“Fervent in spirit; serving the Lord.” (Romans 12:11)
Pop quiz: “What are you most passionate about in life? What excites you and stirs up your enthusiasm?” Many of us will quickly respond, “God,” “family,” “soul winning,” or some other worthy pursuit.
Next question: “On what activity do you spend the most time?” It’s possible that this answer will be quite different from the first. Why would this be?
Passion has been described as “a strong feeling or emotion.” We may also think of it as fervor, ardor, zeal, or delight. To put it in simply, we find something so compelling that it moves us to action. Some pursue education, environmental issues, politics, or sports. Social media, shopping, or time spent with friends can become a passion if they consume our time. The truth is, we usually spend the most time on the thing about which we feel most strongly.
Whatever our passion, it will cost. It comes at the expense of time and effort. The price may include great personal sacrifice, misunderstanding of motives, or even the friendship of those who think us radical. Yet the greater the passion, the less these things matter.
For the Christian, our greatest passion should be God. According to Matthew 22:37-38, it is the only way to serve Him.
“Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.”
Saul, later called Paul, showed great passion for his Jewish religion and stirred up opposition to the early church because of it. His life changed dramatically after an encounter with God on the road to Damascus. A new passion consumed him. He fully embraced the revelation of Jesus Christ and spent the remainder of his life evangelizing the world with the gospel. Such zeal cost, but he never regretted his decision.
How do we increase our passion for God? How do we make Him first in our lives? We must ask ourselves two questions. First, what draws me closer to Him? Next, what things in my life hinder this?
Things that Sidetrack Us
In our hectic world it is easy to become sidetracked from our devotion to God. If our lives are out of balance and we are over-committed, we will not make time for God as we should. Unconfessed sin or an unforgiving spirit will also break our fellowship. Or perhaps we are holding back from fulfilling His will in an area of our lives. These and other things will steal our ardor.
The opposite of passion is apathy—indifference, lack of concern, or coldness. If Satan can rob us of passion for God—distract us with other things—then he need not worry. Apathy makes his job easy.
When we consider how passionate God is about us—to the point of dying for us—how can we not feel intensely drawn to Him? We demonstrate our fervor by an increased longing to be with Him. We will feed on His Word and spend time in prayer communing with Him. Our greatest desire will be to obey and please Him. As our fervency increases, so will our love.
The truth is we are as close to God as we choose to be. It is our decision.
“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” (James 4:8, NKJV)