Zeal – Faith – Fervor!
By Frances Ridley Havergal
“The king’s business required haste” (1 Sam. 21:8). Yet there is no other business about which average Christians take it so easy. They “must” go their usual round, they “must” write their letters, they “must” pay off their visits and other social claims, they “must” do all that is expected of them. And then, after this and that and the other thing is cleared off, they will do what they can of the King’s business.
They do not say “must” about that, unless it is some part of His business which is undertaken at second-hand and with more sense of responsibility to one’s clergyman than to one’s King. Is this being “faithful and loyal and single hearted”? If it has been so, oh, let it be so no more! How can “Jesus Only” be our motto, when we have not even said, “Jesus first”?
The King’s business requires haste. It is always pressing and may never be put off. Much of it has to do with souls which may be in eternity tomorrow, and with opportunities which are gone for ever if not used then and there. There is no “convenient season” for it but today. Often it is not really done at all because it is not done in the spirit of holy haste.
We meet an unconverted friend again and again and beat about the bush, and think to gain quiet influence and make way gradually, and we call it judicious not to be in a hurry when the real reason is that we are wanting in holy eagerness and courage to do the King’s true business with that soul. In nine such cases out of ten nothing ever comes out of it. But “As thy servant was busy here and there, he was gone” (1 Kgs. 20:40). Have we not found it so?
Delay Next to Disobedience
Delay in the Lord’s errands is next to disobedience, and generally springs out of it or issues in it. “God commanded me to make haste.” Let us see to it that we can say, “I made haste, and delayed not to keep Thy commandments.”
We never know what regret and punishment delay in the King’s business may bring upon ourselves. Amasa “tarried longer than the set time which he [the king]had appointed him” (2 Sam. 20:5), and the result was death to himself. Contrast the result in Abigail’s case, where, except she had hasted, her household would have perished (1 Sam. 25:34).
Pray for Holy Zeal
We find four rules for doing the King’s business in His Word. We are to do it, first – “Heartily” (Col. 3:23); second – “Diligently” (Ezra 7:23); third – “Faithfully” (2 Chron. 34:12); fourth – “Speedily” (Ezra 7:21).
Let us ask Him to give us the grace of energy to apply them this day to whatever He indicates as our part of His business, remembering that He said, “I must be about My Father’s business” (Luke 2:49).
Especially in that part of it which is between Himself and ourselves alone, let us never delay. Oh, the incalculable blessings that we have already lost by putting off our own dealings with our King! Abigail first “made haste” (1 Sam 25:18) to meet David for mere safety. Soon afterwards she again “hasted and arose and went after the messengers of David, and became his wife” (1 Sam 25:42).
Thus hasting, we shall rise from privilege to privilege, and “go from strength to strength” (Psa. 84:7).
He who hath won thy heart
Will keep it true and free;
He who hath shown thee what thou art
Will show Himself to thee.
He who hath bid thee live,
And made thy life His own,
Life more abundantly will give,
And keep it His alone;
He loveth always, faileth never;
So rest on Him, today, for ever!
– From My King And His Service.