Psalm 126:5-6 “They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.”
Zealous. Fanatical. Extremist.
We tend to make those who exhibit passion as extreme or emotional. For someone to show emotion is labeled as weak and not in control. Yet, if it is God who created us and gave us emotions, then there is a way to express them appropriately.
Paul dealt with the church in Galatia as they were affected by those in opposition to the gospel. There were four types of people exposed as enemies.
Galatians 1:6-7 “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.“
Galatians 3:1 “O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?”
Galatians 5:1 “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.”
Galatians 5:7 “Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?”
In the midst of his dealings, Paul admonished them:
Galatians 4:18 “But it is good to be zealously affected always in a good thing, and not only when I am present with you.”
Be zealously affected always – but in a good thing. So much of our passion is wasted on the things of this world. Work, sports, possessions, or whatever it is that captures our attention away from God.
Some will use this verse to justify their activity in worldly behavior:
Philippians 4:5 “Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.”
Moderation, or to be moderate, is to limit, restrain, or hold back one’s passion for a thing or activity, thinking if I am moderate, it is okay. There is no place for moderate sin. But I digress.
The Lord challenged me today with a question:
“When was the last time you wept over the lost condition of someone’s soul?”
If you are like me, it may have been awhile. The care and concern for giving the gospel should consume us. It is the only thing we are left here on earth to do. Any other thing we do here can be done more perfectly in Heaven.
The only thing I cannot do in Heaven and am commanded to do on earth is win souls.
God tells us that there will be perverters, bewitchers, entanglers, and hinderers that will keep us from giving the gospel to everyone we meet. They will pull us into worldly activity, not realizing the bondage that follows. These evil agents drain us of the energy and ability to be ‘zealously affected always in a good thing.’
So, wherever you find yourself today, we all could use a dose of passion for being zealous for the things that please God. More than that, we cannot allow the evil agents of our enemy to drain us of what God says accompanies fruitfulness.
May our tears be what waters the soil of the hearts of those we love to soften the ground for the good seed to be planted.