A Spiritual Fervent Zeal For God or a Fleshly Frenzied activity?
The seven churches in Revelation 2 & 3 represent the periods of time of the church from the first century to the last. I believe we are living in the last, the Laodicean church age.
This morning I was thinking about the Church of Laodicea in Revelation chapter three and how much we are like that church. It looks to me like they had a zeal but the wrong kind. Zeal can be defined as a strong feeling of interest and enthusiasm that makes someone very eager or determined to do something
Don't be deceived, it's not the quantity of zeal that matters to God, but the quality. Someone might say about another Christian, "He has a lot of zeal for God". That sounds good but it's not how much zeal but what kind. We need to search our hearts and ask the right question. That question is not how zealous am I but why am I zealous and to what does my zeal lead?
To the church at Laodicea Jesus said, "Be zealous, therefore, and repent" (Revelation 3:19). The zeal that leads to penitence, restitution and amendment of life is surely dear to God. The fervor and zeal that drives a man to his knees in intercession for others was found in men like Moses, Daniel and Ezra; but there is a kind of zeal that gives to the world such contorted, twisted and warped religious examples as Joseph Smith, Mary Baker Eddy and Charles Russell who gave birth to modern day cults. Even Islam and the Islamist terrorist have a religious zeal.
I don't think any real Christian can deny that the church and Christians in our day are lukewarm and drowsy, but the answer or cure is not stirring them up to a frenzy of activity. That would only take them out of one error and into another. What we need is a zealous hunger for God, an impassioned thirst after righteousness, a pain-filled longing to be Christ like and holy. We need a zeal that is loving, self-denying humble and lowly. No other kind will do.
No doubt in my mind, the pure love for God and men which expresses itself in a burning desire to advance God's glory and leads to poured-out devotion to the temporal and eternal welfare of our fellow men is certainly approved of God. The opposite is also true. The fleshly zeal and activity of self-centered and ambitious religious leaders is certainly offensive to Him and for the most part that kind of zeal injures many more than it helps.