Enthusiasm: Great excitement for or interest in a subject or cause; extravagant or unbalanced religious fervor, possession by a god.
In its origination, the word “enthusiasm” meant that a person had God within them.
En= “in” and theos=”god”.
I’ve never used it that way. To me, it’s always meant being excited about something, focused, and energetic.
Now, generally possession by anything is not a good thing. It can be a scary, head-turning, fiasco. But what if we take the “god in us” idea to mean something different, something more like a promise, a deposit.
That doesn’t seem so terrible.
I know in today’s “whatever” world people hear the words “God in me” and come up with all sorts of things. Things that usually end up making less of God and more of man. That’s not the direction I’m going, so let’s set all of that self-actualization aside for a second.
Let’s stop for a moment, take a deep breath, and marvel at what Jesus said,
“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever–the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.” John 14:16,17
That would be “God in us”. Not some sort of mighty self-realization, but the actual God of the universe residing somehow within my very being, stamping his seal of ownership on my soul and working in me a life that is passionate, powerful, loving, and disciplined.
Yesterday, I wrote a devotional on how we actually need to suck it up, stop talking about everything we want to do, and start doing it.
But that all happens in front of a backdrop that is our Lord working in us, changing us, causing us to grow and be something that we could never be apart from him.
It’s our loving, almighty Father who makes our efforts mean something, who takes our words and uses them, who makes the seeds to grow.
And it is enthusiasm to have God within our hearts.
I guess it’s not something we can manufacture. If you don’t feel enthusiastic, then pretending might not help. But I do think there must be a mystery to it, more to it than what I’m living right now.
How ’bout you? How enthusiastic are you?