What Has Stolen Your Zeal (Newsletter 5-4)

by Pat Vick

The Lord asked me a question recently, and now I will ask you. “What has stolen your zeal?” He continued with, “Where is your zeal for my worship? Where is your zeal for my Word?”

He didn’t have to go on. I could fill in the blanks. Prayer, Fasting, Bible Study, Giving, Witnessing…) understood. Even though I had been busy for Him, I had become lethargic in my spirit.

An Inner Burning
Webster defines ZEAL as “Eagerness and ardent interest in the pursuit of something.” The core meaning of zeal is heat. It is a heat, or an inner burning, that drives a person to be passionate about something.

The Prophet Jeremiah was beaten and put in stocks for speaking for the Lord. He was wounded physically and emotionally. Still, he described his zeal for God’s Word like this:

“Then I said, I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name. But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forebearing, and I could not stay” (Jeremiah 20:9).

King David declared, “For the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up; and the reproaches of them that reproached thee are fallen upon me.” (Psalm 69:9).
This scripture also foretold the time when Jesus, Himself, would zealously cleanse the temple of those who made it a place of merchandise instead of prayer.

A Controlled Burn
For what are you zealous? We WILL be zealous of something, some good, and some not, some worthwhile, and some not. We must make sure that the fire of our zeal is burning in the right direction. When something is on fire, it must be directed. Firefighters call this a controlled burn. Is our zeal burning for the things of the world: Success, Fame, Fortune, Addictions, Acquiring Possessions? Is our zeal burning for things that steal our time and attention? These things may not be wrong in themselves, but they rob every bit of time, energy, finances, and passion that we could have for building up the Kingdom of God. They might be entertainment, sports, hobbies, fitness/excessive exercise/bodybuilding, to name a few. These all feed flesh, and the only thing flesh wants is more.

We must realize that if God gave us a talent, He intended it to be used for His glory. We must ask ourselves, “How much time will this hobby or pursuit take? Can I use it for the glory of God? Will it take me away from church services, church family, or church activities?” We must intentionally redirect our zeal toward the things of God, and our talents to building the Kingdom.

Be Kingdom Minded
If we had all the time, money and energy back that we have spent on trivial pursuits, what could we do for the Kingdom of God? You and I are living in the most amazing and exciting time in history right now, even more exciting than when Jesus was born. It was the ZEAL of the Lord that caused Jesus to be born two thousand years ago, and it will be the ZEAL of the Lord that establishes His Kingdom forever at His second coming.

“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.” (Isaiah 9:6-7)

I say today is the greatest time to ever be alive. We are most probably the generation who will be alive to see the coming of the Lord. It’s time to be more zealous for the things of God than ever before.

Pat Vick is a staff writer for the VOICE. Her husband Gary pastors Rushings Chapel Pentecostal Church in Camden, TN. She fills many roles, but none more important than wife, mom and grandmother. 11