Additional Scripture Readings: Song of Songs 8:6; 2 Timothy 1:6
Apathy is like a flame that only flickers and sputters beneath our faith in Christ. It may flare up occasionally when blown by the winds of whatever seems interesting at the moment, but soon returns to only a weak flicker. Zeal, on the other hand, is the flame that feeds our faith into a fire that burns steadily, whatever the circumstances or passing influences.
In Romans 12:11, Paul exhorts, “Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.” Note that the flame of spiritual fervor or zeal needs to be fed with service to the Lord. Romans 12:12 gives instruction on feeding the flame: be joyful, patient, faithful.
We tend to reserve our passions, our fiery feelings, for our best arguments, for our ambitions and for our bedrooms. We seldom think of directing passion toward God. Oh, but God wants us ardently interested in and eagerly pursuing him. He longs to matter to us! He yearns for us to yearn for him!
Zeal pushes us to give our best effort, to care when we don’t feel like it, to try when we want to give up, to continue when we want to quit. How high and strong does your flame of zeal burn?