Ever wondered how Titus went from zero to hero—from an unknown nobody to one of the most respected apostolic figures in the New Testament? I can spot three distinct milestones that he passed that we can imitate. Check out the first 2 by clicking here.
Milestone 3: Gaining my own zeal
This is the big one. On the journey to maturity and leadership, many pass Milestones 1 and 2, yet find Milestone 3 elusive. Milestone 3 is the place of gaining your own zeal. Take a look at what Paul says of Titus: "But thanks be to God, who put into the heart of Titus the same earnest care I have for you. For he not only accepted our appeal, but being himself very earnest he is going to you of his own accord. As for Titus, he is my partner and fellow worker for your benefit." (2 Corinthians 8:16-17, 23)
What a jump! Titus goes from being the tag-on servant-hearted guy to a leader in his own right whom Paul now speaks of as "my partner and fellow worker." How did this radical promotion happen? Answer: Titus gained his own zeal.
At Milestone 3 something clicks, and we develop zeal, enthusiasm, and initiative derived directly from God. We begin to do things not primarily because we are told to or asked to, but because God's zeal is welling up inside us and becoming our own zeal. The things that God and Paul were passionate about had now also become Titus' passion. He owned the mission for himself. At Milestone 3 our fire is stoked from within us by God more than by a "Paul" outside of us.
Biblical examples of Milestone 3
Isaiah hit the third milestone when he voluntarily responded to God's general call. Deep within, he found his own zeal for the call. Nehemiah hit the third milestone when he took personal responsibility to rebuild Jerusalem. He was serving God just fine at Milestone 2, but then everything changed when the zeal of God for Jerusalem became his zeal for Jerusalem. Who told him to do it? God. Where was the fire? In his belly. When confronted by Goliath, 10,000 Israeli troops stayed at Milestone 1 or 2, and only David made the leap to Milestone 3. In the next part, I will look at ways to burn hot and long with your own zeal from God.