Salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel jealous… (Romans 11:11)
You ever gone through a phase when your heart for Jesus just feels kinda…“ahh”? Maybe you come to church every Sunday, but you have so many things on your mind that it continually drowns out your attention and affection for Jesus? So you kinda lip sing through worship, and during the sermon you wait for some funny joke or entertaining story, to make your drive to church somewhat worth it. You know you’re too preoccupied with other things, but you just can’t seem to shake it off, or even ask God for help. I describe this, because I know this.
But then one Sunday, you’re standing next to someone who’s really worshiping. This person’s singing from the heart, his hands are raised, and it seems like he’s encountering the love of Christ right there in that moment. You ever experienced this?
Suddenly, you feel this weight of what you’ve been missing out on. And a desire, a jealousy for what this person has starts to grow in your heart. You begin to reminisce on those days, when following Jesus was exciting and satisfying. Flashbacks of when your soul was deeply contentment in Jesus, and just being a son or daughter of God. You ever had those moments?
Maybe that brother or sister standing next to you in worship is part of God’s plan. Maybe that person in your community group who’s sharing about their incredible week with God is part of God’s sovereign plan. A plan to evoke a holy jealousy in you to return to him.
This is what Paul is describing to the Gentile Christians in Rome about Israel. God was expanding the kingdom to save the “outsiders” (Gentiles), while simultaneously causing the “insiders” (Israel), to wonder on the good thing (Gospel) they were missing out on (Rom. 11:11). Through the gospel, God is saving the nations, and also calling his first nation back to him.
Are you “going through the motions” with God? Look for those believers God has placed around you. He might be using them to wake you up from your long nap. Go and share your indifferent heart with them. Ask them to pray for you and walk with you through it.
Has God been moving powerfully in your life lately? God wants to use you to encourage those who are discouraged and idle. Your excitement for Jesus is exactly what the sleepy Christians around you need to see!