“Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” — John 7:38
Zeal
by Randall D. Kittle
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As I was praying, I saw a dark fog that seemed to cloak everything. Then I heard the voice of the Lord proclaim, “For My Church to get to ground zero, they must be completely grounded in zeal. Tell My Church they need zeal for My presence.” With that, I saw a flaming sword slash across the upper part of this dark shroud — cutting through it and setting it on fire. Once again I heard the Lord’s voice, this time declaring, “Tell My Church they must have zeal for My Word.” Immediately I saw the fiery sword cutting and igniting a diagonal path through the darkness. Next, I heard the Lord announce, “Tell My Church they need zeal for My works.” Again I saw a flaming sword slice across the lower part of the dark shroud, piercing it and setting in afire. Now there was a flaming “Z” burning through the darkness. As it continued burning, it created a hole through the dark covering. Light began to beam in and illuminate everything. The fire continued to blaze, igniting some dry wood that was lying on the altar. The woodpile soon became a bonfire, and in a short time the darkness was completely swallowed by the light. Presently, others came to gather around the glowing fire. As the vision started to fade, the Lord proclaimed, “Those who are zealous for Me will pierce through the darkness of this world, ignite others with a fiery passion for Me, and bring light and life to those who desperately need it. Become zealous!”

God’s urgent invitation for us in these days is to be a people zealous in pursuing His presence, His Word, and His works. First and foremost, the Lord wants us zealous for Him. It is only His presence in our lives and in our churches that will impact lives and make eternal changes. What this world most desperately needs is not teaching about Jesus nor moving emotional experiences, but an encounter with the presence of the Living God. Our talents, skills, programs, teaching, service, etc. are of no lasting value unless people encounter Jesus Christ, for everyone who truly encounters God is never the same again.

The Lord isn’t calling us just to know we need His presence, but to become zealous for His presence. Too much of what the average church does requires little if any of the presence of Christ. Many believers can tell you about the Lord with a warm smile, but too often it’s coming from a cold heart. The word “zeal” means:
“great energy or enthusiasm in pursuit of a cause or an objective.” Are churches putting “great energy” into seeking the Lord’s presence? Or, are they content to go on with “business as usual.” How many believers do you know who display “great enthusiasm” in pursuing the presence of God? If without Him we can do nothing (see John 15:5), why don’t we stop doing so much until we have Him? We need to be zealous for Him — nothing else will do!

If we are truly going to be zealous for the Lord, we will also need to be
zealous for His Word. This means we will need to be enthusiastic about reading the Bible. It involves setting aside the time to meet with Him in His Word. Certainly that takes effort and energy, but, by definition, we cannot be zealous without spending “great energy.” Being zealous for God’s Word also means declaring it to others and defending it when it is being attacked.

God is also calling us to be
zealous for His works. It is no use being enthusiastic about God’s Word if we are not also eager to obey it. The Lord wants us to walk in His ways. That involves being with Him, knowing and reading His Words, and joining with Him in what He is doing. The Lord isn’t looking for us to be indentured servants who must serve Him. He desires us to be loving children who enjoy helping Daddy in His work. We should be zealous about seeing His kingdom advance on the earth — the lost being saved, the sick and wounded healed, the message of the kingdom being proclaimed. For true friends of God, this will not be a duty, but a passion.

The Lord is calling us afresh to zeal because He wants us to become a spiritual “ground zero” in these days of darkness. The term “ground zero” describes the point on the Earth’s surface closest to a detonation and is often associated with nuclear explosions and other large bombs. Churches who are willing to be zealous for God with great fervor will find His manifest presence burning in their midst. They will be a center of explosive power where the Holy Spirit burns away the darkness of the enemy, brings the old “dry bones” back to life, and to which the lost are drawn by His presence.

Romans 12:11 says,
“Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.” Holy Spirit stir our hearts until zeal for You, Your Word, and Your works characterizes our lives so You can entrust us with your transforming presence.

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