many true and helpful things, and yet something in my spirit was firing up. She was speaking of Jesus in ways truthful yet woefully incomplete, and she was clearly winning followers. I began to experience what Jerry is talking about in today’s text.

His word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones.

I knew I had to do something. But what? There were easily a thousand people in the room. I felt the pain Jeremiah referenced when he said:

I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot.” 

As she neared the end of her presentation, she asked if anyone wanted to pose a question. By this point, I was a full-blown burning bush in my seat. I stood up and, in the most respectful tone, asked the professor this question, “Do you believe that Jesus Christ was physically raised from the dead?” You could have heard a pin drop in the large room. She stood in what seemed like a stunned silence, and then she answered with a single word, “No.” You could hear an audible gasp across the room. I thought to my lawyerly self, No further questions, your honor. I sat down.

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.

First Word. Last Word. God’s Word.


Father, thank you for your Word, which endures forever. Thank you for this witness from your prophet Jeremiah. I want for your Word to be in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. Kindle this fire in me. Make of my heart a fireplace for your Word and Spirit to burn with a passion to love you and a purpose to do your will. Give me courage to share it with grace and boldness and with even more humility. I pray in the name of your Son, Jesus. Amen.  


Have you or are you experiencing the Word of God in your heart like a fire, a fire shut up in your bones? Will you ask the Holy Spirit to grow this reality in you?    

For the Awakening,
J.D. Walt

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WHAT IS THIS? Wake-Up Call is a daily encouragement to shake off the slumber of our busy lives and turn our eyes toward Jesus. Each morning our community gathers around a Scripture, a reflection, a prayer, and a few short questions, inviting us to reorient our lives around the love of Jesus that transforms our hearts, homes, churches, and cities.

Comments and Discussion

10 Responses

  1. In answer to your first question, yes, I do experience God’s word burning within me. And yes, I have asked God to grow this within me. My desire is to help other like minded believers to discover how we, who want to see the expansion of the kingdom of God, navigate this new culture we now find ourselves in with the death of American Christendom.

  2. I gave my life to the Lord Jesus and he leads and guides me as I have trusted and believed he would and he said to me that he has kindled a fire in my heart of faith of love and he speaks and leads me to do His will as I have asked and trust him and given my life to serve him and others. He reminded me of scriptures of his Word how he spoke to Moses from the flames and Jesus was the Word become flesh and now he speaks through His Spirit in us. He baptises us with His spirit and fire. He dwells in us and teaches and leads and guides us to do His will as we submit to Him. Jesus loves everyone and wants us to do the same. This is His will.

  3. We are experiencing a warlike situation in our country India against Jesus Christ.I tu is mighty
    war of oppression by various hypocritical
    Christian leaders who betray their faith.
    Animalistic beastly worship would destroy
    all norms of human civilisation.In these fiery
    situation Christ should live in the hearts and
    and minds of poor and weak through Holy Spirit

  4. I really love what I read here today thank you so much for helping to make this world a better place for we all that loves Christ 🙏🏼🙏🏼

  5. What a BLESSING to read This – GOD’S WORD is ALIVE — HIS WORD is HIS SON –The ALMIGHTY CHRIST JESUS John 1:1-5) & HE is Very Much ALIVE today — HE never changes ( Hebrews 13:8) Why is THE WORD of GOD like a FIRE burning inside us? Because, THE WORD of GOD is ALIVE — GOD is an ALL-CONSUMING FIRE (Hebrews 12:29) & GOD never changes (Malachi 3:6) — PRAISE THE LORD !!!🙏✝️🔥👑🦁🥰

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