Summary: To be zealous for God is to be on fire for God. It is to keep the fire burning.
“Are we zealous for the Lord?” Or better yet, let’s extend that question to three by using the three biblical meanings of the word “zeal”.
a. Are we excited about the things of the Lord?
b. Are we doing our best in the things of the Lord? c. Are we excited and doing our best for the Lord, right now, today, without allowing the sin of procrastination to quench our zeal?
These are important questions because our zeal reveals our love. As we are zealous for the Lord so is our love for the Lord.
What The Word Zealous Mean
Zealous is derived from the Greek word "zelos", meaning to have an “ardor or fervor of spirit.”
It is defined as “having great energy or enthusiasm in pursuit of a cause or an objective.”
Synonyms: enthusiastic, passionate, earnest, burning, keen, devoted, militant, ardent, fervent, fanatic etc.
Christians should be passionate about serving the Lord, and that fervor should be evident in their attitudes and actions. As Paul wrote to the Colossians, “whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.” (Colossians 3:23)
In the Christian life, we are called to exhibit zeal for the Lord.
Who Is A Zealous Christian?
According to the Collins Dictionary, Someone who is zealous spends a lot of time or energy in supporting something that they believe in very strongly, especially a political or religious ideal.
A zealous person is someone who has a passion for what he or she is doing and shows it when they do do it. They become quite excited.
A believer who is on fire for the Lord is hungry for His presence, passionate about His word, and eager to learn and grow.
They aren’t ashamed of their faith and are excited to share God’s love with others.
The Bible has a word for this kind of passion and commitment.
It’s called “zeal.”
There is an energy and an enthusiasm about one’s faith. The believer is eager to “embrace, pursue, or defend” Christ in everything they do.
But what does zeal actually look like? And what does Scripture have to say about being zealous for God?
Jesus reminded us that, “for whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul?” (Matthew 16)
One who is zealous for God recognizes the personal cost of following Jesus but fully commits to following Him anyway. They are committed to God’s way of doing things, not their own, and are eager to embrace all that Christ wants to do in their life, even when that means surrender or sacrifice (1 Kings 19:10).
When Christ calls believers to follow Him, He isn’t looking for half-hearted or partially committed followers. He seeks to raise up disciples who will fully commit and fully surrender their lives to Him. That means letting go of their way of doing things and allowing God to transform their hearts and minds from the inside out (2 Corinthians 5:17).
How to Be Zealous for God
To be zealous for God is to be on fire for God. It is to keep the fire burning. The following three keys pinpoints how we can be zealous for the Lord.
1. Be Passionate About the Word of God
As David wrote in the Psalms, “With all my heart I have sought You; do not let me wander from Your commandments. Your word I have treasured in my heart, that I may not sin against You” (Psalms 119:11-12).
Thus a zealous Christian will obsess over the word of God. They will study it, consume it, digest it, memorize it, and most importantly, put it into practice. The word of God won’t just be a part of their life, it will consume and transform it.
2. Be Bold in Proclaiming God’s Name
Christ is also looking for committed followers who aren’t afraid to make Him Lord of their lives and aren’t ashamed to proclaim His name to the world. As Jesus said in Mark’s gospel, “for whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.” (Mark 8:35)
Zealous Christians aren’t afraid to stand for Christ and stand by the truth found in His word, speaking that truth in love (Ephesians 4:15). They seek only the favor and approval of God by being obedient to His word, and they don’t live to please others (Romans 8:31). God’s opinion is the only opinion that matters.