O, how zeal for the Lord accomplishes great things! Zeal is the substance of the sons of God to progress in life. After having become a son of God through the righteousness that is by faith zeal for the Lord is what establishes a Christian. By it faith is proclaimed in every walk of his or her life. He who has it serves God delightfully. It is the one element that fulfills all the desire of God in a Christian. It is born of insistent faith. Many have possessed it from the days of Abel. Hence, a man like Abel is still able to speak to the children of God. Zeal for God made him to do the right works; God considered them better than Cain’s. What man is able to please God without zeal for Him?
There are many things Christians ought to consider to enter into eternity. They are kept in the zeal for the Lord. Zeal for the Lord helps them to realize everything God desires from them. Generally, all people possess zeal. With it they accomplish many things in life. Whatever path they choose to live they try to accomplish it with a zeal that powers them. Every work a man does for his welfare is by zeal. So, it is not uncommon for men, especially for the sons of God to understand the quintessence of zeal. And, the zeal they must possess for God is quite different to that of common men. It is instilled in them by God. Its dimensions are of God. Therefore, Christ also, who is our forerunner, was able to accomplish all things for God. At one instance, His zeal for God’s house consumed Him in such a way that He destroyed the works of men being done in it with the zeal of the flesh. Zeal for the Lord has everything to do with you and with what God has given you to do for His house. It is because of this very reason it differs from the zeal that is common in men. It determines your love for God.
Men of God in the former days and Disciples of Christ in the latter days knew what it meant to possess zeal for the Lord. Men like Moses, Joshua, Paul and Peter constantly urged the sons of God against destroying His temple. They could not stand even the mere sign of sin and falseness. Their zeal for the Lord consumed them. Subsequently, they passed it on to those who heard their word about God. And, all who obtained it proved zealous for God. Faith emancipated them in such a way that God began fulfilling their zeal for Him with His power. They did righteous works. They resolved to work for the name of God. “He said, ‘Come with me and see my zeal for the LORD.’ So he made him ride in his chariot” (2 Kings 10:16).
To perform works for the Lord is not a simple matter. No matter the nature of the work it definitely requires the certain zeal that is born of God. Or else, it cannot bring glory to Him; men will fail in glorifying Him. Throughout the Bible we find men with zeal for the Lord and men that failed in glorifying Him. Their achievements are proof for the kind of zeal they possessed. Even the Jews, as Paul said, had zeal, but it was not according to knowledge. The plain reason for their failure to glorify God is lack of belief in the God who is with them, i.e. Christ; they regarded the traditions of the elders and the findings of the false teachers. Paul was so consumed for the Lord that he said he could wish to be accursed and be separated from Him for their sake. What prompts men to make such surging remarks? It is zeal for the Lord. It brings out from them the will of God for the sake of righteousness, even as it did in the case of Jehu.
Jehu showed his zeal for the Lord. He rode in his chariot to destroy all the priests, prophets and worshippers of Baal. He gathered them all into the house of Baal and set it on fire. He did not leave out a single one. He also made sure there was not present a single servant of the Lord among them lest he would fail in glorifying God. He purged sin in Israel by the will of God. Zeal for the Lord does many things. “The unfolding of Your words gives light; It gives understanding to the simple” (Ps. 119:130). How does one accomplish works for the Lord? How does one possess a zeal that leads him to His works? It is by the revelation of His words. They give light that he or she does the works He purposed for them. Because of His words that Jehu, Jesus and Paul were consumed to perform works for Him. He put His zeal in them. They turned themselves before Him into the simple and received the light necessary to accomplish His zeal.
God’s words are the only source that prepares the way for us to fulfill His desire. His desire is the sanctification of men. Many are the ways of God to accomplish it. He who listens to Him will receive of them. To each one God gives a way that they are consumed by it. Therefore, Paul also elsewhere in the Spirit said that there are many ministries and the same Lord. To possess a way from the Lord gives us the zeal to work for Him. It separates us from the zeal that is of the flesh. This is the work of the Lord toward the sanctified: He unfolds His will to them and they become zealous for Him.
For this reason, the sanctified that do works for Him clearly stand apart from the men that do works for Him. The former perform works that are holy to the Lord. The latter in uncleanness do works for the Lord. And, many are the Christians, churches and institutions that work apart from sanctification. The light they have is of the darkness. They have many resources with them, but not the zeal with right dimensions. Such zeal comes from God’s words, and they do not know them. Therefore, the works they do for God are not for purging sin in men, but to fulfill their zeal that is according to the flesh. They fail to prevail in fulfilling God’s desire. His desire, the sanctification of men, is aptly filled with His thoughts. They are not for uncleanness. They arouse zeal in Him. They are in His words and the one who finds them finds zeal. By him God makes known that resources do not make men born of Him, but the one who is born of Him is given the provisions to accomplish His zeal. “Thus says the LORD, ‘Preserve justice and do righteousness, for My salvation is about to come and My righteousness to be revealed’” (Isa. 56:1).
His provisions are justice and righteousness. They help to accomplish His zeal in us. His zeal is for the salvation of men and the effecting of His righteousness among them. The duty of the men that are zealous for God is to uphold His provisions. Then, through them He brings forth His wisdom needed to save men. Through them He reveals His righteousness to those who knew no righteousness. Or else, to keep righteousness in order to reveal God’s righteousness is meaningless. By what He manifests through His zealous servants He reveals the nature of men who without sanctification do works for Him. In doing so He reveals the sin nature of the world. Each time a man turns to the Lord and becomes zealous for Him, God makes the most of him by revealing His salvation and righteousness through Him. He becomes the light of the world. The light that comes through God’s words shines through Him. He is able to perform works for the sake of purging sin in men.
To accomplish all His zeal in the sanctified the Lord acts in a remarkable way. “Until the day when He was taken up to heaven, after He had by the Holy Spirit given orders to the apostles whom He had chosen” (Acts 1:2). He unfolds His words to them. They are His orders. He does it by the Holy Spirit. Christ unfolded His words to the chosen, the apostles, face to face by the Spirit. Now, while in the Spirit He still unfolds them to the chosen, the sanctified, from the word and by the Holy Spirit. For this reason, Jesus beforehand spoke of the Holy Spirit that guides men into all the truth. Because He guides the sanctified by the Spirit, they are able to receive His words pertaining to His desire. The zeal He produced in them is fueled by the words He gives them by the Spirit. And, Paul also having this in mind said “that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him” (Eph. 1:17).
Have Christians, preachers and teachers of the present days grasped how the sanctified possess zeal to please the Lord? Why does the church need a spirit (breath) of wisdom and of revelation from the Lord after having the word? It is because they are hidden in the word. He who has zeal for the Lord will see them unfolding in his life for the glory of God. If it is not so, is not asking God for wisdom useless? Nevertheless, it is how the Christians of those days prevailed, i.e. by obtaining a breath (wind) of wisdom and of revelation from the Spirit filled writings of the apostles. Therefore, Paul also prayed that they indeed receive them from God, who led him in the Spirit. Many having entangled themselves in the zeal of the flesh abhorred the manner of the Lord accomplishing His zeal in the sanctified. For this reason, the works they do for Him are of uncleanness.
But if we are sanctified, we are with His zeal, since “in the exercise of His will He brought us forth by the word of truth, so that we would be a kind of first fruits among His creatures” (Jam. 1:18). Understand the two significant elements for our sanctification – the exercise of His will and the word of truth. If He has brought us forth with these, will they also not remain with us till death? And if this is so, is it not true that God exercises His will toward us by the word of truth? If He does not exercise His will in the sanctified, they cannot possess zeal for Him. They will not be the kind of first fruits He wanted them to be nor will they seek a spirit of wisdom and of revelation. They will be like those that abhorred the manner in which the Lord accomplishes His zeal in the sanctified. “These are the ones who cause divisions, worldly-minded, devoid of the Spirit” (Jude 1:19).