Luke 8:54

"And he put them all out, and took her by the hand, and called, saying, Maid arise." Luke 8:54

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Being a Jeremiah in a Jerusalem World

Spiritual Lessons

   Here is something I would like to share from one of our guest writers, Melissa Bickish. This is a little bit lengthy to read, but certainly worth the time. It was such an encouragement to me and I know it will be to you as well. Please remember to comment if you would like to.

  Being a Jeremiah in a Jerusalem World

  Recently, the Lord has been teaching me a lot about striving for Him. I am a person who does not naturally enjoy conflicts, or disagreements, or awkward conversations. He is beginning to show me that to stand up for Christ is to invite strife, conflict, and even hatred. When Christ spoke of how the world would hate you if you were of Him, He literally meant HATE… not dislike, not disagree with, not clash-against,… HATE YOU. To love God, to follow God, to speak out against sin, to hate sin as God does, means you will be despised by this world. Even when you don’t enjoy conflict, conflict arises when you stand against an overwhelming tide of culture. 


When the Lord says we cannot serve God and love the world, He knew what He was saying was a FACT. It’s not a theory. Just get out there and tell your culture how opposed it is to God’s laws and see that you quickly are forced to choose between them. You cannot have culture (no waves, no conflict, no clashes) and obey God!

  Lately, a lot of my friends have been standing against our culture and speaking out for those who are butchered in silence, telling the gospel, and generally speaking up for God’s holiness and against the sin that has been accepted by our nation. I have seen the battle ground, the wounds, the HATRED that is poured upon them. Even if you’ll try witnessing once, you’ll discover that there are people who HATE Jesus and anything that He stands for. It is hard not to take this directed hatred personally, and to realize that they hate our Lord, who lives in us, so much more than they hate us. Satan hates vessels that are willing to work for the Lord. He’d much prefer to have an ‘army’ of Christians that all sit around the camp fire and tents and don’t charge his ranks. When you charge the front-lines and try to rescue captives in Jesus’ name, you will be attacked… you will be hated.

    I am the type of person that believes that God gives peace… that having God in your life yields a peaceful home, a peace with your fellow men that you don’t have when you aren’t saved, and peace in relationships. I have been learning through experience and reading the Lord’s word that this “peace” that I love cannot extend to the unholy. God is HOLY Lord. Our culture has so up-played His MERCY, LOVE, and GRACE attributes that we have forgotten that to have PEACE with God requires HOLINESS. Without which no man can see God. 

If our CULTURE is UNHOLY it is at enmity with God… and when the Spirit of God lives within us, we then are at ENMITY with this culture and this world. 

The Peace in our hearts cannot be taken away, but the peace in relation to an outside world cannot exist until that world (or person) repents of their sin and accepts God’s HOLINESS.

   The Lord first gave me a verse in James (3:17) when I was struggling with this idea of being unpeaceable and at enmity with my world. “First PURE, then PEACABLE”… and it is listed in this order for a very specific reason. You cannot be at peace with something until it is first PURE. HOLINESS and PURITY is the requirement for us Christians to gauge what we can allow to be at PEACE with us in our lives.

 “It is important to understand that we are to be ‘first pure, then peaceable’. Our peaceable nature is never to be a TOLERANCE for sin or evil. We must be set against everything that opposes God and His HOLINESS. Then, with our purity being a settled matter in our souls, we can go on to peaceableness. But no matter how peaceable we may be in this world, we will be misrepresented and misunderstood. This should not surprise us, for even the Prince of Peace brought fire upon the earth. Though He LOVED mankind and did no wrong, He was ‘despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief.” (Is. 53:3) Therefore the peaceable in heart should not be surprised when they meet with enemies…. Strengthen our souls that our peaceableness may not lead us into cowardice and despair when, for Your sake, we are persecuted.”    
                        -Charles H. Spurgeon-

  So, what does it mean to be a Jeremiah in the midst of a Jerusalem world? It means that you stand AGAINST everything and everyone to stand with God, to speak God’s words, and be hated by the overwhelming cultural tide called normalcy.

 In my process of learning these things the Lord led me to begin reading in Jeremiah. I had just finished reading somewhere else and almost always pray about 'where' I should read next… when I was impressed with Jeremiah I felt a little bit like, “okay.” As I opened the first chapter I was overwhelmed at the Lord’s faithfulness to me, and the passages containing exactly what I needed to hear. Jeremiah chapters 1 and 2 amazingly enough are where we get to hear God’s conversation with Jeremiah and see that God called Jeremiah to be AGAINST EVERYONE AND EVERYTHING in his Jerusalem.

“Then the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.  Then said I, Ah, Lord GOD! Behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child. But the LORD said unto me, Say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak. Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the LORD. Then the LORD put forth his hand, and touched my mouth. And the LORD said unto me, Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth. See, I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant….  And I will utter my judgments against them touching all their wickedness, who have forsaken me, and have burned incense unto other gods, and worshipped the works of their own hands. Thou therefore gird up thy loins, and arise, and speak unto them all that I command thee: be not dismayed at their faces,.. For, behold, I have made thee this day a defenced city, and an iron pillar, and brasen walls against the whole land, against the kings of Judah, against the princes thereof, against the priests thereof, and against the people of the land. And they shall fight against thee; but they shall not prevail against thee; for I am with thee, saith the LORD, to deliver thee.”

I was amazed as I read these verses! Jeremiah also felt too young. Sometimes I wonder if I’ll ever feel ‘ready’ or truly ‘prepared’ to speak God’s counsel to others. People often use this as an EXCUSE for why they won’t hear you. If they won’t hear you as a youth, they’d have a different excuse if you were in your 50’s. It’s not the age that makes the difference. Then they’d probably excuse themselves by saying you didn’t ‘understand’ their generation. If they won’t listen to a youth, they won’t listen. Our AGE has nothing to do with it. I was encouraged that Jeremiah felt ‘too young’ to speak God’s words. He called himself a ‘child’. A child is usually young, not as knowledgeable, and not ‘ready’ to face the world. God tells him not to call himself a child. It is somewhere in his ‘teen’ years that this calling comes upon his life. 

I also was so encouraged by the 18th and 19th verse. God tells him that HE has asked him to be AGAINST the whole nation.
This is the list:

-          against the whole land, (everyone, everything, every tree… the WHOLE nation)
-          against the kings of Judah,  (the Government, rulers, President, authorities)
-          against the princes thereof,  (the sub-authorities, senators, ‘popular’)
-          against the priests thereof,   (the religious people… or the “Christians” of his day!!!)
-          and against the people of the land.  (all the people… everyone.. he was very alone! )

The Lord tells Jeremiah very plainly exactly what the ‘cost’ is going to be to be His prophet and speak what the Lord has commanded him to speak. This whole list of people.

“ And they shall fight against you…” Jeremiah was not only going to be unpopular, disliked, a culture outcast, lonely, and unaccepted…. EVERYONE was going to fight against him. But God doesn’t leave him there. He gives Jeremiah a much needed and precious promise. “but they shall not prevail against thee; for I am with thee, saith the LORD, to deliver thee.”

 Not only are the people not going to be able to prevail against him in this fight, the Lord tells him that He is on His side… the JEHOVAH GOD is fighting his battles for him. God is with him and will deliver him. These same promises apply to us… 

When we go out and stand against our whole nation, the authorities, what’s popular, or culturally accepted, against the religions of this world and the people…we do not go alone. We Go with God. He fights for us!

   The World will tells lies about you and devise ways to try and hurt you. Jeremiah 18:18 -"Then said they, Come, and let us devise devices against Jeremiah; for the law shall not perish from the priest, nor counsel from the wise, nor the word from the prophet. Come, and let us smite him with the tongue, and let us not give heed to any of his words. Give heed to me, O LORD, and hearken to the voice of them that contend with me. Shall evil be recompensed for good? for they have digged a pit for my soul. Remember that I stood before thee to speak good for them, and to turn away thy wrath from them.”

 When you are standing before them to speak for their good, they will still dig pits for you, devise evil plans, speak evil of you and refuse to hear your words.

  The Lord has kindly given me a lot of verse about witnessing, being ‘different’, and even reproving our culture over these past few months. I hope that since they were an encouragement to me, they will also be to someone else.

 Ephesians 5:11- 18 “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret. But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light. {reproved: or, discovered}  Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.  See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;…”

 [Awake: cease sleeping, to become conscious or aware of something, to make active! Stir up, Alert, aware…]

When we AWAKE we realize that we have been unaware of something important! The idea that now that we are conscious of it we have no excuse not to act upon what we now see is what is meant by this word.  I feel like this word perfectly describes how I felt in regards to abortion and abortions in my country. I felt forced to awake to something I’d rather not have seen. But to see it demands an action. In this same way, to truly be AWAKE to the lost and dying world demands action as well.

  [Reprove: Disapprove, condemn, to administer rebuke, censure, refute, convince or convict, reprimand or reproach.]

 This description doesn’t sound ‘peaceable’ at all! People are always sensitive to ‘censure’ and what they love to call ‘judgment’…. But the Bible tells us not only not to fellowship with these works of darkness, but to take it a step further and REPROVE, or JUDGE, or CONDEMN them! This is certainly not popular with our culture. I pray God to gives me the courage to do this.

 We are commanded to walk circumspectly… what does that mean?

[Circumspect: Look around and be cautious, careful to consider all circumstances and possible consequences, PRUDENT, etc.]

We are to walk as one who has his eyes open to the world around him, the consequences of the deeds done and prudently.

Proverbs 14:2 and 9 say,
He that walketh in his uprightness feareth the LORD: but he that is perverse in his ways despiseth him… Fools make a mock at sin…”

We would should expect to be mocked if be judge someone for their sin. They ‘Mock’ at it, wink at it, try to ignore that it’s serious.. and you are making them ‘AWAKEN’ to the actual cost and reality of their sins on their life. People will hate you for this… they truly are DESPISING THE LORD NOT YOU when this happens. He says that when their ways are perverse they are despising Himself.

“We wrestle not against flesh and blood…” (Ephesians 6:12)

[Wrestle: Struggle, striving to throw down, overcome, to engage in deep thought, debate or consideration, to move by force.]

“ Let us not be weary in well doing; for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men…” (Galatians 6:7)

[Due season: appropriate, adequate or scheduled.]
[Opportunity: A favorable juncture of circumstances, a good chance.]

Hell and destruction are before the LORD; how much more then the hearts of the children of men?” (Proverbs. 15:11)

[Before: in front of, in the Presence of, under the Jurisdiction or consideration of, at the disposal of.]

God is in control of the hearts of men. If they revile you, despise you, reject you, then He has allowed it to touch your life. He says that there is fruit for well doing in due season if we faint not… and aren’t weary in well ‘doing’.

“ The heart of the righteous STUDIETH to answer:..” (Proverbs 15:28)

[Studied: Knowledgeable, learned, carefully considered and prepared, thoughtful.]

“ Commit thy works unto the Lord, and thy thoughts shall be established.” (Proverbs 16:3)

If we are to give an answer for the hope that lieth within us we are to be prepared. I think a large part of any preparation is Practice… literal, actual, in the field practice. God gives us the thoughts we need and establishes our thoughts.

"A man hath joy by the answer of his mouth: and a word spoken in due season, how good is it!" (Proverbs 15:23)

The Lord intends to use us as vessels to speak His ‘good’ news into the lives of others.

Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a twoedged sword in their hand; To execute vengeance upon the heathen, and punishments upon the peopleTo bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron;To execute upon them the judgment written: this honour have all his saints. Praise ye the LORD.” (Psalms 149:6-9)

 It’s to be our HONOUR to judge using the two-edged sword of the word.

“For I have heard a voice as of a woman in travail, and the anguish as of her that bringeth forth her first child, the voice of the daughter of Zion, that bewaileth herself, that spreadeth her hands, saying, Woe is me now! for my soul is wearied because of murderers.” (Jeremiah 4:31)

“Also in thy skirts is found the blood of the souls of the poor innocents: I have not found it by secret search, but upon all these. Yet thou sayest, Because I am innocent, surely his anger shall turn from me. Behold, I will plead with thee, because thou sayest, I have not sinned “  (Jeremiah 2:34)

 Our Nation has the innocent blood of millions of our ‘poor innocents’ and they say, “I am innocent, I have not sinned’. This is the perfect description of our world. There are so many similarities between Jerusalem and our nation of America in these verses.

 “And they bend their tongues like their bow for lies: but they are not valiant for the truth upon the earth; for they proceed from evil to evil, and they know not me, saith the LORD.” (Jeremiah 9:3)

 Will we be valiant for the truth in our Jerusalem? Would we speak even if God told us that they WOULDN'T HEAR US?

Jeremiah 7:27 and 28 says, "Therefore thou shalt speak all these words unto them; but they will not hearken to thee: thou shalt also call unto them; but they will not answer thee. But thou shalt say unto them, This is a nation that obeyeth not the voice of the LORD their God, nor receiveth correction: truth is perished, and is cut off from their mouth."

 Sometimes we feel like our world is more ‘evil’ and more ‘vile’ and more ‘wicked’ than other “times” in history. But it isn’t true. Human beings are by nature evil. We are not the only generation who feels like ‘Truth has perished’ completely.
 This chapter declares that God told Jeremiah to begin in the house of the Lord. Of all the places that you wouldn’t think God would say that ‘truth is perished” it would be in His house… but it’s the first place He tells Jeremiah to go!

"The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying, Stand in the gate of the LORD'S house, and proclaim there this word, and say, Hear the word of the LORD, all ye of Judah, that enter in at these gates to worship the LORD. Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, Amend your ways and your doings,.." (Jeremiah 7:1-3)

  I guess what the Lord has truly been showing me is that to be His vessel, to be used by Him, to minister, to witness: I have to be okay with not ‘getting along’ with people, with debating my faith, with even being hated for His words. I will NOT BE ABLE to be at peace with this world! How many people in the Bible can you think of that lived happy, peace-filled lives? The numbers are slim indeed.

  The most encouraging verses that I read were in chapter 15 of Jeremiah where God calls Jeremiah “ a man of strife.” Jeremiah did not choose a life of strife, he complains that he was even born to such a life…… but God chose Him to be His messenger. A messenger of God is by the unpopularity of God’s message called to a ‘life of strife’.

 Jeremiah 15:10- "Woe is me, my mother, that thou hast borne me a man of strife and a man of contention to the whole earth! I have neither lent on usury, nor men have lent to me on usury; yet every one of them doth curse meThe LORD said, Verily it shall be well with thy remnant; verily I will cause the enemy to entreat thee well in the time of evil and in the time of affliction. Shall iron break the northern iron and the steel?"

I so could understand Jeremiah’s heart-felt bitter cry. He hadn’t asked to be a prophet, this wasn’t his life’s ambition… to be despised. He truly didn’t want everyone to curse him. He must have hated strife to say as He did in these verses “…woe is me, my mother…,” and mourned his very existence as a man of strife and contentions. However, he decided that to follow what the Lord wanted Him to do was worth whatever the ‘cost’.

 We cannot live peaceably in a world that denies the Prince of Peace. And though, we may not be able to be at peace in our world, we can be at peace with God! There is a world of internal peace, precious, immeasurable peace from the Lord. Even if we can’t be ‘conflict’ free in this life, there is coming a day when strife will never be a part of our lives. I guess I just wanted to encourage someone else that WE DON’T FIT INTO OUR WORLD, WE SHOULDN’T FIT INTO OUR WORLD and that that’s the way it will be in order to follow the Lord’s ways. You will be hated, you won’t be at peace, you shall be called a ‘man of strife and a man of contention’, but GREATER IS HE THAT IS IN YOU and wouldn’t you rather be at peace with the Lord than with the world around you? 

 Jerusalem, Jerusalem, there is no peace to be had in thee!...

BUT I serve a God who’s name is Jehovah Shalom (the LORD is peace) Shalom is translated as “peace” or “absence from strife”! The true shelter from a strife-filled world and the one consolation from a strife-filled existence is found in the God who has titled HIMSELF the absence from strife. True PEACE is Jesus Christ.


  1. Thank you so much. This was so encouraging to me as I have been dealing with some strong rejection by friend's for choosing to stand for the perfect Word of God, the King James Bible, while others tell me we don't have the perfect Word of God. It is truly strange. The only thing that will garner you more rejection than standing up for the voiceless or preaching the gospel is standing up for the King James Bible. I pray we may all have the courage to stand for what is right in this increasingly evil world.

  2. I loved this Liss! Such an encouragement. So glad it got posted here, and not just on RWR. Will be praying for you Christopher Hurdon. Sometimes it's lonely standing for truth. Thank you for being a voice.

  3. It's true Christopher that the things that God loves and are the most important are also the most heavily attacked. I am sorry that you are under attack from people, but in some ways it can actually be truly encouraging.... it means you are on the right track. :) Chin up. God is on your side. I am thankful that the Lord was able to use this to encourage you. Praise His name!

  4. Nicely done Liss! I also liked your comment to Christopher, very true. Being attacked it always hard but it can be a encouragement! (Though this may sound mean....) It is encouraging when someone tells you that they have been attacked, then you remember you aren't the only one that gets attacked. :)
    Thanks for writing and posting Liss.


  5. Glad this was a blessing Tasha. It is always a blessing to find someone else who can be honest and admit that they have similar struggles to yours. It makes you feel so much less alone.