“Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord”- Romans 12:11 (NIV)
Having zeal, for certain things, can be a good or bad thing. For example, long before Saul was called by God to preach the Gospel to the Gentiles, he had a zeal for his faith, causing him to persecute believers and oversee the first Christian martyr- Stephen (Acts 7:58). There are countless followers of Islam, who are quite zealous for their faith, that often they engage in murderous acts, the moment they sense one has insulted prophet Mohammed.
People can have zeal, or maybe fanatical passion, for pursuits like games. On occasion one hears of a soccer fan who has hanged himself once his team loses a game. There are many youths gambling their lives away, because they are quite addicted to gambling, for which there are most zealous for.
Certain aspects characterize those who are zealous. Their commitment is total and they brook no opposition. Zealous people are never shy to share what they believe. Perhaps one could say they are totally consumed with the object they worship to a point of even sacrificing their life.
As we note with Saul, we can have a misdirected zeal. The Lord had favor upon Saul by opening his eyes to the true faith in Christ Jesus. But Saul’s situation, who upon conversion becomes Paul, could apply to any of us, in some matter. We could be zealous for our trade, money, our club, political grouping, tribe and even religion, but yet such zeal would be misplaced.
The zeal that matters is knowing God through his son Jesus Christ. But just as noted above where one has zeal it is not a secret. Zealous people do not sit on the gold they have! The zeal we have for the Lord should be no secret, at all, come as a surprise to some after a long passage. It should be a zeal we are happy to live with and share, gladly, even as that zeal may disturb some, as is the true nature of zeal.
Prayer for today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, as your Son Jesus Christ was a man of zeal, for the scriptures say, "Zeal for your house will consume me” today I pray that I too may share that zeal for worshiping the true God and serving Him, this I pray in Jesus’s name!