There are many things that don't last that are nonetheless incredibly important.
Take showering, for example. Showers don't last permanently. We shower, we sweat, we stink and we repeat. It is what it is. The effects of a shower don't last forever, but showers are still necessary, especially if we are going to be around other people.
Passion, too, wears off over time, but that doesn't mean it isn't important. Passion is the bedrock of invention and follow-through. It is the impetus for change and the catalyst for intimacy. Impassioned leaders stir their listeners to action and inspire hearts. Couples deeply in love grow closer together and become better partners. Our passion for Christ overflows like living water from our filled-up spirit, and we are motivated to share His love with others and serve Him by serving people. The flames of our passion both warm our souls and keep us moving forward.
Until, of course, they don't.
When untended, passion wanes. If we are not careful, it can be extinguished completely. That's why instead of bidding passion farewell and shrugging our shoulders over the loss of our spark of energy and excitement, we must instead work hard to stir the embers of our passion and rekindle its flame. This is particularly important in our walk with the Lord.
Passion is essential in our relationship with God. Our passion, plus Holy Spirit empowerment, is a recipe for kingdom victory. On the other hand, the absence of passion leads to disappointment and disaster. The greatest enemy you will ever face is not the devil, sickness or sin; it is the bondage of complacency, where you are neither hot nor cold but rather merely surviving in a passionless life.
Followers of God often confuse being faithful—really, truly faithful, which is filled with life-giving energy—with doing the same thing over and over again, so much so that they are constantly bored. That couldn't be farther from the truth. "Faithful" means to be full of faith, and living by faith brings us deeper into our relationship with God and sparks excitement, not passivity.
So, what does it look like to rekindle the flames of your passion for God? Is there a way to reignite the fire if it has died? Yes! There are four crucial habits that can stir you to the passionate pursuit of Christ, even it has been years since you experienced the spark of new love for Him.
- Prioritize time with God. Have you ever been around married couples who have been together 50 years? Many of them look more like brother and sister than husband and wife. Over time, they let their passion dwindle and settled instead into parallel lives, led side-by-side but separately. This is exactly what the enemy wants for your relationship with the Father, and he will succeed if you allow him to rob you of your quality time with God. To avoid this pitfall, spend time in the presence of God and allow the Holy Spirit to flow through you. You are His child; you were made to find rest and peace in His arms. Make it a priority to spend quality time with Him in order to keep the fire burning in your relationship.
- Sacrifice your idols. Idolatry isn't just about statues made in the image of a deity. In reality, humans can turn just about anything into an object of worship. It can be hard for us to identify when we have shifted our focus off of God and onto something else, but there is one clue that can help: your emotional energy. Your emotional energy will follow the focus of your heart. If you profess to serve God but your emotions are somewhere else, it should be a warning that your passion for Him is waning or extinguished altogether. One of the greatest dangers in a relationship is when your emotions are somewhere else. Take time to discern what has usurped your love for God and hold it up to the Lord. Repent of putting it before Him and ask Him to help you honor the first commandment.
- Cultivate trust. Every relationship must have trust to grow, and trust is always a heart issue, which is why it is so deeply connected to your passion. This is the reason Solomon wrote, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart" (Prov. 3:5a). The entire power of faith is hearing, trusting and obeying. Ask God to help you trust Him more completely, and your passion will deepen along with it.
- Look forward, not backward. Many people cannot look excitedly toward their future because of the labels of their past. Perhaps someone reading this today was called "stupid" when they were growing up, and to this day, they keep trying to prove to themselves and to others that they are intelligent. That's what darkness wants to do. It wants to define your identity based on your past failures. If it succeeds, it will render you passionless and powerless. We will never progress with God if we dwell on the label the enemy has tried to stick to us. Meditate on the truth—that you are a child of God, created in His image to do "good works" (Eph. 2:10b)—as often as it takes for God's voice to become louder than the labels the enemy tried to put on you in the past.
Do not let your passion for the Father wane. Do not let the enemy extinguish the flames of your love for the things of God, and do not allow your flesh to settle for comfort and convenience over a life of purpose. You were made for passion. You were made to serve God and to experience the joy and excitement only He can provide. Whatever it takes, seek Him first, and "all ... things"—including passion—will be added unto you (Matt. 6:33).
You're beautiful. I see Jesus in you.
Have an awesome week!
Mikel French has challenged spiritual awakening all across America, where many celebrations extended into multiple weeks, and has conducted celebrations in France, Sweden, Russia, Romania, Poland, Ukraine, Moldova, Serbia, Germany, South Africa, Malawi, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Haiti, Japan, Singapore, India and Thailand. He conducted an outreach celebration in Manila, Philippines, reaching 200,000 teenagers with the book of hope. Through the generous support of partners, he has presented the message of Jesus Christ to millions of people in the nation of Russia through televised citywide soul-winning celebrations. Mikel considers it an honor to assist in conducting the annual pastor's conference, where thousands of pastors from Russia's 11 time zones come for training, teaching and equipping. Mikel and his wife, Marsha, reside in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
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