The last six posts have been on the Armor of God. But did you know there is another piece of armor, not described by Paul in Ephesians 6? It’s called the Cloak of Zeal. Even though it isn’t with the other pieces of armor it is vital to know because it often determines the result of doing battle with Satan.
Consider this: A teenage boy completed a 13-month long sailing around the globe. He officially became the youngest person to circumnavigate the globe alone in his 36-foot boat, the Intrepid. No small feat, the accomplishment of this young man can be partially attributed to his own zeal, spurred on by the support of his sailing family. No doubt Zac Sunderland’s family spent a lot of time sailing and not only did they pass their sailing skills to their son but also their passion (zeal) for this particular adventure.
Zac’s parents ensured that he had the best equipment. Still, Zac endured some very tough hardships while on his voyage. In 15-foot seas and gale force winds, he had broken rigging to repair as well as escaping a potentially dangerous encounter with people that appeared to be pirates. Worrisome enough for experienced sailors, many of us would of thrown in the towel and headed home, but not Zac. He kept his heart and mind on the goal and achieved his dream. He is the youngest person under 18 to sail around the world solo.
What was it that spurred Zac on – to not give up? It was Zac’s zeal. Zeal is that special energy that fuels us to propel forward. It’s similar to the saying, “when the going gets tough, the tough get going.”
The Cloak of the Roman Soldier
The purpose of the cloaks worn by the ancient armies had several uses. For starters, a cloak provided warmth. According to biblestudyguides.com, to make it waterproof, natural oils were applied to repeal the rain. It also came in handy for a crude but provisional bed. Additionally, a cloak reduced the effect of the bitter cold, rain, and backaches from sleeping on the ground. We all know how little we get done when we don’t get a good night’s sleep or woke up with a horrible backache due to a worn out bed. Similarly, a cold, wet and tired soldier won’t be a productive or effective soldier.
What is Godly Zeal?
Plain and simple, zeal is the fuel that propels people towards their passion and purpose. For Believers, zeal is the fuel to carry out God’s will for their lives- some calling He has called them to do, but also includes a desire to want what God wants and to live a godly life. Take a look at Isaiah 59:17:
“For He put on righteousness as a breastplate, and a helmet of salvation on His head; He put on the garments of vengeance for clothing, and was clad with zeal as a cloak.”
It is very hard to carry out God’s will or live in the purpose God has given us without the Cloak of Zeal. We’ll find ourselves missing the mark in our ‘good works’ because we lack the fuel, to be effective for Christ. Our zeal must be aligned with God’s will.
Can Zeal Ever Be Wrong?
The apostle Paul is probably our best example of a zealous servant of Christ, yet, before he became a servant, he used his zeal for the wrong purpose. He had been persecuting the early Christians. Once Jesus got ahold of his heart, Paul realized his zeal was in the wrong arena. Consequently, he surrendered his will to Christ’s will, Paul’s zeal found its godly purpose and resulted in bearing much fruit.
In part two of God’s Cloak of Zeal, I’ll point out some biblical examples of people who took a stand for zeal and did the unpopular thing. If you would like to read any of the six Armor of God posts, click here.