a Prayerful Appeal for Christian Zeal by Wayne Sullivan

A Prayerful Appeal for Christian Zeal, Part 1

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Editor’s Note:

Welcome to ZealousHomes! I’m Wayne Sullivan! Before we start talking about Christian zeal, I’d like to welcome you to our little home online! This is our first post! So, we would like to start off by asking for your help. If you gain value from our content. We would love for you to consider subscribing to our ZealousHomes Newsletter? We would love to connect and build a online relationship with you.

If reading isn’t your thing, don’t worry. We have you covered with our ZealousHomes Podcast player. Listen along to learn all about why we need Christian zeal. Enjoy!

Something’s Missing

Have you seen it?

Can you attest to it?

You may be a part of it?

What is it?

It is a fake and a fraud. It is something that isn’t the real thing. Tragically, it is something that doesn’t seem to trouble many of us, but it should. It displays our modern carelessness and indifference. What is it?

It is a culture and a Christianity culture that lacks true Christian zeal!

Over the next couple of posts, we are going to diagnose and address the problem. Then, we hope to lay out what we mean by Christian zeal and offer a way forward to a more stunning zeal in your life and home. Are you ready?

Let’s get our zealous on!

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Life Without Zeal

You might be thinking, “Wayne, what is so important about zeal?

Allow me to turn that question around and say, “Is anything meaningful without zeal?

What is life without a zeal for living? Is marriage possible without zeal for your spouse? Can we love someone without a zeal for the one love? What is a career without a passionate zeal for the job you perform? Is religion possible without a zealous pursuit of your beliefs?

Without zeal, there is only drudgery, dullness, lethargy, and suspicion. Having a lack of zeal is simply a “going through the motions to get by” kind of lifestyle. Who wants to live like that? I don’t know about you, but I sure don’t.

When zeal is missing, everything we do becomes a “have to” rather than a “get to.” The lack of zeal produces drudgery rather than joy. It dulls our senses to the world around us, even the parts we should be enjoying. When you take zeal away, apathy and lethargy seep into the very fabric of our lives. Finally, suspicion creeps in upon us in two harsh ways.

First, and most dangerous, we begin to suspect our own motives and doubt our will to live. We begin to carry a weight of guilt that is unbearable. We start to think of ourselves as a fake or a fraud. The worst part is we’d be right. Without zeal we are a mere shell of ourselves.

The second way it creeps in upon us is by causing our lives to become suspicious. What I mean is that the world around us notices our own doubt and guilt. They notice our lack of joy and our dullness of life. For Christians, this is particularly damaging because we are called to be the light in a dark world. Without zeal we are merely candles with wet wicks; being no different than the rest of the world.

Most of us would never want any of this for ourselves or for our loved ones. Yet we find it a trap that is so easy for us to fall into it time and time again. I know that has been true for me at different points in life. I’m sure you could say the same. It is part of being human in a fallen world.

So, over the next few minutes, I’d like to share a bit of my story with you. I want you to know how and when I began to notice the importance of true Christian Zeal. I will also share with you when I noticed it waning in our world and how it has affected me.

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Misplaced Christian Zeal

My first real exposure to Christianity was around the age of ten. I was attending a local church’s Vacation Bible School event when I was scared out of my skin. The preacher was talking about Satan and Hell. He was describing how Satan wanted me to spend an eternity with him in the fires of eternal torment. He was very zealous about how horrible Hell would be.

Next thing I knew, he gave us a formula on how to avoid that hellish torment. He told me some magical words to say to a God I didn’t know. Then, if I said the words just right, repeating after him of course, then I’d be saved from the pits of Hell. Needless to say, I quickly repeated those lines very zealously. A couple of weeks later I was dunked in a pool they called “the Baptismal Pool.” Easy peasy right! Wrong.

Over the next few years, I started having nightmares. These bad dreams had me running from snakes and a fiery devil, but I could never escape them. Despite the preacher assuring me I had fire insurance that would protect me against Hell. I couldn’t seem to escape the feeling that something wasn’t right. Still, I banked my eternal destination on his word, after all he was the preacher. Whenever I doubted that the magical prayer had worked, I would say it again and keep going. The problem: nothing inside me changed. The fear was still there. I still lived for myself. I continued to walk in a life weighed down by sin.

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Wayne Sullivan

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