What is your passion? What are you passionate about? The word can be defined in many ways and the most common is that which we will examine in this article. Webster states that passion “usually implies a strong emotion that has an overpowering or compelling effect.”
Is God your passion? Well He should be! Nothing should change us more than the influence of God in our lives. How many of us can see the impact of God in the lives of those around us? We need to feel this impact so strongly in ourselves, in our day to day living that there is no doubt or question when we proclaim that our God and his Word is our passion.
In Philippians 3:8 Paul writes, “I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ.” The words of the apostle here are most applicable to our train of thought. He had changed what meant the most to him, thereby he changed his passion. He was no longer driven by that which once had been his motivation, in fact, he had laid that down, left it behind, and viewed it as worthless and even as trash for which he had no desire or use.
This concept of changing our passion or finding a new motivation is one that is developed throughout the ministry of Christ and continued in each of the books of the new testament. Peter clearly informs us that we must change in 1 Peter 2:1-2, “Therefore laying aside all malice, all guile, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking, as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word that you may grow thereby.” We recognize that the evil works listed by Peter all have tremendous motivational powers. It is not unusual at all to see someone whose passion is that of envy, and that envy takes over all direction and guidance of his life until he ends up warped and twisted shells of the person that he once was. The apostle tells us to change what is directing us in essence he says, “Turn from passions of evil to passions of righteousness.”
We often refer to patriots or martyrs as men of passion. Why? Because their conviction is so strong that they are willing to die for the cause. They demonstrate a high level of visibility concerning what they believe in, what they stand for. This is viewed as an honorable trait, and we need to develop this same degree of intensity in order to be pleasing to, and effective for our Savior and God. I guess the whole point here comes down to one rather simple question, how much does God mean to you? As easy a question that this is to ask, it’s much more difficult to honestly answer. Are we passionate about our service to Christ?
Our passion for God is predicated by our level of knowledge. Our passion for God’s Word should be as psalmist David described: “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night” (Ps 1:1,2). The wicked are not passionate for God’s Word. “The ungodly are not so, but are like the chaff which the wind drives away. Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous” (Ps 1:4,5)
We have all heard of a vicious circle, some set of unfortunate events that demand all the strength that only God could supply. What made Jesus rise up and walk to a quiet place to talk to God? The same thing that will make you get up earlier, or stay up later, or watch one less TV program so that you may pray to your Heavenly Father, a true passion for God.
Intensity and depth, love and devotion, strength and discipline, these are the elements that form the passion for God that all of us must have in order to please God, to serve him, and to bring others to him. Passion is such a misunderstood and yet powerful word. Does it dwell in your heart as far as your God and Savior is concerned? If you intend to be found a faithful servant of God, it better be!