Thursday, March 26, 2015

"Zealous Ignorance"

    It is possible to be enthusiastic and excited about God without knowing Him or walking closely with Him.

    "I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge" (Romans 10:2).

    Relationship with God through the Lord Jesus Christ involves truth as well as spirit.  "God is a spirit, and that they worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth" (John 4:24).  Personal experience united with doctrinal truth comprises the heart and expression of a genuine bond with our Lord.  Enthusiasm and excitement frequently characterize such relationship, although much of the Christian life rather involves a quiet walk of faith, devotion, and attention to the glory and will of God unaccompanied by emotional fervor.  "In quietness and confidence shall be your strength" (Isaiah 30:15).  We must expect such a life as our Heavenly Father leads us by His Word and His Spirit, particularly in a frenzied, noisy generation that equates zeal with reality and fulfillment.  Excitement does not always accompany accurate and adequate response to our Lord and His truth.

    The Apostle Paul testified to being "more exceedingly zealous" of God than all others - at a time when he sought the imprisonment and execution of Christians (Acts 26:9-12; Galatians 1:14).  Knowledge did not accompany Truth at this time of Paul's overt religious enthusiasm.  This should tell us much about the need for an experience of God that intimately associates with His Truth.  Zeal may indicate the Lord's working in our hearts and lives.  But it may not.  Our spiritual enemies are more than capable of exciting us about a "Jesus" who bears little resemblance to the genuine Christ of the Bible.  That holy Text warns us continually to be on guard against false voices, many of whom cry with intense emotional fervor that originates in some spirit that may thrill even as it kills.

"Try (test) the spirits, whether they are of God."
(I John 4:1) 
"They zealously affect you, but not well."
(Galatians 4:17)

Weekly Memory Verse
    Who can understand his errors?  Cleanse thou me from secret faults.
(Psalm 19:12)

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