Zeal Recovered and Maintained

“Lost zeal,” like first love left, can only be regained by repentance, and the “damping down” of its fire be removed by full confession to the Lord of the damping cause, together with the riddance of the “beds” or the “bushels” that have, alas, been allowed to obscure the light. This, though humbling and painful, can easily be done in the power of the Spirit of God, and the spiritual energy of “former days” be enjoyed in those of “old age.” “Paul the aged” was as zealous as Paul when bearing his wonderful testimony on Mars Hill at Athens, only his mode of exhibiting that zeal may have differed. So in Peter: “When thou shalt be old another shall gird thee.” When young “he went whither he would”; but, at times, wings have to be clipped, so that the flight of the dove may be controlled. Thus the fire is directed by the Master’s hand, and the passionate zeal of the servant receives the impress of His subduing and formative will. The zeal abides, but the method is modified. What more lovely than the thorough consecration of youth and manhood to the most strenuous, fearless, and outspoken witness to the gospel and the salvation of souls—by the help of God? or what more truly becoming, “when strength fails,” and powers of mind, and voice, and feet decay, than the maintenance, though less publicly, of a genuine, hearty and unstimulated zeal in prayer for blessing, and in sympathy and fellowship with the glorious gospel, and with its beloved and honoured messengers, which is of equal importance to the heart of God as is the church itself to that of Christ? It is the enjoyment, all through life, of “the love of Christ” that enables us to retain and cherish zeal for His interests (2 Cor. 5:14).