The Fruit of Sanctified Passion
A passion for God is something special, I believe, only the Spirit of God can awaken you too. It starts with the desire to truly pursue God. Though there is a difference between human passion and passion enabled by the Spirit of God in us. I believe the passion of an awakened heart has the fire of the Holy Spirit burning inside that fuels us to passionately pursue God and be passionate about the cause of Christ.
Any person could be passionate about really anything, but passion fuelled by the fire of the Holy Spirit is different, it is divinely directed and thus sanctified. I believe the passion God awakens us to always leads us to worship him in Spirit and truth and fuels us to do things which are God honouring, which are sanctified.
The passion of Christ
When you look up the word passion in the Merriam Webster dictionary you will see that the first definition of passion is linked to the suffering of Christ, or the passion of Christ for this world that led Him to save us through His sacrifice on the cross. The definitions of passion we use in daily live are when we mean an intense, driving, or overmastering feeling or conviction. Or an ardent affection or love, or a strong liking or desire for or devotion or an object of desire or deep interest.
We see all those definitions come together when we look at the Passion of Christ for us human beings. We can learn from Jesus passion for us. His passion led Him to do the things He did. We should follow Jesus in this by allowing our passion for Christ to lead us and to allow ourselves to be led by Him.
The Passion of Christ should be our passion for Christ.
There are some thoughts I wrote down in my journal on an evening when I was pondering on what passion truly is when applied well and what effect it has on our lives and our community.
Here are some of those thoughts expanded.
Passion is like fuel, but purpose or vision gives direction
When we have the Holy Spirit inside of us we can become really passioned about God. A zeal for God will drive you to worship Him wholly. This passion should lead you to want to minister to others around you. In this regard, passion for God is fuelling you and makes you stirred up to serve Him.
The difference between sanctified passion and anything that isn’t
Although I see passion for God can lead us deeper there is also a flip-side when passion is not sanctified of which we can read about in Proverbs.
Like Proverbs 29:18 says:
Where there is no vision, the people are unrestrained, But happy is he who keeps the law.
A passion not fuelled by the Spirit, but by the flesh is the flip-side to passion. In this case there is another fuel that directs us away from God and not towards God and in this case we become unrestrained. This so-called “worldly passion” lead us to direct our gaze away from Christ towards that dirty word “sin”.
What we can take out of this proverb in light of passion is that unrestrained passion, or unsanctified passion could be harmful. Even the passion for serving God could lead us into the wrong direction if we mix this passion with unbiblical applications or unsanctified methods or motives.
This means we should always proof our motives and methods with the Word of God and what the Holy Spirit testifies inside of us.
Now we go back to what sanctified passion could do.
True passion will lead us to innovate
When innovation is missing, that passion is more like admiration of what’s been done, and not what you can make of it. Passion celebrates the now and builds for the future, is not a memorial. That’s why it’s hard to find passion in tradition.
Some people say:
If it ain’t broken, don’t fix it.
I greatly dislike this saying.
The problem with this is that we humans are all broken and we humans cause the very thing we don’t want to change or “fix”. Human methods and human ways to do e.g. church all have some measure of tradition crept in. Because tradition has no eternal value, it will at some point outdate and become irrelevant to a certain generation. No, the message will never change, but the way we communicate that message can only be justified by how well the receptivity is.
Passion for God & progression in serving God
If we have passion to serve God, that passion should result in a drive to give God your very best in serving Him. This drive should naturally make you think how you could serve God more effectively at the place you are at. The solution you’ll find is progressing the Kingdom of God at the place your are at and in the way you serve God at that moment.
We must always be open for God to lead us to become more effective in our ministry. This is why we should ask God to help us serve Him better to lead us in what we do for Him and even in what we do for a living. If we ask God, He will show us the way. In the story of Jacob, he wasn’t only able to interpret the dream of Farao. God also showed Jacob the solution to save Egypt from the coming drought of which Farao dreamed about.
If we keep God involved in the decision making of every area of our lives, God will inspire us, show us or lead us to find the solution to stay ahead of any drought that may come on our way.
Flow with the Spirit of God and keep the passion
To keep passion we should always be ready to challenge what is with what the Holy Spirit is speaking to us now. If we listen and obey His voice, passion for God will not weaken throughout any generation. Remember who fuels God-given passion.
Because we are not perfect, rather broken in a broken world, the above saying should never apply to our lives or communities. If you think it should I’d like to show you another saying I found in a book about experimenting for improvement:
If it ain’t broke, break it; you might find that something you thought was perfect wasn’t so good after all. – Colin McFarland
The only point I want to make with this saying is that we need to be willing to try the unfamiliar for passion to remain. Passion will stir us to go from good towards better. From an unconsecrated life towards the unfamiliar terrain of holiness. From barely entering the Kingdom of God to become a soldier in His Kingdom here on earth. Tradition will stiffen the church community while passion will make a church community a burning light on a hill.
If we say no to new things God is doing in our lives and community, if we say no to any form of innovation we cannot remain that burning light. But if we allow God and not reject innovation we give the Holy Spirit the freedom to inspire the community towards where He wants to lead us. Passion does something to people. It will make you proactive. It will make you pursue God whether you have external motivation or not. True passion comes from inside, from the Holy Spirit who wants to speak to every listening ear.
Remember these two verses:
If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear. – Mark 4:23
But blessed are your eyes, because they see; and your ears, because they hear. – Matthew 13:16
Passion remains if we obey what we hear the Holy Spirit speaking to us, but we lose it when we don’t. There is logic in this. When we obey we see the fruit of having seen, having heard and having applied. And the fruit of obedience gives joy and passion for more obedience.
Well directed passion in a community leads to momentum
This means when passion becomes contagious, community will flourish. Community will thrive. When passion is awakened in a community it will lead people to be willing to build the cause of Christ. And where people bundle there strength, momentum is build up.
Some things we envision cannot happen without momentum and momentum cannot exist if there is no divine passion involved in getting motion towards our vision.
This means if we want to build our community but don’t see the desired involvement from the community itself, we need to address devine passion and the passion to pursue God first to get the support from the community to actually help build the Kingdom of God within the ministry you are involved in.
Love and passion are not meant to be separated
If you love God, but have no passion to pursue God, then what kind of love do you speak about? Think about this.
I may expand on this in the near future.
Worship fuels the passion to pursue God
Worship is part of every christian and every church, but let’s be honest. How well are we doing in the church. Do we stimulate worship with a heart abandoned to God? Or are we just going through the motions from the one to the other point in our program?
Worship is more important than many realize. A community engaged in worship rather than watching the worshipers at the front is important. If you think worship is just to make people more receptive towards the preaching your are wrong. Worship is a spiritual act and actually does something in the spiritual world. God receives our worship and will pour back his manifest presence and His blessing. Worship in spirit and truth will fuel your passion to pursue God deeper and deeper. When you don’t engage and just watch, your are greatly missing out.
If you feel you lack passion for God, invest your time in worshiping God and see how God will awaken you to love Him deeper than ever before. At times this can be difficult, but it will be the forefront of an awakened heart and an unstoppable momentum in your life caused by the Spirit of God working in and through you.