Our values are really important to us. It’s what makes Jubilee the church that it is. Today Becky Floy looks at one of those values: Passion.
Passion: zeal and spiritual fervour
I’ve been reflecting lately on Romans 12:11 which tells us to, “never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervour serving the Lord.” This reminds me of one of our cultural value words: Passion.
A quick Google dictionary search reveals that zeal means to have ‘great energy or enthusiasm in pursuit of a cause or an objective’.
Great energy and enthusiasm. Some days this describes my inner world. Many days it doesn’t! In all honesty, I used to feel vaguely guilty when I read this verse, because I believed the lie that zeal was dependent on me; that I needed to somehow conjure it up; that it was about more activity, more work.
But there’s a problem with this way of thinking. Left unchecked, it causes me to measure my value by how productive I’m being. And then my value is based on doing ‘stuff’. Which quickly zaps any energy or enthusiasm!
Pursuit of Jesus
When Paul talks about about zeal and spiritual fervour in Romans 12, I don’t think he’s referring to being overly energetic or working harder, but rather about a single-minded pursuit of Jesus. Getting back to that which is most important. Not allowing other voices to drown out the voice of my Father or steal away my focus on Him.
The only way I can sustain my spiritual fervour is if it is glad and restful, flowing from this place of fixing my eyes on Jesus and listening again to hear the Father’s voice. When I feel weary and worry-worn, and anything but energetic and enthusiastic, I know I need to STOP.
Stop what I’m doing.
Put down the harsh yoke of busyness and the heavy burden of working harder and listen.
Listen until my heart begins to hear again the Father’s affirmation over me.
I am always loved.
I am always accepted.
I am always cared for.
I am fearfully and wonderfully made in God’s image.
I belong to His kingdom.
And this is how the zeal flows. Because of what my Father says about me, I am free to bring fun, joy, peace, comfort, freedom, life and the presence of the King wherever I go. With great energy and enthusiasm.
Thank you Becky.