PASSION: “An intense, driving, over-mastering feeling; an object of desire or deep interest.
As I have studied the scriptures over the years, I have learned to watch for those biblical characters who exhibit great passion for God. For example, Joseph was a man who dealt with many hardships, but through it all remained totally devoted to God. David was one with extreme passion and was very overt in expressing himself.
In the New Testament, there seems to be no doubt that the person that consistently demonstrated intense passion was the Apostle Paul. He was to say the least, passionate about what he believed. Prior to his conversion, he had been intensely passionate about persecuting Christians. These were the two passions of Paul; one destructive and the other positively life changing.
Passion will either draw us into sin, or will keep us from it. Passion misdirected, can bring chaos to our lives, but a passion to live for Jesus can actually protect us from making these kinds of mistakes. Passion can make us look foolish, or can cause us to become a fool for Christ. Passion can burden us with guilt, or can make us proud of what Christ has done in and through us. Passion can enslave us to sin, or can free us to be what God has created us to be. It can cause us to lust, or cause us to love as never before. Passion will either bring out the worst in us, or cause us to become better than we ever thought possible.
There is a tale told of that great English actor MacReady. An eminent preacher once said to him: “I wish you would explain something to me. What is the reason for the difference between you and me? You are appearing before crowds night after night with fiction, and the crowds come wherever you go. I am preaching the essential and unchangeable truth of God’s word, and I am not getting any crowd at all.”
The actor answered: “This is quite simple. I present my fiction as though it were truth; you present your truth as though it were fiction.”
Many times, we select the wrong passion. C. S. Lewis once said: “Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition, when infinite joy is offered to us. We are like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in the slum … because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”
Larry Crabb said in his book Finding God, “The core problem is not that we are too passionate about bad things, but that we are not passionate enough about good things.”
In 2 Timothy 4:1-3, Paul wrote:
“I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge both the living and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long-suffering and doctrine.”
Here Paul was saying that we should exhibit great passion about God and His precious word. He had been true to his new passion … the one that Christ had given him on the road to Damascus. The question we all should answer is, where is our passion? Is it misdirected and do we have a temporal perspective, or is it eternally focused? If we are true Christians, we should be more passionate about the things of God than anything else.