By Dennis Love
When I first attended Bible College it seemed like every course I took had a 101 attached to the end of it. Courses like Evangelism 101, Theology 101, English 101, Computers 101, Church History 101, and the list goes on and on. So it dawned on me while looking at Psalm 69:9 that we all need a crash course on Enthusiasm 101.
Now this entire Psalm is centered around David praying and pleading for God to deliver him from his problems. BUT amid his problems he takes a moment to give us a crash course on enthusiasm in verse 9 when he says: “For the zeal of your house has eaten me up…” Do you see what David is saying in verse 9? He is telling us how we ought to feel about the worship of God and the work of God. The word zeal means “Enthusiasm.” The word ate means “to consume” or “to burn hot within.” So David is saying that he had a burning hot enthusiasm within him for the worship of God and the ongoing work of God.
It was Ralph Waldo Emerson who said: “Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.” NOW this statement is just as true within the church as it is outside the church, but some people just don’t get that. Some people know you’re expected to get excited and enthused about a football game. So, we go to a ball game and we bellow like a bull and then we come to church and sit quietly as a mouse. Some church services start at 11 o’clock sharp and end at 12 o’clock dull. Have you ever been to a church service that was so dry, so dull and so dead that someone could have literally died in the service and nobody would have known until the service was over? Now that’s what you call a dead service.
BUT that is not the way God intends His church to be. I think God expects His church to be the most alive, the most dynamic, and the most exciting place there is. AND when it isn’t, there is something wrong and something missing. Notice what David says in v9. He’s saying that he has a burning enthusiasm within him for the worship of God and the ongoing work of God. NOW what David spoke about himself should be true about us too. We too should have a burning enthusiasm within us for the worship of God and the ongoing work of God.
What is enthusiasm?
Enthusiasm is three things that we need and that we all have when God comes to live within us. (1) Excitement, (2) Energy, and (3) Expectancy. How can a person have God living within them and not be just a little bit excited about it? NOW I’m not saying that when you come to church you should get up and yell at the top of your voice. Enthusiasm is not yelling “Praise the Lord” all the time. Enthusiasm is not yelling “Hallelujah” all the time even though that would be a lot better than being dry, dead, and dull. Enthusiasm is what keeps the Spirit of God alive and well in the singing and in the preaching, but you have to come to church with some enthusiasm yourself if you are going to leave being touched and moved by God. If we want the work of God to move forward in our churches then we must be enthusiastic about worshipping Him and doing His work when we meet. Enthusiasm is contagious and the church needs to catch it! WHO in their right mind would want to go to a dry, dead, and dull church service? MAN, I want to go where there’s some excitement going on. I want to go where there’s some energy being turned loose. I want to go where people are expecting God to do something. So, David says in v9 that he had a burning enthusiasm within him for the worship of God and the work of God. The question is, do you? Now that’s something for us all to think about.
Dr. Dennis Love is the Senior Pastor at Glenwood Baptist Church in Marion, NC. He and his wife Vicki have been married for 39 years. They have been in Marion for 5 years. They have two sons and three grandchildren. You can visit the Glenwood Baptist Church Facebook page or The Glenwood Baptist Church Website
You can read more good Christian News from Dennis HERE.