"Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord." ... Romans 12:11
Even at age 11 and all through my teens (and beyond), I'd sit on church benches and like best the tough, convicting sermons. My eyes would stare at visiting revivalists or pastors while they'd share verses like the one above and ask us:
"Do you live with zeal and a great love for God every day?"
"Are you living a holy life or an average, blending-in one?"
"Who have you shared your faith with lately?"
"Are you filled with joy and peace or fear and worry?"
"Are you making the world better or worse?"
Oh, I loved the hard-hitting, challenging sermons! In the backseat on the way home I'd ponder it all, then write about it later in my journal and long to do and be better. I appreciated any sermon/book/tv show which created within me a desire to s-t-r-e-t-c-h and bravely go where I'd never gone before. With Jesus, He who would help me do anything He asked.
Yeah, I was a weird kid. Oh, not super-consistently, but often. And when Naomi was 17, she and I read parts of my teen journal and we giggled until we cried, for my words sounded like a Billy Graham/Mother Teresa/Joan of Arc wannabe all rolled together. :)
But you know? I wouldn't go back and throw ice cubes on any of that fire in my young soul. In fact, I still like Life best when I get a bit 'Holy Ghost Fiesty', no compromise-y these 40 years later.
Yet other times, boy can I get lazy. All la la la whatever. And that's why I blogged what I did yesterday, about how Rehab Addict's Nicole Curtis inspired me to get off the couch and be more faithful with what God's given me to do.
I thrive on that type of inspiration.
I crave it.
It feeds me and makes me that zealous teenager all over again (this time with wisdom, I hope) who longed to take her little part and make it big and meaningful for God.
And well, I just wanted to explain it all better, how, lately, I'd been feeling some familiar godly conviction to step it up a bit and then yesterday God used Nicole Curtis to remind me that, "Hey Debra! You're not as old and decrepit as you sometimes pretend to be just to get out of doing a few chores and godly tasks. Maybe some added reliance upon God is needed? Hmm?"
And you know? That silly teen zealot on the church pew inside my heart still thrives on the daring, gutsy stuff. May she always prefer intense conviction over being left to herself to travel easy routes and float downstream with the crowd.
Author: Oswald Chambers