For whatever reason with this blog post, a cheer from high school sports events popped in mind:
We’ve got Zeal, Yes we do! We’ve got Zeal! How about You? I am going to encourage you to have Zeal for God’s house but not the way you think.
We hear often about the zeal David had to build God’s house. For God to have a resting place on earth, a visible expression as seen through the building of the temple. David was relentless.
1 After the king was settled in his palace and the Lord had given him rest from all his enemies around him, 2 he said to Nathan the prophet, “Here I am, living in a house of cedar, while the ark of God remains in a tent.” 2 Sam 7:1-2
The Zeal for God’s house consumes me…Ps 69:9
I love looking up the definitions of words because it has a way of exacting my thinking to the real meaning of something and not just my idea of what I think it means.
Definition of Zeal: great energy or enthusiasm in pursuit of a cause or an objective.
We have either experienced within ourselves or through others, the great energy or enthusiasm one can have towards a cause or objective. Man’s zeal can cause much harm and disaster or create and achieve extraordinary things. Do you realize that anything done, for the good or bad, through the zeal of man is like shifting sand?
What’s the problem with human zeal?
HUMAN ZEAL: MIXTURE
Our zeal is a mixture of human motives, expectations and our reality of things. The great energy of human zeal is powered by human determination, will, and effort. Anything that comes from human zeal can never be sustained for any length of time. Anything ever done out of human effort and human resources will never be accepted by God because it is dead, falls to decay and unable to be life-giving. Our human zeal hinders the Lord from accomplishing His purpose with His resources.
We need to look away from, turn from our zeal or lack of zeal if we want to see true zeal. So if we are looking away from us, then what do we look to for our Zeal?
ZEAL IS A PERSON
13 When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 In the temple courts he found people selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money. 15 So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple courts, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. 16 To those who sold doves he said, “Get these out of here! Stop turning my Father’s house into a market!”
17 His disciples remembered that it is written: “Zeal for your house will consume me.”18 The Jews then responded to him, “What sign can you show us to prove your authority to do all this?”19 Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.”20 They replied, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?” 21 But the temple he had spoken of was his body. 22 After he was raised from the dead, his disciples recalled what he had said. Then they believed the scripture and the words that Jesus had spoken.
That day the disciples saw the Person of Zeal. They did not realize at the time because it wasn’t until He was raised from the dead that they put two and two together. We too, need to be brought to a place to see who is the true expression of Zeal and His purpose.
David may have expressed a type and shadow of Zeal in Psalm 69:9, but Christ is the fulfillment of ZEAL. Zeal personified is CHRIST.
There is a vast difference between human zeal and divine zeal.
DIVINE ZEAL: PURE
It is what true zeal looks like and it is pure in its motives and commission. It is eternal and anything accomplished out from this Zeal is everlasting and life-giving. It is persistent, single-minded and, constant never running out of energy or wavering in the pursuit for God’s house. And it is the only Zeal that God accepts to accomplish His purpose.
In case you have not figured it out, Christ is the zeal that God has approved to be the great energy or LIFE and enthusiasm in pursuit of His cause and His objective. For Christ is the exact image and expression of God’s nature and character.
TWO SIDES OF HUMAN ZEAL BUT ONE CURE
We can either have:
- lack of zeal; apathy and indifference
- Too much; which is religious, dividing, destructive, prideful
The Good News: Both are cured by CHRIST: Living by the life of Zeal Himself.
In every aspect of our walk with the Lord, we are not to be like Christ, but we are to live by the Life of Christ.
In turning from our zeal then we can start learning to draw from and live by the person who is Zeal-Christ. First, accepting within ourselves we have nothing of value within ourselves to build anything for God. It is only the Zeal of Christ that God recognizes and blesses.
GOAL OF CHRIST’S ZEAL: A HOUSE BUILT FOR GOD AND A BODY FOR CHRIST
I can’t speak of Zeal without revealing the eternal purpose of Zeal. Christ’s zeal is unto something, toward something, producing something, building something and we see this in the same passage, John 2:17-22.
17 His disciples remembered that it is written: “Zeal for your house will consume me.”18 The Jews then responded to him, “What sign can you show us to prove your authority to do all this?”19 Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise, build it again in three days.”20 They replied, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?” 21 But the temple he had spoken of was his body. 22 After he was raised from the dead, his disciples recalled what he had said. Then they believed the scripture and the words that Jesus had spoken.
CHRIST IS THE HOUSE AND THE BODY
The house of God is Christ’s body. We see from this passage who’s the builder and what are the building materials: CHRIST! What is the builder building? Why is this important?
The building: House of God/the Temple of God/the Body of Christ share one purpose: Increasing and making Christ the ALL in ALL a reality through a visible expression through the image of house and body!
How does Divine Zeal accomplish this purpose?
God places The Building Materials and The Builder within us. Christ, the builder begins to build a house for God and a body for Himself by using the building materials of Himself that were placed within us at our new birth. Crazy, huh? Well, at least to me anyway:)
You don’t need to have your own zeal for God’s house. We have been brought in to ZEAL HIMSELF and His Zeal is in YOU. When we turn from our human zeal and learn to live by the life of ZEAL, we can allow ZEAL to accomplish HIS purpose and mission of building a house for God and an image and expression for Himself, a body.
We can, like the disciples, BELIEVE the words Christ Jesus spoke, that anything this persistent, single-minded unwavering Zeal produces will be true, pure, and everlasting and always bringing life and bearing fruit.