What Is Good Zeal?

24 Mar
Image result for fire

Zeal can simply mean “fire” or “hot” and fervent. It’s a sort of “sizzle” that you hear when you cook on the stove. We as humans can be naturally passionate. We can have zeal about anything really. Zeal about what we believe, our jobs, our interests. But, what is good zeal, as in the zeal a Christian should have? Let’s look further into this.

The Wrong Kind First

Let’s get out of the way the wrong kind of zeal. The Pharisees had zeal, in fact more than anyone. Saul was a great example of this before his born-again experience. He had more zeal than any Pharisee and persecuted Christians. He was “blameless” in the Law. Saul didn’t make mistakes, always did what was right and knew everything about the Scriptures.

Yet, in all of Saul’s work, zeal, passion, and “fire for God” he fell short of the mark. Why? Because his zeal was not centered on Christ. Out of all that he accomplished he himself “considered it all garbage” basically. This goes for “modern day Pharisees” too. All that church attendance, intense worship, prayers, good deeds, “witnessing” and studying of Scriptures is not true zeal.

True Passion

Our zeal and passion is true is when the Holy Spirit is governing them and directing them for the purpose of lifting up Jesus Christ of Nazareth. It’s when ALL our fervent feelings are directed and led by the Holy Spirit. If you can somehow imagine a radio, the Holy Spirit is the one to “turn up the volume.” However, YOU ARE NOT TOUCHING THE VOLUME. It’s all governed by the Holy Spirit, as He directs everything. We just need to make sure we are “tuned in.”

At times we can think that certain deeds, if done wholeheartedly means we have zeal. But, it may not even be what the Holy Spirit is lusting after. It’s when we are walking fully after the Spirit that true fire and zeal occurs. I like to think of our Pastor Pam’s example when it comes to this. She has “put all her chips in” to the Holy Ghost and is letting Him take over.

The Lord’s Example

Jesus Christ of Nazareth had the zeal of His Father and God “consume Him.” He has left us an example also, of what genuine zeal is. When there were merchants and worldly business people in the temple, He turned over their tables, rebuked them, claiming that the temple is a house of prayer. This is a little instance where we can see the zeal of God consuming Him. His passion for truth was so intense that lies could not abide in His presence, as we see Him proclaiming the truth and destroying the religious deception of the Pharisees.

Jesus understood that with God “you cannot be lukewarm.” You must be zealous-hot or dead-cold. The Spirit of God had all of Jesus Christ’s emotions, fully directed in harmony to the will of God. ALL passion, fervent, zeal, strength, and love was for His Father. There was “no room” for Him to be complacent because He was full of zeal, literally “consumed” by the intensive-passion from His Father.

You can see this zeal also working aggressively to war against the powers of darkness. He was at full throttle and friction against Satan’s kingdom, because of His zeal for God. Every desire Christ had, was every desire His Father had. Every heartbeat He had was a beat for God and His will.

Concluding Thoughts

In short, to compare the “religious zeal” and “Christian zeal” is simple. Religious zeal is passion for recognition, human honor, self-interests, traditions and rituals. Christian zeal is fiery passion for Christ and His labor, truth, walking in the Spirit, and Christ’s honor, so “we are not spit out of His mouth.” This whole process is rather done unconsciously…..

Lukewarm, or not caring is because we are not centered on the Lord’s passions, or maybe haven’t asked God to fashion our desires like His. Since, only the Holy Spirit can lead genuine fire. The fix to being lukewarm is simply “mind the things of the Spirit” and walk in what the Spirit is thinking…


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