For I can testify about them that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge. (Rom. 10:2)
The Israelites attended religious services and offered many animal sacrifices. Some Israelites, such as the Pharisees and their disciples, went out of their way to find new ways to keep the law. Their fervor for keeping the law was extreme, but they failed to recognize that Jesus is the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies. As one pastor preached, “The Israelites were passionate for and about God but had no regard for the truth of Jesus Christ.”
While serving in Southern Africa, I came in contact with a very religious group. The adherents of this group would gather at one of the large baobob trees and begin jumping up and down. Often, this physical form or worship would begin at eight o’clock in the morning and go until six o’clock the next morning. The members of this religious group had great zeal. However, they had separated their ritualistic form of worship from the truth as presented in God’s Word.
Upon returning to the States after several years of foreign missionary service, I discovered that many Americans are also full of religious zeal but have separated this zeal from truth. My former pastor, Robert Van Cise, once preached, “If one removes Jesus from His deity and worships God without regard to Him, then that person’s worship is in vain since it is not based upon knowledge of the truth.”
Remember that your zeal must line up with God’s Word.
Jim “Umf” Lo is a professor at Indiana Wesleyan University, cross-cultural leader, intercessor, and author of several books including Unholiness: Overcoming the Forces That Attack Your Soul (WPH).
© 2018 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission.