In a FURNACE, the fire comes from WITHIN. A leader who is a “furnace” has fully internalized his identity; possesses the character and integrity to lead without compromise; is secure in his role; and is self-motivated.
A furnace leader does not need an opinion poll (like a grill) nor does he need a promotion (like a broiler) to maintain leadership intensity. He does what he does because of who he is and what God has called him to do. There is a fire on the inside of a furnace that fuels his actions; it cannot be extinguished.
Jeremiah was a furnace: “…the word of the LORD has brought me insult and reproach all day long. But if I say, ‘I will not mention him or speak any more 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” (Jer 20:8,9).
Note that Jeremiah suffered “insult and reproach” for doing what God called him to do. He was neither popular with the people nor was he promoted by the king. If Jeremiah’s fire had come from above or below, he certainly would have quit; but Jeremiah’s fire came from within.
Jeremiah was a furnace. (more…)