We’ve heard of purpose driven, what about being passion driven? It seems that we Christians spend more time fighting our unholy passions than we do getting in touch with God’s holy passions – that have been sovereignly placed within each one of us.
Thoughts on passion (these thoughts are largely taken from Tapping Into Your God-Given Passions, a workshop developed by my Fuller friend, Marlene Molewyk):
- Passion is intense emotional excitement. To be passionate means you feel very intensely about an object, person, idea or belief.
- In his book, “The Power of Uniqueness”, author Arthur F. Miller says passion “goes beyond a mere inventory of talents. It’s the lifeblood of a person, the song that his [or her] heart longs to sing, the race that his [or her] legs long to run. It’s the fire in his [or her] belly. It’s his [or her] reason for being…. so any time you tap into it, you hit a nerve that runs right to the core of the individual.” (pg.39)
- Sometimes we allow competency to masquerade as passion.
- Getting in touch with our holy passions leads us toward a vision to live for God’s greatness.
- Focused passion is powerful… Harriet Beecher Stowe’s novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin brought the plight of slaves to the country’s attention in the years leading up to the Civil War. When President Lincoln met Stowe in 1862, he was quoted as saying, “So this is the little lady who made this big war…” Stowe’s words, born of passion and exercised through creativity, contributed to activity that changed the history of America and brought legal freedom to a race of slaves.
Larry Crabb on growing a passion for God (Finding God. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1993.) :
- “We cannot generate true passion for God by an act of will…True passion for our Lord is a work of the Holy Spirit…Not many of us know the powerful work of God’s Spirit because, even though God draws us into loving relationship with him, we need to cooperate…And that task is not easy” (pg. 53).
- “The [Holy] Spirit will focus our blurred vision of God as we pursue an awareness of ourselves that immobilizes us into a state of spiritual alertness, in which we are eager to hear the voice of God” (pg. 54).
- “Maturing Christians are aware. They face life as it really is, pretending about nothing. They are drawn more to knowing Christ than to enjoying their own worth. They are caught up with the beauty of Christ in a way that frees them from coveting opportunities to ‘express’ themselves. They cling to their hope in Christ during those dark days when it seems easier to deaden themselves than to suffer one more assault from life” (pg. 55).
- “We all fear that life is intolerable and overwhelming, but we don’t want to admit it. To do so would require a terrifying dependence on God. But the fabric of life is shredded beyond repair. Legislation, therapy, social action, [and] church programs, personal growth seminars — nothing can sew it back together. When we realize that we can’t fully mend the fabric of life, we first feel discouraged and defeated, a feeling that may last a long time. But eventually the Spirit of God compels us to move back into the world, with needle and thread in hand, to repair what we can until the Master Tailor returns and crafts a new heaven and a new earth” (pg. 55).
- “The more aware we become of certain truths about what life is really like, the more committed we will be to knowing God, and the less concerned we will be about solving our immediate problems” (pg. 55).