When my son, Joseph, was a junior in public high school, he felt led by the Lord to start an after-school Bible Club. Everything seemed to be falling into place, until he met some resistance from the school authorities. He was told by the assistant principal that starting a Christian Club would be "too controversial" because of its religious nature. When Joseph arrived home from school that day, he was feeling discouraged and defeated, and he was beginning to doubt that starting this club was the Lord's will. We prayed about it together, and I told him that I would do some research to find out if the school had the right to stop Christian kids from meeting after school for prayer and Bible study.
I discovered a legal agency that would represent Christians when their rights were being trampled on. I spoke with some of their people, and they told me that the school could not prevent the students from organizing a club just because it was "religious". And they asked if I wanted to threaten the school with a lawsuit on behalf of my son, since he wasn't old enough to sue the school himself. They warned me that if I chose this course of action, there could be serious consequences for my son, and it could affect him academically. When I spoke to Joseph about it that evening, I told him that I was prepared to fight the school, if that's what he wanted to do, and we prayed and asked the Lord for His wisdom and guidance in the matter.
Joseph and I both agreed to proceed with the lawsuit, and when we did, the school backed down immediately. Once our attorneys informed the school authorities that they had to give Joseph's Bible Club equal access, the students were allowed to meet every week after school. They were even allowed to use the same school facilities that the other clubs enjoyed, and to advertise their meetings and events without restrictions. Joseph met with some resistance from some of the students and school staff after the lawsuit incident, but it was nothing he couldn't handle with God's help. And he was able to graduate with his class the following year without any problems.
When I sought the Lord about why so many Christians deserted my son when he took a stand for the Lord against those who opposed his new Bible club, the Holy Spirit brought to my remembrance some verses in the Book of Revelation. Here, Jesus accuses His followers of becoming bland and half-hearted. "I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent." (Revelation 3:15-16,19 NKJV) When we lack zeal for the Lord and His purposes, we are sinning against Him, and we must turn to Him in heartfelt repentance, and begin serving Him with all of our hearts. Otherwise, He will have to "rebuke and chasten" us because of our indifference. What exactly is "zeal"? It is a fire or passion for a cause or objective. Many Christians these days have lost their passion for Christ and His causes in this world. They have become so complacent that the last thing they want to do is become targets of anti-Christian forces, by taking a stand for the Lord when His purposes - and those of this world - clash. And God finds their lack of enthusiasm distasteful and repugnant.
The apostle Paul wrote, "Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord." (Romans 12:11 NIV) Zeal should characterize the life of a true follower of Christ. The Bible goes so far as to say that Christ "gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works." (Titus 2:14 NKJV) If my son, Joseph, had not been zealous for his Bible club, it never would have touched and changed the lives of the countless kids that it did.
Scripture says: "Who will stand up for me against evildoers? Who will take his stand for me against those who do wickedness?" (Psalm 94:16 NASB) The Lord is looking for people who will take a stand for Him and His Word against the hostile forces of this world. Could you be one of those He's calling upon today?
Prayer:Lord, whenever I demonstrate a lack of zeal or passion for You and Your causes, convict me by Your Spirit, and help me to repent for it quickly. Please work in my heart and mind, so that nothing will stand in the way of You blessing me and using me the way You long to. Teach me how to "stir up, rekindle, and fan the flame of the inner fire" that You have gifted me with. (2 Timothy 1:6 AMP) Strengthen me so that I "won't be intimidated in any way" by those who oppose You and Your Word. (Philippians 1:28 NLT) Thank You that as I serve You with joy, passion, and enthusiasm, You will make me a world-changer for Christ!
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