“Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwells in him, and he in God. And we have known and believed the love that God has to us. God is love; and he that dwells in love dwells in God, and God in him.” – 1 John 4:15,16
If you are a believer and confess that Jesus is the Son of God, then our verse says that God dwells in you and you “in God.” Interestingly, the word “enthusiasm” comes from two Greek words, “en” and “theos” (“in” and “God”). In generations past, the word enthusiasm was a sacred word that would arouse zeal because of one’s relationship “in God.” To use the word enthusiastic was like using the word blessed, devout, or godly. As time passed, the meaning of the word has been diluted, and it has now become associated with just being excited. Yet, for centuries people knew that if a person had enthusiasm it was because they were “in God.” So, to be enthusiastic was one who was aroused in zeal because they dwelt “in God” and God in them.
A young man was drawn to the enthusiasm of a visiting preacher. The young man was wowed by the expression of God in the life of this preacher as he shared the gospel. So much so that the young man decided that he wanted to enter into professional ministry. He desired the excitement of serving God as he witnessed by this preacher. At his job there were many who did not know God, but being blinded by the excitement of professional ministry he did not see the need to minister at his present occupation. So he left his job and went to bible school. After finishing seminary, he started his professional ministry and he was soon discouraged. It was not what he anticipated. He mistakenly thought that changing his profession would be how God would use him. He mistook enthusiasm as only excitement, and he finally realized the missed opportunities that he had to enthusiastically minister at his previous employment.
Regardless of one’s occupation, all that we do is holy (which means “set apart”) simply because God dwells in you and you “in God.” Even though we all should study our bibles, it is not a seminary degree or a special ministry that is required for God to use you. God uses the enthusiasm of everyday believers in everyday situations, before everyday people much more than professional ministers.
To have the thought that one must change their occupation or location in order to minister is a common error that the enemy uses to dilute our witness. Realizing the biblical truth and living out God in us (enthusiasm) is the ministry that we all have regardless where we go, where we live, and what we do. Living a life of enthusiasm (in God) will have the greatest impact for the Kingdom of God.
David C. Hale, pastor