Lana has lost her zeal. She’s not sure where it went, but it’s gone. Because of all the bad stuff that has happened lately she confided to a friend that what used to be a flame in her heart for Jesus and for life in general has become barely a flicker. It’s all she can do to just get through each day, plodding along, doing what she’s supposed to, but with no passion or enthusiasm. She feels badly about it, but doesn’t know what to do. It feels permanent.
But is it?
Truth is, Lana could get it back. And so could you. If your zeal has left you, it isn’t necessarily gone forever. It just needs some healthy stimulation. Like a fatigued muscle, it needs massaging to get the circulation going again.
But how does that happen? For starters, you could always play the song or watch that movie that rubs you the right way. For me, it’s a little embarrassing, but the original Rocky from way back in 1976 still fires me up.
But what else can help recover lost zeal? A couple things come to mind. We’ll mention one here and save the second for the next post.
First, look between the covers of the Bible. There you will find just what you need to stimulate your faith and help restore your lost zeal. In Scripture, God has resourced us with uplifiting principles and promises, not to mention the examples of people who lived in the same broken world in which we live, but were zealous for God. They faced all sorts of pressures and obstacles like we do but never allowed those things to completely extinguish their fire.
Take this guy, Phinehas, for example. His story is told in the Old Testament. Admittedly, his main scene is bizzare, intense, and should be understood in context. In short, it was because of Phinehas’ aggressive (and violent) actions that people’s sins were covered and a plague ended.
In a time when most folks had turned away from God, Phinehas remained true blue. His heart was full of passion for God and that passion translated into well-timed action. (Note: Thankfully, because Jesus made final atonement for our sins on the cross, such drastic measures are no longer necessary.)
Yes, if there is one word to describe Phinehas, it would be zeal.
“…in his [Phinehas’] zeal for me, his God, he purified the people of Israel, making them right with me.”Numbers 25:13
It is amazing how the verve of one person can impact so many. The positive effect of Phinehas’ zeal for the Lord would be enjoyed for generations to come.
Biblical stories like that of Phinehas have a way of renewing your spirit when it is sluggish, like when you’re watching Rocky and hear those first few notes of Gonna Fly Now. Life knocks all of us down sometimes, but God’s Word inspires us to get up and go for it again.
What to do when zeal is lacking? For one, keep opening your Bible. There’s good stuff in there.
It’s a new day with God. Run with it.