If we are to love God with all our passion, passion must be important to God and therefore, it should be important to us!

Passion is Important

One day, a man walks up to Jesus and asks Him, “What is the most important thing we can do according to the Bible?” Jesus responds in Mark 11:30, “I want you to love God with all your heart and soul and mind and strength.” Here is another way Jesus’ response could be translated: “I want you to love God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence and energy.”

If we are to love God with all our passion, passion must be important to God and therefore, it should be important to us!

What is Passion?

I believe that passion is three-fold and if one part is missing, then passion is missing: Passion is ambition that is materialized into putting as much as possible into someone or something.

Did you notice the three parts of passion?

  1. Ambition = There is a desire for someone or something
  2. Materialized = There are actions taken towards that desire
  3. As Much as Possible = The desire and actions taken towards that desire are above-and-beyond

Let’s make it practical:

  • Just Ambition: I want to play basketball!
  • Materialized Ambition: I want to play basketball so I tried out for the team!
  • Passion: Whether I make the team or not, I shoot hoops every free moment I get!

Now, let’s look at how it plays out in our faith:

  • Just Ambition: I want to follow Jesus!
  • Materialized Ambition: I want to follow Jesus so I go to church!
  • Passion: Even if it costs me my life, Jesus I will follow you!

Do you see why all three parts of passion are essential, especially in regards to being a faithful Christ-follower?

Fan the Flame

Romans 12:1 reads, “Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor!” That’s a great command, but how do we do that?

In 2 Timothy 1:6, we are told to, “Fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you.” We need to fan the flame of our faith and keep our faith passionate! Below are five ways that we can fan the flame of our faith.

Rest or Work

Some of us need to rest. Our entire life is output. We are pouring ourselves out and not being poured into. We have compassion fatigue from serving at our jobs, serving our families, and serving our churches. A portion of Psalm 127 reads, “It’s senseless for you to work so hard from early morning until late at night, fearing that you’re going to starve to death, for God wants His loved ones to get their proper rest.”

Or maybe, the opposite is true for us. Maybe we need to work. Our entire life is input. We are consumers that are being poured into by everybody else, but we are not contributing. Maybe we need to pick it up and stop slacking at work, become more engaged with our families, and find ways to serve our churches.

Perhaps, to fan the flame of your faith, you need to rest or work.

Use Our Gifts

1 Peter 4:10 reads, “Each of you has been blessed with one of God’s many wonderful gifts to be used in the service of others. So use your gifts well.”

Some of us don’t need a break from our jobs, we need to find a new job altogether!

We need to be using our gifts. If our job doesn’t use our gifts at all, or minimally uses our gifts, we aren’t going to be passionate about our job. It’s America, quit your job and find a new one that you can be passionate about! Think about it, in many countries you don’t get that option. Why wither away for complacency or money, when you can be passionate and joyful at work each day?

Or maybe, you do get to use your gifts at your job, but you still aren’t 100% satisfied and feel like something is missing. Even if we are using our gifts 100% at our jobs, our gifts were not solely given for the workplace, they were also given for us to serve the local church. So perhaps, it’s not quitting our job that we need to do, but finding a role in our local church.

Maybe we lack passion because we are not using our gifts at all, we are only using them minimally, or we are using them for work, just not in the local church.

Confess Our Sin

Maybe we’ve never told anybody about a struggle we have. Or maybe we’ve only been vague, but not completely honest…COME CLEAN! Confessing to somebody you trust and has your best interest in mind can be one of the best things you could ever do for yourself and your passion.

Maybe you struggle with alcohol. Or anger. Or lust. Or pride. Or _____.

We can’t be vague and say, “Yeah, I’m struggling, pray for me.” We need to be real and have real confession.

A portion of Psalm 38 reads, “My guilt has overwhelmed me like a burden too heavy to bear… I am bowed down and I am brought low.”

This is a big one guys. According to the verse we just read, we cannot have passion for God and unrepentant habitual sin at the same time. But, as always is the case with the God of the Bible, here is some good news, 1 John 1:9 reads, “If we confess our sins He [God] can be trusted to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

If this is you, please come into the light, please reclaim your passion, and don’t let your sin rob you of your joy.

Resolve a Conflict

How many of you have started your day by arguing with somebody (spouse, parent, boss, teacher, etc.) and it ruined the entire day?

Conflict stinks and sometimes conflicts that happens in a moment can have a long lasting effects on us.

It is said that holding a grudge and being angry at somebody is like drinking poison and hoping it hurts the other person; that’s foolish right? When we hold grudges instead of granting forgiveness, we only hurt ourselves. But is that biblical wisdom? Sure is. Job 18:4 reads, “You are only hurting yourself with your anger.”

So if this is you, quit reading the post right now and go reconcile. It might be what is needed to fan your flame of faith and reclaim your passion.

Live in Community

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 reads, “Two are better than one… because if one falls down his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!”

There was a Christian woman on the TV Show Survivor. However, over time, she transformed from saint to monster. She became scrappy and rude. After she left the show, she was interviewed by a pastor who asked her what had happened. I love her reply. She said, “I didn’t realize how weak I was.”

I’ll admit it, this is me, I’m weak, I need my people around me, so do you. And if you don’t have a people. There are plenty of solid local churches that are a people for those without a people.

So maybe your passion is absent, because you are absent from a life-giving community.

Jesus’ Passion for Us

Exodus 31:14 reads, “You must worship only the Lord, for He is a God who is passionate about His relationship with you.” Did you catch that. God is passionate about His relationship with you!

Remember the three parts of passion? 1) Ambition 2) Materialized 3) As Much as Possible.

Well, the verse above, from Exodus, claimed that God is passionate about us. The ambition is there at least, but what about the action and the above-and-beyond parts?

Did you know that the death of Jesus on the cross is called the Passion of Christ? In Christian history, the word “passion” used to mean “willingness to suffer.” It was a term used to describe the faith of people that would die for their faith; people that were “passionate,” were people that were “willing to die.”

We would all say that dying for an ambition is materializing that ambition as much as possible right?

Now how passionate was Jesus for us? Enough to die. He died for you and me!

Final Thought

If there is one ultimate question that should be able to fan our flame of faith it is this: If Jesus was passionate enough to die for us, shouldn’t we be passionate enough to live for Him?