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This New Year: God's Will for You
...through your passion or His Command?
There was a well watched video some years ago which many (over 30yrs of age) will remember in which there was a captivating proclamation by an older man to his trainee in a certain sport: “Passion Overcomes Principle”.
A vital lesson to be taken seriously with no explanation needed!
However, “passion” has become a very acceptable buzzword used throughout the western Christian world meaning “gripping, inner, powerful desire” etc.
The insinuation is that IF one has a “passion” to do something, go somewhere etc., it is therefore acceptably interpreted as “this is the commission of God in my life to do or go in the direction of the driving impulse.
This is not necessarily the leading of the Holy Spirit. First of all, the Holy Spirit will lead in a Holy conviction of His Holy call or commission, not first through a driving “personal passion” but by His voice; by His Word.
One of the translations of the word “passion” means more “the diseased fleshly condition in which sin is conceived and from which sin springs”!
The leading of God is not according to our personal interest; our strengths; our gifts; our knowledge or even academic or life experience …let alone our strong inner desires no matter how spiritual their clothing be!
One of the most common questions I hear being asked to those looking for direction in life is: “well, what is your passion?”
This is major misdirection! It firstly provides an entirely wrong hypothesis upon and from which the listener is going to base one’s understanding of God’s direction in the days ahead!
Think for a few scanning moments:
MOSES didn’t glorify God through having a passion to obey and trust Him. When he did that, he murdered a man even though he had a good intention!
When Moses pleased God …the record in Exodus says as a testimony of God’s pleasure with him was “…according to all that the LORD his God commanded” him. It was not according to how passionate Moses was nor even what he thought was the best direction or means to an end!
Joshua was instructed in Joshua chapter 1 that he would have success and act wisely to bring the people to salvation IF he “talked about the Word of God incessantly” and “thought about God’s Word obsessively” and “did God’s Word comprehensively”! There’s nothing in there to even remotely suggest that God was looking for Joshua’s passion to get the job done!
PAUL the Apostle didn’t have a passion to go where God sent him. When he was on the road to Damascus just after the stoning/killing of Stephen, he traveled with a burning heart of passion! It was passion in his heart and mind that gave him the goal of imprisoning men and women who believed in the Lord Jesus Christ! He was accosted then by the Lord Jesus Himself and blinded to stop him in his tracks to be able to see and hear truly that God’s work would be done by God’s instructions …then in “trusting obedience” God would be glorified!
There was no luster to Paul’s travels in his following obedience to the Lord and in fact he got public defamation, tortures, imprisonments and even rejection of his own friends and folk he had discipled (if we only look at the “apparent results from one perspective”!)
Back to Genesis: Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebekah and Jacob and Rachel with their children didn’t have a passion to live in wilderness areas where there was drought and famine all ‘round. (read again the record in Genesis and Hebrews 11). Isaac was 60 years old when his twins Jacob and Esau were born. There was nothing particularly delightful about their lives in growing up to be both self-interested and greedy to get their father’s inheritance which ripped the family apart for some years!
In fact it was by passion that Esau was driven to be married multiple times to women whom he knew would tear into his parents’ hearts and go directly against God’s holy ways! Esau, through passion, deliberately looked for women who were outside God’s limitations of those to whom His people could be married. Then he married them!
It was in passion that he lived a “cursed” life the record tells us!
God in His Word never tells us to “follow our passions”. Yet this is one of the most common statements used by those seeking to find God’s will and direction in their lives.
What we need is a surrendered heart; available lives so that at all costs we will serve the Lord under and amongst those to whom He has led us and with whom He places us.
Have you considered that maybe you’re already in God’s will …His place and occupation? Why look for a change? What has God said?
When your passion dictates your destiny, God is shut out no matter how “spiritual” the language and the constant desire to “be fulfilled”; to “find empowerment”; to “be productive”; to “follow your dreams”; to succeed in entrepreneurial enterprises often called “ministries”.
Maybe there’s still time for you to make that change and get back to the Lord Jesus Christ: back to the way of surrender and trusting obedience. Get back to reading God’s Word. He will speak to you. Read enough; think enough and you’ll be able to act enough on what He says. He will be totally reliable to you to be with you in all your ways as your ways are then His ways.