By: Donna J. Kazenske
According to Scripture and the Lord Jesus Himself, the greatest commandment is this: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind.” (Matt. 22:37)
Many Christians can quote this passage, say all the right words, do all the right things, go to all the right places, but yet something vital is still missing on the inside of their mortal being. What is it that’s missing in the lives of so many “born again” Christians? Where is the genuine adoration and love of God that once burned within us? Do we really love Him with all of our hearts, all of our souls and all of our minds or is there a mixture in our Christianity?
One of the key ingredients in a Christian’s life is passion. Not passion for worldly things, but a true heartfelt passion for Jesus. A passion that burns on the inside and consumes our thought processes, consumes our decision making, consumes our worship, consumes our emotions and will.
I believe many Christians today are lacking passion for Jesus. We have passion for our friends, passion for our animals, passion for our computers and other realities of life, but where is our passion for God?
Passion is an abandoned display of emotion such as love, joy, etc. It denotes strong feeling, fervor, enthusiasm and zeal.
Remember when you were first saved (born again)? Remember the zeal that penetrated every fiber of your being? You couldn’t keep quiet about your salvation experience; you had to share your newfound faith with almost everyone. Your classmates thought you had lost your mind. Your parents looked at you with eyes of suspicion as the Lord began to transform you into a new person. You bubbled over with joy unspeakable and full of glory. You danced before the Lord in perfect liberty.
Where is that passion now? Where is that enthusiasm, joy and zeal for God that once burned so bright in your life? Why is it that Bible reading no longer has an effect upon you? What has happened to your prayer life? Why is it that you’d rather spend your evening watching your favorite television program instead of being in the presence of the One who died for you?
I believe many of us pray, read the word, go to church and serve Jesus out of obligation instead of passion for Him. Passion does not operate out of obligation. Passion operates as a result of agape love.
Passion loves and serves because it wants to, not because it has to. Passion is serving God because there is nothing else that we would rather be doing. There is no passion without relationship. Passion always has a direct object. Passion is focused on a person or thing. Passion is energized by a person or thing. You can’t love a person that you don’t know. Knowing Jesus is essential to a passionate relationship with Him. Any hindrances to that relationship must be dealt with. Sins must be confessed. Passion for Jesus cannot be earned, but comes to us instead as a gift.
Passion is something that has to be cultivated and guarded. The enemy will do everything he can to discourage us from falling totally in love with Jesus. He will tell us we are too vocal about our faith. He will tell us that we need to calm down and not make such a spectacle of ourselves at church when God’s Spirit is moving profoundly upon the congregation. The Devil is a deceiver and a liar. He doesn’t want any of us to enjoy our Christianity. He will do everything in his power to distract us from achieving and performing our eternal purpose on this earth.
Martha's sister Mary had a passion for Jesus. When Jesus was present, all she wanted to do was sit at His feet and worship Him. (Luke 10:38)
Luke 7:36-38 – “Then one of the Pharisees asked Him to eat with him. And He went to the Pharisee’s house and sat down to eat. And behold, a woman in the city who was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at the table in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster flask of fragrant oil and stood at His feet behind Him weeping; and she began to wash His feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head; and she kissed His feet and anointed them with the fragrant oil.”
This woman didn’t come to receive a blessing. She came to be a blessing and show her true devotion and passion for Jesus. She came knowing that she would probably be ridiculed by the Pharisees and others who were present, yet she took a risk and poured out all that she had upon Jesus.
Passion does not focus on what others think or say. Passion is willing to take a risk no matter what it costs. Passion flows from a heart that is consumed with love for Jesus. That love must find a way to be released in His presence.
When a man really loves a woman, he will show it by releasing that love to her in a way that no other man can do. It’s the same way with our love for God. When we truly love the Lord with all of hearts, all of our minds and all of our souls, we will be consumed with Him and His holy presence. Nothing else will satisfy. Nothing else matters. When we really love the Lord and have a true understanding of all that He did for us at Calvary, we too will want to sit at His feet and pour our hearts of worship upon Him. We too will want to shed tears of adoration and love as our passion for Him pours forth as a sweet fragrant ointment.
Don’t allow yourself to fall into a place of numbness and complacency in the realm of the Spirit. Don’t allow your love for Jesus to grow cold. Don’t allow the flame that once burned so brightly on the inside of you be darkened by the cares of this world and lusts of the flesh. Pray for the Holy Spirit to blow on that flame. Pray for the Lord to pour out His Spirit upon you once again. Pray and ask the Lord to give you passion for Him.
I believe some are going to miss what God has for them, because they have turned their hearts away from Him. Their love for Jesus has grown cold. Their passion has faded away.
Song of Solomon 2:10, 14 – “My beloved spoke, and said to me: rise up my love, my fair one, and come away. O my dove, in the clefts of the rock, in the secret places of the cliff, let me see your face. Let me hear your voice; for your voice is sweet and your face is lovely.”
Passion for Jesus is all about relationship. The Lord is calling out to you today. He desires to have a relationship with you forever. Not a one night stand, but a life long relationship of commitment, love and passion. If you will respond to His call, He will satisfy your every need. He will be your Father, your Husband, your Lover and your Friend.
Where is the fire that once burned so brightly within you, saith the Lord. Where is your love for Me? Where have you been? Where are you going? What is more important than your relationship with Me, saith the Lord. I have missed you and have longed to be with you. I have been calling you and you have not responded to Me. I have been knocking at your heart's door and you have not opened unto Me. Why have you forsaken Me, saith the Lord. Why are you neglecting Me and turning away from Me? Have I not given My all for you? Have I not laid down My life for you? Have I not made a way for you to know Me in a personal way, saith the Lord. Do not be deceived by those who would draw your attention to other places. Do not be deceived into believing a lie, saith the Lord. For I am the One who saves man from his sin. I am the One who has the power to heal and deliver. I am the One who has created you for Myself. My Spirit grieves and weeps over you, saith the Lord. You have gone your own way and destruction awaits you. Turn back to Me now, saith the Lord, and repent while there is still time. Turn your heart back to Me, saith the Lord, and I will receive you unto Myself, for I love you with unconditional love. Be not deceived by the wicked one, for he desires to destroy your soul in hell. Turn to Me and repent of your wicked ways, saith the Lord, for I long for your fellowship. I long for you to seek Me, for when you seek Me with your whole heart, you will surely find Me.
Good Books to Purchase
A Passion for God
Loving Christ: Recapturing Your Passion for Jesus
Stoked: Firing up Your Passion for God
A Passion for Holiness in a Believer's Life
Passion for Jesus
Becoming a Woman of Passion
A Passion for Prayer
The Passion-Driven Congregation
Soul Survivor: Finding Passion and Purpose in the Dry Places