Feelin’ It, Not Processing It

July 27, 2020

Desire (zeal) without knowledge is not good—how much more will hasty feet miss the way!
Proverbs 19:2 NIV

Have you ever essentially agreed with someone on something, but the way they presented and expressed themselves was so ill-thought out, so impulsive, aggressive, and frankly divisive that you wanted to avoid any connection with them and their idea? I used to attend business meetings where a fine man with many great perspectives was like that far too often. I always felt anxiety rise in me when he took the floor, because I knew his zeal was going to overcome everything else. He knew many facts, but he didn’t know people, timing, and presentation.

Our desires can lead us to have powerful zeal to see them accomplished. The dictionary says that zeal is great energy or enthusiasm in pursuit of a cause or an objective. Taken just as is, it sounds great. But our energy and enthusiasm can cause us to mow people down and do great damage to the dream when we do not appropriately process and handle our zeal.

Jesus is an example of handling His zeal appropriately. He loved the house of the Lord and that it was a house for all nations, and He knew that all people were to have full access and inclusion there. John 2 records Jesus seeing the abuses in the temple court that completely ignored the poor and believing Gentiles and their needs. We often tend to use this story as an excuse to lose our tempers over something, but that’s not what Jesus was doing. He calmly and intentionally went into the temple courts with a clearly thought-out and processed mission in mind. He deliberately took the time to get some ropes. He wound them together and made a whip. Then He strode powerfully to the tables that were blocking access, turned them over, and chased the offenders out of the temple. He told them with great clarity, “Get these things out of here! Quit making my Father’s house a marketplace!”

His disciples then remembered a prophecy about the Messiah in Psalm 69:9: “Zeal/passion for my Father’s house will consume me.”The incident was one of thousands of moments that could have been included in the story of Jesus. Why was this one included? It was an “aha” moment. It taught something clearly and uniquely. Jesus was prepared with processed knowledge and under Spirit control. This clarifying story has illuminated our minds for thousands of years.

Your desires and dreams are wonderful. The purpose and potentiality of your life come from them. But you can’t afford to let your enthusiasm take you early or astray. God wants to use you, but you have to combine your excitement and zeal with knowledge and intentionality. You can’t chase every cause and just love a good fight. Take your feelings seriously and let them marinate and get you ready for an expression where YOU will be taken seriously and move an important cause forward.

  • Pray: Jesus, help me not to mistake my enthusiasm and “truth” as enough. Help me discipline myself to learn, study, grow, and intentionally prepare for my God-moments that are coming. I want clarity, courage, and control. Amen.