For the sake of the many challenges of life Christians are going through, they’ve lost their zeal. Some Christians are going through a rough Christian life that resembles manual labour. To carry the Bible is now burdensome, it is now so heavy. Their desire and passion to serve God is gone. They are discouraged.
Discouragement is one of the worst demons anyone can have to deal with. Once you lose your courage, you lose your zeal.
Allow God to revive your zeal. One more time, allow God to rekindle your fire, to touch you afresh, to revive your spirit. He wants to do so, just let Him.
Perhaps, soon after you got born again, you used to wake up midnight to pray and intercede for your family members who weren’t born again. Then you would carry your Bible and go for “morning cry”. By evening time you’ve won so many souls for the kingdom. When you board a bus you cannot keep quiet, you begin to share the Good News with other passengers. In the classroom you go and stand in the front of the classroom and begin to preach; but what is happening today? Have you completely lost your zeal to do these things?
Many Christians today appear to be managing God. For most people, all they do is to tell God, “Help me!” Christians have been put on the defensive by the enemy. I’ve come to notice that anytime you are on the defensive, you tend to be going backwards, but you are not meant to be going backwards. Have you lost your zeal for righteousness, or for holiness? May the LORD will restore your zeal in Jesus Name!
The Bible says, “Hate what is evil, cling to what is good.” Romans 12:9. Do not lose you zeal to do good. You used to lose your peace when you missed church service or midweek Bible studies, but now you no longer feel any sense of guilt or irresponsibility. It is a sign of your diminishing zeal. Ask God to restore your zeal and it will be restored to you in Jesus Name!
The Bible tells us about a man named Phinehas. It came a time when the Israelites were sinning against God and sleeping with Moabite women and God was threatening to wipe out the entire Israel as a result of their sinfulness. While Moses and the elders of Israel were crying and pleading with God to have mercy, an Israelite man went and brought a Moabite woman, took her into his tent and was having sex with her. The Bible says that Phinehas took his javelin, went to the tent where that man and the Moabite woman were having sex and pinned both of them to the ground. They both died. The Bible says that God repented of what He has wanted to do because He saw the zeal of Phinehas.
The Devil knows that when you’re not zealous about God, you cannot access any blessing from God. Make effort to see your zeal restored. I encourage you today, restore you zeal. Life abhors vacuum. The moment you lose your zeal for righteousness, the Devil will give you a zeal for sin. You are either effectively serving God or effectively serving the Devil’s agenda.
Many people have lost their zeal for God and it is no wonder Jesus said, “In the last days, the love of may will wax cold.” Matthew 24:12. Do you still love Jesus?
Matthew 26:58 says that “Peter followed Jesus from afar.” Do you still love Jesus to be close to him or are you following him from a distance? When Peter stopped following Jesus, he started following the Devil, which was why he started lying. Peter was with other people keeping himself warm, he was in the wrong company. I want to encourage you to allow God to restore your zeal.
At the end of all time, there are a lot of things that will not be so important any more. God will not be interested in the amount of material acquisition you were able to amass: He will be interested in the amount of impact you made in soul-winning. He’ll be interested in how many souls you helped win into His kingdom. I am not saying you should not live a comfortable life. All I am saying is that things of comfort do not carry any weight in the light of eternity. All what really matters are the things you do with eternity in view.
Some years ago I was invited by the wife of the former Governor of Ebonyi State, Mrs. Eunice Ukamaka Egwu, to preach the Good News somewhere. We went to the place and after the ministration, we got talking. I remember saying to her that “of all you’ve done and are doing: taking care of widows, joining your husband to award scholarships to people to study in Nigeria and abroad (I know a some people who were benefactors to study in the UK and other places), paying WAEC fees for Ebonyi State students, offering free ante-natal care to would-be mothers and so on; of all these things and more, the one things so far that will stand the test of time and eternity is this particular regular act of organizing outreaches and crusades to secondary schools and inviting men of God to preach and then these students get to hear the Good News and repent and give their lives to Christ. A new administration may rubbish your efforts of charity but nobody can rubbish your efforts of soul-winning because for every soul you win, heaven takes down the record in your account.”
Many years later, she and I got talking again and she complained that Ebonyi State University used to have 100% accreditation; every department was accredited. Today my own department is not even accredited and we didn’t admit students. Many things that were put in place are no longer the way it was and she was bitterly complaining. But I told her that in that same morning, as I was coming out of the lecture hall, a student ran to me and said “Sir, do you still remember me?” I didn’t remember him. He said, “You came to our school some time ago to preach the gospel.” The place is almost 40km away from Abakaliki. He said they have only one secondary school in their community and only one graduate. At that secondary school, many people gave their life to Christ. This young man was telling me that he was among the people who answered the altar call because of the message that I preached to them to give their life to Christ. Now imagine a school of 400 students and 399 said they were traditional pagan worshippers and only one person identified that he was a Catholic only because he once went for holiday break and started attending Catholic Church with the family he visited. “I’m now a born again Christian!” that student told me gratefully. “People approach me to join campus cult but I refuse because I’ve given my life to Christ and I attend campus fellowship”. I reminded Mrs. Egwu how that single boy who gave his life to Christ has been credited to her in heaven despite her other good deeds like free ante-natal care being rubbished by men on earth.
I need you to know that you do not have enough time to do it better tomorrow. You need to exhaust your potential for the Master. You need to give God all you are carrying: all He deposited inside of you. You need to serve God while you are still alive and kicking, when you energy is still there and you can go wherever is required of you to go and do whatever is required of you to do. You need to give your best to God. Stop lacking in zeal.
Some Christians have become so cold that they act like a wheel barrow. I call them “Wheel Barrow Christians”. They always have to be pushed before they can move. Anytime they are not pushed, they will remain where you left them for as long as it takes to push them again. Some Christians used to belong in their local church choir but now all they do is sit among the congregation. Some used to usher people into church service but are now no more active. Most Christians are growing comfortable with Sunday-Sunday Membership. What a shame! God is saying that it is not what He planned for you. You should never be lacking in zeal. Serve the LORD with your life. The best person you can serve is Jesus because His payment is not just for time, but for eternity.
I don’t want to get to the age of say 70 or 90 and then look back at my life and have God tell me like He told Joshua in the book of Joshua 13:1 that “Now you are old and advanced in age and there remaineth many lands for you to possess.” There is much you can still do for God in this generation, and God is still counting on you. God will not come down to the earth to preach the gospel, He is relying on you. People are dying and they are going to hell. Walk down the street and you’ll see a lot of obituaries and transitions; how can you are relaxing and feeling less concerned. You are not wondering where will be the eternal destination of that neighbour of yours that suddenly died. Something has to be done about that and you are the one God is waiting for. He is willing to strengthen and equip you for every good work but you have to be willing to do the work He wants you do. God is looking for ready and willing hearts with fire in their bosoms, not cold and lackadaisical Christians without zeal. Can you find your zeal once again for the things of God?
In Europe, you don’t go for evangelism like we do here. If you stop somebody to preach to them, they will threathen you with the police and you could spend up to 6 months in prison, but their prison is better than our own. I sat next to somebody on a flight to Europe and was wondering how to preach to the person. I said, “Can I tell you the story of my life?” and the person responded, “Okay”.
“When I was growing up” I said, “friends introduced me to smoking, drinking, womanizing etc. but I met another man who delivered me…” she replied “You are preaching to me.”, and I said, “Yes, I’m preaching to you, and your country said we shouldn’t preach to you people.”
I was in one university there and the only people I saw were Jehovah’s Witnesses sharing tracts which were even often disposed right in their presence, but here we have the opportunity to talk to people about Jesus and help save them from the bondage of sin, but we are not utilizing the God-given opportunity enough.
Over there you cannot put loud speakers outside. I was hosted by two churches and the total number in attendance was 19! I even had to call my friends in that country to come and join us in the service. In Nigeria we have the freedom to preach anywhere, even in the bus, and yet many of us are keeping quiet because there is no zeal for evangelism. In your office or your family, everybody there is an unbeliever but you think it is none of your business. Dr. Uma Ukpai said that heaven is close to hell because the rich man in hell fire was able to communicate with Lazarus who was in Abraham’s bosom in heaven due to the closeness. Now imagine that you are in heaven and your family is in hell and you can see them.
When you don’t preach the Good News of Jesus Christ, it is a sign that you don’t want people to know that you are a born again Christian, and many are like that. It is probable that you are not even born again in the first place. That is the only reason you may feel that way. We have to go back to those days when holiness was the order of the day. It is impure garment of unholiness that makes a child of God not want to identify with the things of God in order that their secret works of darkness will not be exposed. People who do the works of darkness are scared of identifying with the Light.
You probably know that where you are spiritually is not where you ought to be. Instead of you laying hands on the sick that they may be healed, you are still needing that hands be laid on you to be healed. May the Lord restore your anointing and your zeal in Jesus Name!
Be Joyful in Hope
Romans 12:12 says, “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer”. Three things: Hope, Patience and Prayer. Some Christians have lost their joy and that is what the Devil wants. He wants to capitalize on one thing you don’t have and take away all your joy. You are healthy, you’re intelligent, you’ve passed all your O’Level papers but because you’ve been unable to gain admission into the university so far, the Devil will make sure you have no joy and then you go and agree with him and begin to live a joyless life: a mere walking corpse.
I read something online some time ago about an only child of a family whose father died 10 years earlier. They did the memorial service of his father recently and within that period he called his friends and said to them, “Tell Blessing that she can now enjoy life without me.” He took a rope and hung himself out of heart break. He had everything he wanted, his mother was a nurse in University of Calabar hospital (UNICAL). But the Devil convinced him that he had nothing else to live for if he loses Blessing. We see this happen every day. You see a beautiful young woman, well-educated and a graduate with very decent character but she is yet to get married and the Devil will capitalize on that to make her lose her joy and blind her to all other things that are going well for her.
Many people have lost their joy. You probably have lost your joy but I want to let you know that God wants you to recover your lost joy and He is willing to help you do so. Do not allow the Devil to make you to become lacking in joy because your joy is connected to your strength. The book of Nehemiah 8:10 says “…for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”
Nothing is worth killing yourself for. If God won’t let you have something, it’s probably best that you don’t have it because it could be bad for you. Learn to let that thing go. You don’t need to commit suicide. If God should let us have everything that we ask for in prayer, we would die before our time. God does not think thoughts to do you bad but “thoughts of good and not of evil to give you a hope and an expected end” Jeremiah 29:11.
Be Patient in Affliction
Most people are living in depression just over one small thing. A true child of God lives a life of joy. The Word of God says, “Be patient in afflictions” implies that you will surely be afflicted but when the affliction comes, be patient for it must surely pass away for it is written, “Many are the afflictions of the righteous but the Lord delivers him out of them all.” (Psalm 34:19 NKJV). The reason people get hurt even more in their affliction is because they are not patient but rather do everything in their power whether godly or ungodly to get what they are looking for but let me remind you that anything done outside of faith is sin.
Every impatient person will always land in trouble. When Abraham lost patience, he ended up carrying Ishmael.
Be Faithful in Prayer
The last word says, “Be faithful in prayer.” This is God’s call to us to go back to prayer. The reason you live in sin but cannot stand for Jesus is because of sin. The reason you would be attacked by the agents of Satan is because you do not pray. Microwave prayers do not show a seriousness with God. A Christian who only prays when he is tying his shoe laces or when she is brushing her hair has already been defeated by the devil. Such a one already a suya in the hands of the devil and at his mercy to be eaten up. You see, the devil first attacks your prayer life because he can successfully attack you.
Many Christians also do not pray except when they are in a mess. Then they declare a Fire Brigade fasting and prayer. Once that problem is solved, they disconnect from God until the next problem brings them to Him. That is a paediatric ward of Christianity. God expects more from you. Be faithful in prayer. Once you are, the devil can have no access to you.
I was sharing in Kingdom Citizens church recently during their Leadership Training that one of my sons who attending Dunamis Pastoring School said that if you are a Pastor under Daddy Paul Enenche, you must read at least 30 chapters of the bible every day, and pray in tongues for 2 hours. I bet you that by the time you are done, it should be around 10 am and you cannot walk out of that place and sin would dare to label you as a candidate. If you are not praying, you are playing. When you pray you move mountains, but when you do not pray, you are crushed by the mountains. It is very important that you are faithful in prayer because it is prayer that will keep you going when everything else may crumble.
Some people wake up in the morning from bed and the first thing they do is to turn on the television. It pains me that one can sit down and watch Brazil vs. Netherlands for a total of 90 mins plus the half time break, but are unable to spend half an hour with God. What a selfish generation.
When I was studying for my Masters Degree at University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), one day I entered IMT on my way to UNN and a beautiful girl came, she was a beggar, but beautiful. She was beckoning on me to give her something, and even reached out to touch me. I was not comfortable and so I gave her some money so that she would leave me alone. She did and as she was leaving, the Holy Spirit asked me, “If I asked you to marry that girl, would you marry her?” “God forbid bad thing”, was my response, “The Bible says ‘some made themselves eunuchs’. If it comes to that, I’d rather choose celibacy as a Rev. Father than marry a beggar”. Now are beggars not humans? Of course they are, but the act of begging is not as a result of scarcity of money in the pocket but scarcity of virtue in the mind. Begging is an impoverishment of the mind of an individual. I insisted, “I will not marry a beggar”, and the Holy Spirit told me, “My son, I too will not marry a beggar”. I was reminded of the great wedding feast on the last day when Jesus will marry His bride, the church. Jesus Christ will not marry a begging church.
Who is a beggar in the context of this writing? A beggar is someone who always goes to God for something. On the last day, Jesus will not marry you because all you need from Jesus is “gimme a car”, “gimme a baby”, “gimme admission”, “gimme this”, “gimme that”, and that is just about all the prayer vocabulary you know. You’ve reduced God to some kind old heavily-bearded uncle up there whom you run to only to receive one thing or the other. That is an insult to God’s person.
If you love something you spend ample time with it. So also if you love God, you will spend time with Him. You cannot enjoy spending time with someone or something you do not love. Those who love drinks spend time in beer parlour, those who love football spend time watching it, and those who love books spend plenty of time reading. If you love souls, you will spend time in the place of prayer and evangelism to win souls into the kingdom of God.
Be faithful in prayer so that the devil will not have access to you. “Watch and pray that you may not fall into temptation. The spirit indeed is will but the flesh is weak” Matthew 26:41.