Enthusiasm: expressing joy in each task as I give it my best effort. To use another definition; enthusiasm is God’s energy in my Spirit expressing itself through my mind, will and actions. Basically there are two parts to enthusiasm on a biblical level: soul enthusiasm –‘natural’, circumstance-run enthusiasm – and spirit enthusiasm – enthusiasm given through the Holy Spirit.
Initially we possess soul enthusiasm. Soul enthusiasm starts when everything goes my way; like ‘flubber’, increasing in energy as I ‘bounce off’ the walls of success and happiness. In truth I’m relying on my own strength. When I grow tired, am faced with an unwanted job, or everything goes downhill, soul enthusiasm, like a candle, will flicker in the wind and go out, and then, where will I be? Generally this emotion – of increasing energy as I accomplish tasks – is not wrong, but it relies on good circumstances to produce good result. Relying on soul enthusiasm will sadly, often lead to silliness, rash decisions, hasty plans, and ungodly zeal; to put it bluntly, foolishness. Soul enthusiasm does not last.
In Genesis we hear the story of Joseph, the beloved son of Jacob who was sold into slavery in Egypt but succeeded in every position until he, a godly man, miraculously saved Egypt and in effect, the whole world, from famine and starvation.
The Greek translation for enthusiasm is ‘divine inspiration’. As Christians we believe that all things come from, and are because of, God, not us; that Christ is the source of my inspiration in life. Drawing from the Bible we can say confidently: ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me’ (Philippians 4:13), and we can praise God, for, ‘LORD, you establish peace for us; all that we have accomplished you have done for us. (Isaiah 26:12)’. Triumphantly, by choosing God to be our inspiration, like Joseph; by asking the Lord for help, like Joseph; by leaning on his eternal promises, like Joseph; whether we are thrown in jail or elevated to Prime Minister, we can do our work as Paul instructed us in Romans 12:11, “Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your Spirit fervour, serving the Lord.”
I’m a naturally enthusiastic person. Not everything I do is easy to do and be cheerful about, but ultimately, by the divine inspiration of the Holy Spirit, through the grace of God … we can carry on.
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