Lesson 6: The Zeal of God
“Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.”
Some time ago, I watched an interesting movie about terrorists in Saudi Arabia. When the movie was done, there were a few questions that kept recurring in my mind. The questions were, “Why do they do this? What drives them to kill people and themselves no matter what? Why do they not seem to have any fear?” They are so committed to their cause that they will do what it takes to accomplish their goal no matter the cost. Although I denounce their actions and all they stand for, there is one thing I do admire about them as odd as that may sound. I admire their passion, their commitment, and their zeal.
I wondered. What if Christians had that commitment and zeal for God? We wouldn’t be scared about what people thought about us, we’d do what it took to accomplish the work of God, and sacrifice our time and lives for sake of God’s purpose and will for our lives. Would not the work of God have been done much more quickly? Would not our own lives be different with the presence of God? Proverbs 19:2 tells us that we should have zeal that is based on knowledge not just a fanatic feeling.
I think that is where we stumble. I think our lack of zeal is because of our lack of knowledge. Allow me to explain. The one thing that should drive us to be zealous for God is the fact that we were sentenced to die but now we have a chance for eternal life. We have been justified by his one Man’s blood. He took our place on death row. However, we do not seem to really understand what that means. We do not understand the enormity of sin and the great separation it creates between God and us. We do not understand or appreciate the enormity of Jesus’ sacrifice for our sins and what that means for the future of our lives! Without Him we wouldn’t even have a future. We do not understand the cosmic battle between good and evil that is going on right now. God is vying for our lives while Satan seeks to destroy it.
The reason I entitled this “Zeal OF God” instead of “Zeal FOR God” is because understanding the zeal of God will produce a zeal for God. Friend, think about this. God knew that you would sin against Him. He knew humans would reject Him. Still, still He chose to create us. He created us even though He knew His creation would one day reject Him, mock Him, beat Him, spit on Him, and crucify Him. Why? Because He loves us that much. He loves us so much that He did not care that He would have to go through hell to win us back. Would you make something you knew would one day do all of that to you?! That is the Mighty and Loving God we serve! God is on a mission to save His fallen creation.
He says in Isaiah 1:18 “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow.” But that is only if we choose. That is the battle that is going on. If we do not choose Him, we will be destroyed. It’s that simple. But friend, this should not be scary. Instead it should be mind-boggling. How can we not choose HIM?! After all that He has done for us that I’ve explained, how can we be so stupid not to choose Him? Does that even make any sense? That is why Mrs. White says that God does not destroy man. Man destroys man. If we don’t gain life, it is no one’s mistake but our own. We have the knowledge of all that God has done and if we would just understand the enormity of it, our zeal would be unmatched.
God abhors sin yet He came down into sin. God abhors evil yet He came and lived in the midst of evil. God adores you and that is why He came down to us. That is the zeal, the love of our God. Friend, I think it is time to get on fire for God. I think it is time to be a zealot based on the knowledge we have received. A Christian with zeal means no fear just faith. A Christian with zeal means no indolence just diligence. A Christian with zeal means no questions just commitment. Will you be zealot of God? Be a zealot. Read your Bible. Pray earnestly. Seek His face vigorously. Live in His presence daily. Tell others about the zeal of God fearlessly! It’s time. It’s time to stop playing games and start living for God. It is time to have the zeal of God for God! Amen.