Passion: Any emotion, as hate, love or fear. Intense emotional excitement. The object of any strong desire. Strong and barely controllable emotion.
In moments of desiring to be close to God I craved the rising sound of strong emotions I have seen or heard in others. I wanted passion for God. Wanted to be like it. Desired it. Felt myself inadequate beside it. Found myself not quite matching up. Strived in the midst of defeat after feelings of great excitement.
I have been drawn to the siren’s song of emotion, of experiencing emotion, and thought myself in need of it.
Until one day I failed to obtain it, despite every effort to pray and meditate and pursue…and one day, for one season, my excitement was gone. And I wrestled. Oh, how my soul wrestled! I wrestled with doubt, with insecurity, with wondering. Did I really love God? Did I really love his Word? Have I done something wrong? Have I not prayed enough? Read enough? Served enough? And on. And on.
And it was during this time when I realized, that this failure to experience the passionate emotion for serving and loving and giving and following God, was not what this life was about. And THAT, is when my soul learned this word:
Zeal: Strong interest or devotion. Intense enthusiasm; fervor. A strong feeling or enthusiasm that makes someone very eager or very determined to do something.
Ah, zeal! To be consumed with zeal for the Lord and his truth! The Psalmists speak of zeal for God’s house and God’s truth, amidst those who reject his Word (Ps 119:139, Ps 69:9). The Psalmists stand up for truth, they are determined to hold fast to truth, and they are zealous to obey God’s Word despite any season and any circumstance and any surrounding.
Oh, to be resolute! To be determined! To be devoted to boldly obeying God’s Word no matter the cost. To obey and trust him, even when feelings and emotions are absent. To believe that his commands are worthy to be followed, worthy to be believed, and worthy to be stood upon! To be earnest, to be diligent, and to be persevering!
Now this, I thought, this is what I want to be! This is something I can hold to! Let passion and emotion come as it may, flying over my head and missing me completely, or sweetly landing on my cheeks through my tears with smiles. I want to be one who is devoted to the Word, resolved to obey it, earnest about submitting to it, and steadfastly persevering to pursue it. I want zeal for the Lord to consume me. I want to be utterly determined to stand for the truth that Christ himself zealously, obediently, determinedly, resolutely, bore the intensity of emotion that passions can stir in the human heart, as he hung on the cross enduring shame, suffering, and wrath. My Christ suffered passionately for me, in order that I might live zealously for him.
For us, there is wisdom in understanding emotions and passions are reality but not always Truth. And there is freedom in believing that Truth is a reality that can be clung to with great determination, through all circumstances, in every life stage, despite emotions, no matter what.
I am looking for those who are determined, resolute, and earnest about obeying Christ. Those who are willing to persevere during dry seasons, during hard seasons, during sad seasons, during glad seasons, during happy and joyful and abundant seasons. I want to walk zealously with you. Will you walk zealously with me?