For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. (Romans 10:2)
A Misguided Zeal
Having a passion for the Lord is a key ingredient to learning the importance of service to Him. He loved us enough to die for us and we show our love for Him by our sacrificial lives dedicated to His name. Zeal does not suggest a character of outward show but a heart that is the fervor of God’s love. Enthusiastic people of God recognize what has been done for them and their hearts burn within them. Enjoy this kind of feeling does not make one a disciple of Christ. Paul shows how that zeal can be manifested without knowledge of God and this makes the zeal of little value.
Are you excited about being a child of God? Do you think each day how wonderful it is to be redeemed? No day should go by that we are not thankful for the love of God. His grace is undeserved but freely given. We are not condemned! As saved people we bear the marks of Jesus Christ in all parts of our lives. Salvation is joy. For all the zeal we can show it must be according to knowledge. Faith will come from hearing the word of God and without the word of God zeal is barely a flicker. Sometimes we look at faith as an instant part of our lives without reading the word of God and dwelling with His Spirit in the Book. Zeal must come from our knowledge of the Lord.
The more you learn about God the more feelings of zealousness you possess to please Him. He is so real to you it fills your life. I am afraid so often a lack of faith is because there is a lack of knowledge. Paul’s challenge in Romans 10 was how some were ignorant of God’s righteousness and sought to establish their own kind of righteousness. This will end in failure. Our zeal comes from what we know about the Lord. On the other hand we must make certain our knowledge does not make us cold and unfeeling. The knowledge of God excites the mind. It possess it to serve Him more.
Be zealous for God but do so with the knowledge of Him. Seek to know all you can about the Lord and then let the Spirit fill your hearts to share that good news with others. Have a zeal that is according to knowledge.
Faith seeps out as knowledge seeps down. (John Haynes Holmes, Religion Today, ed. A. L. Swift, 1933)