Friday, October 7, 2011

Confessions of a Zealot


It is no secret...I am a very passionate person.  Sometimes my zeal can get the best of me and I say things without thinking.  Sometimes I even talk too much...unbelievable, I know!  (okay, so maybe it is a little more believable than I secretly think)  It's just that I want everyone to know how much I love my Lord!  I don't want the neighbor to find out in a few months, that I am utterly consumed with my Savior's work in my life....I want them to know that after just one conversation with me!  

But sometimes, I struggle.  I reach out and grasp at thin air, attempting to find the right words.  This even trickles into my blogging from time to time.  I have so many drafts in my blogger's list of posts.  I get a rush of ideas, but I can't bring myself to finish them.  The idea starts out strong and concrete, but I just cannot find the rest of the words.  Lately, my heart has been heavy with trying to contemplate why I cannot seem to conquer the unending list of sin that rears its ugly head; and it affects my blogging abilities.  I just wish I could understand why the fight is so hard!  

I have a lot of faults in my life.  I struggle with so many things.  I have pride I need to conquer....my life long desire is that I will be an enormously humble person!  I sometimes jump to conclusions hastily.  I like things done in an abnormally quick amount of time....I prefer to call it a "timely fashion", but I have been told that I go beyond that simple phrase with my desire to see instant results.  These are just a few of the innumerable flaws that my character possesses.  

But one of my biggest faults, is that I always feel like I am not doing enough! 

Believe me, I know that as a fallen human being, I will never do enough; but that is not really what I am referring to here.  I mean, I actually become discontent with the opportunities that God has placed before me. Opportunities to serve and be a light.  I always want to do something more!!  I want to do something that is so consumed with Christ, that I don't have time to waste on eating!  I want to pray more, I want to study more, I want to be more committed to fasting.  I have all these thing that I want to be overwhelmed with doing.  None of these things are bad, but it is not good when I dwell on them so much that I become sullen and discontent.

I am not unhappy because I am unmarried, or do not have children.  I am not unhappy because I do not possess all the historical and philosophical knowledge that I desire to.  I am not unhappy because I am not an enormously accomplished person; but rather, I feel dissatisfied, because I want my life to be one constant outpouring of the mercy and grace of Jesus Christ, and I feel as though I am failing...

I take that back--I am failing. 

I get so caught up in radicalism, that I sometimes loose sight of why I am radical.  I want to be different; but I cannot forget the reason behind being different.  I cannot idolize passion and zeal!  I need to keep my eyes on Christ, and avoid being passionate about passion; but rather, be passionate about Him.  

I struggle every single day, with finding the balance between being BOLD, and proclaiming the truth with gentleness and humility.  They are both vital, but you cannot go so far on the one side, that you leave off the other.  They need to work together.  

If I get so consumed with the things I am not doing, then I will miss out on the small, yet precious avenues that the Lord has blessed me with.  Instead of resting in the sweet fragrance of my Redemption, I get angry because I do not see enough productivity in my life, judged by my standards!  I want more than anything, to be able to say that I was purchased through the blood of Jesus, and I don't need anything else.  I don't need a sense of accomplishment, I don't need any other fulfillment outside of that wonderful truth, I don't need wealth, and I certainly don't need acknowledgment nor attention.   

But when my heart bursts with gratitude for the gift I have been given, yet don't deserve, I want to spend every single breath I take, for the rest of my life, advancing the Kingdom of Christ, and pouring out the last ounce of my soul for the glory of the Lord!  However, I must remember that this is the reason behind all that I do.  This is the driving force behind my zeal!  Zeal and passion is not the foundation--Christ is.  

The problem with my (sometimes) overwhelming zeal, is that, rather than channeling it, I allow it to make me discontent--and that is wrong.  I need to harvest its potential, and not let the enemy use it to dishearten me from doing the Lord's work.  Satan would love to take something that God has given me and use it for my destruction and demise.  I must be on my knees every day pleading with the Lord to bestow mercy on my soul and help me not to stumble over what He has so generously given me!  

When people look back on my life, I don't want them to say, "oh gee, look at that girl.  She didn't smoke, she didn't chew and she certainly didn't go with people that do."  But rather, I want them to say, "look at that sinner whom the Lord rescued from the pit of destruction and used mightily for His glory!"  I want to be able to look back myself and see the sanctification milestones throughout my life!  I want to be able to look back and easily identify those moments in my life where I learned something new, or my eyes were opened to a new conviction and felt as if I was born again!  
"Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." 2 Corinthians 5:17
That is what matters....seeing where I was, and where Christ is taking me to.  Being made new everyday, changing, growing, learning to love more and more every moment of my life, feeling my, once heart of stone become softer and softer.  
"Rejoice evermore.  Pray without ceasing.  In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.  Quench not the Spirit.  Despise not prophesyings.  Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.  Abstain from all appearance of evil.  And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Faithful is He that calleth you, who also will do it."  1 Thessalonians 5:16-24
 "For thou, Lord, hast made me glad through thy work: I will triumph in the works of thy hands."  Psalm 92:4

Now that is a reason to be radical.