Radical or Nominal – Part 4 (How to Obtain Zeal)
Zeal for God and the things of God in many believers today has gone cold despite the numbers of Christians soaring in numbers. Many are currently trapped in just a religious life that is void of the zeal of God. However the dynamics of the world are contrary to this kind of life. It is only the radical people who are full of zeal that can bring transformation to the World. Zeal sees no boundaries or limitations. Normal people in a world that is driven by zeal usually have limited or no space at all.
A careful observation of how change in the world has occurred in history teaches us an important lesson of what drives change agents to act and cause massive shifts within the society. At the core of what motivates such people, you will find zeal in whatever the person believes whether good or bad.
The above applies to believers as well. Belief in Christ with no zeal leads to an empty, powerless and defeated lifestyle which has zero influence in the World where believers have been given the mandate of transposing the kingdom of God from heaven to earth.
Below are some practical steps that can help us obtain zeal and ignite the fire of God in our hearts:
1. Uprooting competing loves, desires and idols. Two disparate fires cannot burn in the same heart at the same time. Jesus cannot be burning in your life yet there still is something else that you are passionate about. If you desire to obtain zeal and ignite the fire, you must uproot competing loves.
2. Fuel the fire. Since zeal is like fire, fuel is required (Prov 26:20-21). Fire must be fed with fuel to sustain its burning otherwise it will go out. Being a Christian and yet just being content with attending service, has prevented many from catching zeal. The opposite instead happens: the zeal they had declines. One of the most effective fuel is the Word of God which we must store in our hearts as fuel for the zeal “Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly… ” (Col 3:16)
3. Communion with God will kindle our hearts with His fire and zeal. God is described in the Bible as the Consuming Fire (Heb 12:29). When you commune with God, something is kindled within your own heart. However, the little time we spend with Him ie 10 minutes or 15 minutes “quiet time” rushing through three or four verses will not generate zeal for God. Instead, we should invest more time communing with Him. Communion with the consuming fire.
4. Stoke the fire by seasons of withdrawal for concentrated time in God’s presence in prayer, fasting and waiting on the Word until the flames are kindled in your heart.
5. Companionship with the zealous. Zeal is contagious. If you want to catch zeal, find people who are zealous and become companions with them. What they carry, will infect you.
6. Avoid fire extinguishers. Examples include; secret sins and careless friends who have no business being part of your life “…..Do not be misled. Bad company corrupts good character” (1 Cor 15:33)
7. Concentrating your life on the two priorities of life which are; finishing the race and completing your task.
8. Do not compare yourself with others or measure your temperature by the environment. Keep your eyes on Jesus the author and finisher of your faith. Don’t focus on what is around you. 2 Cor 10:12 tells us that comparing themselves to themselves, they became fools. The more you look on Jesus, the more you will cast yourself, your helplessness and your impotence on His omnipotence asking for His help because you will see a Savior who was zealous for the cause of God. You will not be comparing yourself with others and deceiving yourself that you are doing okay.
The Kingdom (and indeed the world) has no place for nominal or non-committed people. Like Jim Elliot (Martyr missionary to the Auca Indians) said “GET RADICAL OR GET OUT!”
Mark Kolo serves as International Team Leader for Global Activation, a mission organization committed to mobilizing Kingdom change agents and catalyzing Disciple Making Movements