I want to mature in my zeal for God. I want it to grow. Tragically, I’ve seen enthusiastic young people lose faith and drift away, turning to agnosticism or even atheism. And I’ve seen another generation, in response, claim that zeal is nothing more than emotional hype, as they themselves settle into complacency. Truly, there are more hurts and disappointments in this world than we know. There are things for which we prayed and believed that did not happen. Religion confuses, wounds and sedates. But my heart lights up when I see the elders, people like Lou Engle and Bill Johnson, the older generation that burns so much brighter now than they ever did in their 20s, 30s or 40s. Maybe there were disappointments along the way, but through every tragedy, they fought again with everything inside of them to keep their eyes open and fixed on Jesus. They know that even in times of faithlessness, He remained faithful to them. They hold tightly to their testimonies of grace.
I see my Grandpa, weeping as he listens to his grandchildren sing worship songs to Jesus. He remembers the battles of his own journey, and he knows that he’s leaving a legacy. And he knows, beyond all doubt, the beauty and faithfulness of God. I want to be such a man, knowing that he’s finishing well, not just more in love with the Lord than when he was nineteen, but more in love than yesterday!
Zeal is our calling, because true zeal is birthed from a heart of radical love. As people of God, we have tasted His beauty. We have seen His goodness. Our God is the most dazzling, radiant, loving person in the universe. How can we ever give anything less than our whole hearts?
His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for your house will consume me.”–John 2:17