Last night, the ground wire going into the manse came loose and caused the normal loop of power to go out of control. Instead of the normal 110 volts flowing through the house, 240 volts went coursing through the system reeking havoc. In most of the house, the power simply went out, in others appliances were fried. Normally, this could have been averted by the main switch at the breaker box being tripped (to keep the power from causing all the trouble), but for the main breaker had been removed in order to add an extra circuit. Without the main breaker, there was no way to control the misguided power and the result was not just a loss of power, but a loss of many electrical devices as well. Later on today, we will find out the extent of the damage.
The “out-of-control” power going into the house reminds me of Christians who have “zeal” but lack the proper knowledge of how to us their zeal. Romans 10:1-4 speaks of this,
“Brothers, my heart's desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved. For I can testify about them that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge. Since they did not know the righteousness that comes from God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God's righteousness. Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.
Without the proper knowledge of God to control zeal, we see bad things happen. For example: the Branch Dividians and Jonestown. The opposite is also bad as knowledge without zeal leads to passivity. Balancing zeal and knowledge is the key. We have the power as Christians to make a difference in our world, but only when we keep knowledge and zeal in balance.
As we head into the New Year, let us be prepared to make a difference with a zeal that comes from God balanced with the knowledge that also comes from God. Without this balance, we will either fail to do anything (knowledge without zeal leading to passivity) or we can do much harm (zeal without knowledge leading to legalism).