Zeal is an interesting word. Scriptures tell us that zeal for God’s house consumed Jesus (Psalm 69:8-9; John 2:17). We see it played out when Jesus tossed the merchants and money changers out of the temple (John 2:13-17). In doing so, I believe Jesus set an example as to how we should react to things that stand in contrast to God’s design. While tolerance is preached today, Jesus demonstrated none of it towards those who were blatantly ignoring and abusing God’s commands. When was the last time you were so consumed by zeal for God that you took action regardless of what people thought and without thinking of any possible ramifications?
Zeal is defined as “fervor for a person, cause, or object; eager desire or endeavor; enthusiastic diligence.” I love that last phrase, “enthusiastic diligence”. To me it means we follow the ways of Jesus with great passion and at all times. We never cease our pursuit of holiness. Our quest for living a life that looks like Jesus cannot be stopped because we refuse to quit. I want it said of me that I was consumed with zeal for God’s house. I want to be so passionately engaged in working to see His Kingdom established on earth that I can scarcely think of anything else. My frequent prayer is to be consumed and enveloped by His love so that I might faithfully reflect it into a world of great darkness. If we are to be His disciples, true followers of Jesus, then zeal must be our modus operandi.
It’s easy to forget that a violent spiritual war is raging around us every moment of our day. Most of us live comfortable lives in pursuit of earthly achievement and success. We lose sight of the fact this it is all a grand illusion. Satan tempts us to look inward and live self-absorbed lives that are ultimately inconsequential. The liar that he is, Satan does not want us focused on the intense battles being fought in the spiritual realm. The more we are distracted by the shiny objects and cares of this world, the less effective we will be in serving God. This is why zeal is so important.
When you came to faith in Christ, you professed Jesus as your Lord. You surrendered everything to Him. How much of that have you taken back? What parts of your life can you truly say are totally abandoned to Him? Zeal for His Word, His way, and His purpose is the key to making Jesus Lord of your life. Unless we are consumed by our desire to further His mission and build His Kingdom, we will always be distracted by petty annoyances, trivial complications, and inconvenient circumstances.
We must come to the place where we no longer tolerate injustice in our world. We must stand in opposition against the forces of evil that manifest themselves in poverty, starvation, and violence. Jesus came to seek and save all that was lost (Luke 19:10). Our call is to continue that mission. It will not be a victory easily one, and it cannot be achieved while compromising the commands of Christ. Victory will come by God’s power when His people are so consumed by zeal that they will not stop until His Kingdom is established on earth. It’s time we all stepped up to the plate. How zealous are you?