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Romans 12:11 (ESV)
11 Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord.
Romans 12:11 (NIV)
11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.
Romans 12:11 (NRSV)
11 Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord.
Paul would not have written "don't get slothful in zeal" if it were not happening to believers in Rome.
He would not have said "keep your spiritual fervor" if it weren't a current struggle.
This discussion resonates with everyone because we all struggle with this call at varying levels.
When we begin to think about this often either:
1. Try harder to be more zealous, which usually leads to more failure.
2. Quit out of discouragement and despair.
3. Flat out ignore it because it is not possible.
So, how is true "spiritual zeal" possible in my own experience?
1. Nothing ever changes without truth and honesty. Confess despondency, lack of motivation, and failure to stay zealous.
2. Understand the verb "fervent"
Zeontes: A primary verb; to be hot (boil, of liquids; or glow, of solids), i.e. (figuratively) be fervid (earnest) -- be fervent.
Water cannot boil on its own just as metal cannot glow alone.
3. Get your water over the fire and your metal in the furnace - so that you boil over and glow with heat.
The good news for you today is that you do not, and really cannot produce true spiritual fervor on your own.
The Holy Spirit is a consuming fire that we need to cause our water to boil.
The spiritual fervor of the Holy Spirit is what should release spiritual fervor into your soul.
The key is getting your pot of soul directly in contact with the fire burner of the Holy Spirit.
You do that through:
Think of these as the "pot" that holds your cool soul over the burner of the Holy Spirit.