I am a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city. I studied under Gamaliel and was thoroughly trained in the law of our ancestors. I was just as zealous for God as any of you are today. I persecuted the followers of this Way to their death, Acts 22:3-4a
There are many people are extreme zealots for certain issues or groups. They will do whatever it takes to support that issue or group. Some of these issues can be good, while others can be very bad.
Often it is looked down upon a person who is extremely zealous about something. People desire others to walk a middle ground, rather than be extreme.
Paul tells the people that he was just as zealous for God as they were. He persecuted believers in Jesus.
There are some people who are very zealous for God and His word, but are zealous in the wrong way. They are living life their own way and doing things the way they think God wants them to do, but are actually not following God’s leading.
Some in the church will hold to old customs and traditions, persecuting newer believers. On the opposite side, there will be new believers who persecute the older ones, desiring only new things.
In both cases, it can be common that they are not truly following God. They are doing things their own way as Paul did in persecuting believers of Jesus. It is easy to be zealous for God, but not following His way or leading.
Every believer needs to seek what God desires of him and then do that thing. He must be zealous for God, but in a way that he is doing only what God asks of him.
As a believer, you must be zealous for God. Be willing to stand up for God in every situation that you face. Do not be afraid to stand strong and true for God.
However, as you stand up for God, make sure that you are doing what God desires. Do not allow yourself to do things out of personal, selfish ambition for God. Paul was zealous for God, but in the wrong way.
Humble yourself before God and do what He desires, building His kingdom in His way and in His timing. Being zealous for God is great as long as it is guided by His Holy Spirit.
Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will know what God desires of you; that you will be zealous for God and His ways; that you will be His witness in this world; and that you will only do what God calls you to do.