Inspirational Thought of the Day:
God did not create us to be people void of passion.
Scripture of the Day:
“Sometimes I think, “I will make no mention of his message. I will not speak as his messenger anymore.” But then his message becomes like a fire locked up inside of me, burning in my heart and soul. I grow weary of trying to hold it in; I cannot contain it.”
This life can suck the passion right out of us if we let it. The mundanity and repetitive nature of our daily existence rob us of passion when we forget our purpose. Add to that the inconvenient interruptions of life like illness or drama created by people whose focus is on themselves, and well, we have a mess with people who are living lives with misguided passion.
Passion can get a bad rap. People often associate it with being fleshly. We are encouraged to crucify the passions of our flesh, so what remains of our passion? Pure passionate love of God can be resurrected once our flesh has been put into its place.
It would seem with God’s desire to have us crucify our passions that God would want us to live dull lives. But our passionate God did not create us to be people void of passion. No, He embodied what passion looks like and life in Him is anything but boring.
So, what hinders passion?
Forgotten. We lose our passion for God when we have forgotten His passionate love for us. Reading God’s word consistently reminds us of the sacrificial, passionate love of our God and stirs and reignites our passion for Him.
Idolatry. We lose our first love when things of lesser value captivate our heart as if they could ever fulfill us like God does. We long to fill the emptiness of our soul, but we do so with counterfeits that only intensify the feeling that something is missing – a passionate relationship with our Creator.
Ingratitude. We are an unpassionate people and grow lackluster when we don’t maintain gratitude for all that God has done. It is human nature to take things for granted. But when we constantly remind ourselves of what we were before Christ, we are overcome with gratitude.
Drama. People have problems. Big time. And they keep thinking that people can fix them. So-and-so is mad at so-and-so because they were offended (pride). Someone else is bitter because so-and-so did not do what they felt they were entitled to. Silly mankind. Man was not created to fully satisfy our deepest need. God alone can do that. Man will always let us down. It is what we do with life’s drama kings and queens that matters. Passionately praying for others when they hurl attacks our way and not getting pulled into their drama helps us to not let our passionate zeal for godly living run dry.
Sin. Sin is deceptive and blinds us to the paucity of our souls. It cripples us spiritually and disables passion as we are heavily condemned and can become hardened.
But there is hope for those on a quest to rediscover the passion God has for us.
Passionate people have purpose.
When we are ignited with the calling of God on our lives, we are not lulled into a sense of just “getting by”. Despite all of the challenges and hurdles life sends our way, people living on purpose with the purpose God has blazoned in their hearts do not stop. They might be hindered, they might crawl at times, but something inside them drives them toward being a faithful servant and declaring the praises of the One Who gave them life.
Passionate people have their passion in the right place.
We have to fight to keep our passion. If our hope is in this life, our passion will quickly subside. But a hope in the right place – in Christ alone – fuels our passion. We were not made to be so easily satisfied by things created. God created us for so much more and nothing compares to the passionate love and joy He gives His faithful followers.
Passionate people are lovers.
Some people are by nature more passionate than others. But the passion I am speaking of is not just about personality. Passionate people choose love. They cultivate a heart of praise and adoration and are compassionate, as well. Left alone, man cannot live a consistently passionate life. The Holy Spirit within spurs on such passion.
Passionate people are Disciplined.
This world seeks to numb us and dumb us down. The prescribed way of life of pursuing pleasure is carnal and ironically not how we will find pleasure.Technology has not helped in this regard. Like a drug, we can become absorbed in our electronic gadgets and begin to go through the motions and lose our zeal for life. But God. Passionate people have learned to be self-controlled with passions that do not glorify God but to be free in expressing their passion to God. They surround themselves with catalysts for passion – Christian music, reading the Bible, worshiping God, being underneath godly teaching, Bible study, reading great godly blogs ?. . . and are consistent in their word because they recognize that their relationship with God is not a dry duty, but a vibrant source of life. They don’t do these things because they are trying to be a super Christian. They see their great need and dare not step away from a consistent walk with God. They also guard against self-righteousness and a focus on what they are doing rather than the focus on the One they are seeking.
Passion is defined in the dictionary as a “strong and barely controllable emotion”, or as “an intense desire or enthusiasm for something”. Looking over the landscape of our congregations, is this what we see? How about in our lives – our homes, as individuals?
If we have lost our passion, this is not a guilt trip, but a gift and a clarion call to recognize the passion that is missing. God can resurrect our passion if our focus is on Him.
Lord, You are awesome and all that we need. Help us to be a passionate people at all times, never losing sight of our first love – You.