We’re continuing through the book of Romans. Paul is showing us how to live our best life as part of Christ’s body.
Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.
In my last post we talked about having sincere love for others. But, right on the heels of that, Paul tells us that we need to be zealous for the Lord.
Zeal itself is a very strong emotion. It’s when you desire to possess some quality or possession of the one you’re zealous for. It’s actually the same as jealousy – only it’s the positive side of that quality.
But, I’m talking about being zealous toward Christ. This is a passionate, consuming zeal that’s focused on the Lord. It drives us toward the accomplishment of His will and the maintaining of His honor.
All of this is done in the face of whatever’s happening in the world around us. It doesn’t matter whether we’re in the middle of good or bad circumstances.
We’ve all heard of the armor of God in Ephesians, chapter 6. Many people talk about the need to put on this holy armor. But do you know that there’s one more piece of clothing available to us that covers it all?
Paul the Apostle was a Bible scholar. He knew the Scripture better than most others of his day. What we fail to realize, is that he didn’t come up with the teaching of the armor of God on his own. It was actually from the book of Isaiah.
In Isaiah, chapter 59, we see God Himself putting on the armor – at least the helmet and breastplate. This is His personal armor – it was made to fit Him. That’s why I need to abide in Christ for it to fit me. But that’s another teaching…
I want to talk about something else that Isaiah saw as the Lord was preparing for the spiritual battle.
He put on righteousness as his breastplate, and the helmet of salvation on his head; he put on the garments of vengeance and wrapped himself in zeal as in a cloak.
The reason that Isaiah could only see the breastplate and helmet was because God put on some clothes over the suit of armor. Did you know that one of these is available to us today?
It’s not the garments of vengeance. We know from Scripture that vengeance is His alone.
I believe that part of our problems stem from the fact that we want the armor but still fail to fully clothe ourselves. It’s the zeal of the Lord that covers it all. That’s one of the things that the church is lacking in this generation.
That’s why zeal is one of the first things that Paul talks about for the mature believer. It’s the cloak that should cover all that we do for Christ. He answers the question; when should we be seen without the cloak? NEVER!!
Zeal is actually our passion for the Lord on display for all to see. Of course, Christ must be the focus of our zeal. We need to get emotional about our God. We need to stir it up.
That’s what warriors do before a battle. They would hold council the night before they met the enemy. They’d tell stories of former victories, sing, chant victory slogans, and raise the war cry. All of this was to stir up the emotion of zeal.
In the spiritual struggles we face, there’s no difference in the way we achieve victory. God wants us to put on His zeal before we enter the heat of battle. We must take up this attitude: “I live for the honor of Christ!”
That’s why we should be running daily into the Lord’s presence. As we sing, worship, read and confess the Scripture, and pray in the spirit, we’re stirring ourselves up. There’s no better preparation for the battles ahead.
Question: How often do you get emotional about the Lord?
© 2021 Nick Zaccardi