By Kathi Pelton
For weeks now, I will go into my morning prayer time and find the words inspired by Jeremiah 15:19 pouring out of my mouth,
“Spirit of God, come to Your Church and extract the precious from the worthless.”
“Therefore, thus says the Lord, “If you return, then I will restore you— Before Me you will stand; And if you extract the precious from the worthless, You will become My spokesman….” Jeremiah 15:19
I find little else coming forth from my spirit as I intercede besides words related to the prayer to see the precious extracted from the worthless; the vile. Words such as, “Purify the fire”, “Remove all that is not holy.” etc. These are prayers for my life and for His church. Though I am more often unaware in my mind of the actual details of the “worthless”— my spirit seems very aware and therefore the cry for this divine extraction continues.
A hunger to be holy, even as He is holy burns with a increases intensity— yet I am aware that it must be a pure fire— not a fire that leads to cynicism of others or pride in “being hungry.”
What are we being called to returning to in Jeremiah 15? In this portion of scripture we see this prophet found in inner turmoil. He is carrying a message that is not well received by all yet he knows it to be truth from the Lord and his heart to be sincere in his delivery of it. Yet, he is struggling with discontent and isolation— even distrust. He may even be struggling with cynicism toward his so-called friends (congregants) and toward what he sees happening around him. In verse 19 God responds in love and compassion to Jeremiah’s pain and turmoil but He asks calls him to return to the passion and purity of the message he has been given and to love for those he is carrying the message to.
Many of God’s people today may be looking around at those who call themselves, “Believers” or “Christians”, as they partake in vile or worthless activities and compromise the very instructions of God according to His scriptures— and feel much like Jeremiah. Yet, His people must not allow their hearts to stray from the agape love of God that passionately prays and delivers truth out of the depths of His love— not the frustration and turmoil of our souls.
We must ask God to extract the precious from the worthless in our prayers and our presentation of His pure word and will. Jeremiah was being called to return to the purity of the word entrusted to him— even in judgement— God’s love abounds. God’s righteous judgements are not birthed from cynicism toward mankind but in the long suffering agape love of a Father that disciplines in order to restore.
Jeremiah’s voice and words were being heard by both saints and sinners — the words brought comfort to the saints and anger to the rebellious. The wheat and the chaff were continually in his midst. Those who were engaged in worthless acts became enraged at Jeremiah’s words— causing him great suffering. The same is true today— and it has become increasingly apparent. Even within the walls of our congregations, worthless acts and vile words are played out in some of the lives of those who claim to be the redeemed. Yet, there is a remnant who is being called to remain in love and to bring truth for the sake of repentance. Our prayers and words spoken (even prophesies) must come from a heart that has been purified with God’s love. Only then will it carry the power to bring repentance to those bound in rebellion. Remember— it is His kindness that leads men to repentance— not frustration, aggravation or offense. If it is not love, it will merely be a “clanging cymbal” in the ears of the hearer.
God is asking us to extract the precious from the worthless in our hearts, our intercession, our attitudes, our words, our delivery and toward those around us— toward those found in worthless behaviors. May love be renewed and our passionate fire purified from all offense and judgment.
Purify the fire and bring forth the precious.
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