In church, we hear about having great passion for God’s work, but if we don’t naturally feel that way, how do we capture this spark?
Paul commanded the early church, “Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord” (Romans 12:11, ESV).
Fervency isn’t something we can just drum up in our hearts, so how do we even go about obeying this order? It seems nearly impossible without knowing for sure why we don’t feel zealous already or how to go about cultivating a consuming passion in our service to God.
Here, three pastors share why we are bereft of zeal for God’s way, what will happen when we find a deep passionate fire for Christ’s work, and how God wants to ignite a new spirit among his people in the future.
The Quality of Our Fire – Gary Wilkerson
Is your life a spark or a torch? When it comes to our walk with Christ, the Bible shows us there is a crucial difference between the two. We see this difference in the lives of Saul and David.
Saul had amazing experiences, moments that sparked the power of heaven in his life, igniting in him a great zeal. Yet because he forsook the Lord’s commands on several occasions, Saul quenched the Holy Spirit’s work in his life. Meanwhile, God raised up David to be Israel’s next king. As David’s reputation for bold obedience grew, so did the fruit of his obedience.
I sometimes see a similar pattern in people’s lives. They experience outpourings of God’s Spirit, and they live off that spark for a while, but soon they turn to self-sufficiency. Like Saul, they may find temporary solace in the beauty of worship or the manifest presence of God’s Spirit, but that consolation doesn’t last, and they return to being distraught or discontent.
David’s life shows us the difference. In Psalm 51, David seeks three things that are crucial to the walk of every believer. He writes, “Don’t keep looking at my sins. Remove the stain of my guilt. Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me” (Psalm 51:9-10).
The flame of God’s holiness cleanses us of things that don’t belong. As it burns away the dross of sin, it causes us to hate our compromise. It stirs in us a passion to be holy.
The Zeal of the Lord - William Carrol
Of all the kings of Judah, the descendants of David, the Bible tells us there was no one like King Hezekiah.
When he came into power there was rampant idolatry, and one of the things that Hezekiah did was he decided to tear down all of the high places and he was no longer going to serve Sennacherib or Assyria the way his father had done, so he broke the bands of the enemy. He decided he would serve only God, and God was moving in his life.
While this great revival was going on in Judah, this king of Assyria came into the land and began to lay siege there…and said, “Don’t you recognize you’re like a tiny island surrounded by an ocean of evil?” He said, “I’ve come against nation after nation. So many people have tried to stand their ground, but little by little I will overwhelm them. It’s just going to be a matter of time.”
The devil is trying to come in and say, “God is tired of you. God has left you flat.”
God is calling you into the same place he called Hezekiah, into his presence, into his prayer closet, into a time where you begin to rehearse the truths of God…and you hold God to his word. He told you he would keep you. He told you that he would use you. He told you he would be glorified in your life. He told you that his Spirit would move in your life and make you a blessing in your home, in your job, in your school in your community.
God has chosen you to glorify his name in this final time. He will cause his name to be lifted up, and he’s chosen to do it through you. The devil has no say in that.
A Revival of Holiness - David Wilkerson
A revival of holiness is coming to this nation. When John the Baptist prophesied concerning the appearance of Christ, he saw him coming with an axe in one hand and a fan in the other.
"And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the tree: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire...Whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor and gather his wheat into the barn; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire..." (Matthew 3:10-12).
John did not see Christ coming with a bag of favors on his back, like some kind of divine Santa Claus. He was not coming to make mankind prosperous and successful. Christ was going to appear in his house to purge it. The fan is the Holy Spirit whose mighty wind is about to blow away all the chaff of lukewarmness and sin out of God's holy temple.
Are you one of His people? Have you been sensing really the deep inner awakening I've been talking about? Have you been feeling a renewed hunger for righteousness? Have you grown tired and weary of the emptiness and foolishness of the world? Have you been feeling the nearness of His return?
In this revival of holiness that is coming, God is going to call for separation and commitment. Get ready, saints!
“Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent” (Revelation 3:19).