Life seems to be sucking passion and zeal right out of people. There is simply too much life. Too many deadlines, too much pressure, too many places we need to be, things we need to do, people we need to see, projects that need accomplishing. As a father of 6 and a grandfather of 11 and a leader in three ministries I can assure you I write from personal experience. There is simply too much “life” and, as a result, our passion and zeal dissipate or dissolve. We go through the motions too tired to enjoy what we are doing and without emotion.
This, of course, has a direct impact upon our spiritual life. It too often lacks zeal. Passion is often a missing factor and yet it is such a vital part of being a healthy believer. Worship is half-hearted. We are not anticipating that anything will happen at a worship service – in fact, we are subconsciously hoping it doesn’t as it will take too much energy to respond if it does. We don’t enjoy fellowship time as it is simply ‘one more thing’ we are expected to be a part of and enjoy. Daily Bible study is out – in fact, daily Bible reading has almost gone the way of the dinosaur.
The activities that should be an exciting part of our spiritual journey simply become another demand. And we are not rising to the demand … we are too tired spiritually, mentally, emotionally, relationally, physically …
Truth be known – this is not how it should be. The Bibl states that we are to follow our God – relate to Him – with both passion and zeal … the two missing ingredients in most people’s everyday life right now. Listen to the Word of God – read these verses out loud to yourself.
Mark 12:30 The Message Version
“So love the Lord God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence and energy”
Romans 12:11 “Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fevor, serving the Lord.” The Message version of the same verse … “Don’t burn out; keep yourself fueled and aflame … cheerfully expectant…”
Keep yourself fueled and aflame. It seems to be saying this is our responsibility. We are to make sure that we have a full gas tank and that we throw a fresh lit match into it every day so that we burn brightly (with passion and zeal) for the Lord in our everyday life. Another demand! Something else that needs my attention! More “life” to consume me! Another expectation!
How can I be or become “…fervent in spirit” (NLT)? How do I avoid being “…slothful in zeal” (NLT)? I believe it is possible to be both otherwise the Holy Spirit would not have stated it as a command nor would He have spoken it so strongly. It is time to sit down and, with God’s help, take a good look at how you are using the time the Lord has given to you.
Time is like money – there is a limited supply and more demand than availability. So, are you wasting it, spending it, or investing it?
Now, remove many of the activities and events that fit in the first two of those three categories. Just stop doing them as no longer beneficial to your overall well-being and health. Then, having “cleared the deck of “time takers” that are not beneficial to God’s plans and purpose for your life … take some of the freed-up time and designate it as time with God. Now, protect that time and actually adopt activities that will fill your tank with fuel and that will light a match in your life so that your passion and zeal will, once more, become evident in your everyday life.
It is a command from the Lord – and a responsibility – keep yourself fueled and aflame!