I know I’m part of some pretty awesome stuff. I’m partnering with God to write history. But I still get tired. Sometimes I even go beyond tired and get self-centered, petty, and prideful.
How does this happen to me? Well, there’s this really leaky stuff called passion and, when I let it dwindle, I notice that serving becomes less about partnering with Jesus to fulfill a vision and more about, well…me.
Passion is so important in ministry because it fuels us to keep serving, giving, and dreaming. Passionate people seem to have the energy to keep going after others have cooled off towards the calling. Passionate people are also contagious and seem to draw others into the vision naturally. John 2:17 tells us that Jesus was passionate about God’s house and look at the crowds He drew!
So how can we stay passionate? Here are a few things I’ve learned from James 4:8-10:
Stay close to God in prayer. When we move close to God, He moves close to us. Letting our prayer life get cold is like letting the car run out of gas and hoping the whole trip is downhill. You know it’s not that easy, so pray, pray, pray.
Purify your heart. Are you letting things that aren’t so “excellent and praiseworthy (Phil 4:8) into your entertainment diet? Does it seem to take longer to move past offenses these days? It may be time for some spiritual house cleaning. Regular times of self-examination and repentance can be really refreshing as we experience God’s grace and forgiveness.
Humble yourself. Check your gut. Are you really serving in humility or is pride creeping in? Pride is touchy, thinks it knows better, and bristles when given instruction. Pride takes the joy out of serving! It’s not fun for you or anyone serving with you! Humility takes joy in simply serving the King. God lifts us up when we’re humble.
Stay astonished. Boredom, touchiness, and being put out by the commitment it takes to fulfill the mission is a good indication your passion needs a resurrection. Luke 24:32 says, “They said to each other, “Didn’t our hearts burn within us as he talked with us on the road and explained the Scriptures to us?” That’s where I want to live, in a state of passion and astonishment to what God is saying and doing in my life and my surroundings!
So how about you? How’s your passion pulse?
My prayer for you is for passion, astonishment, intimacy, and honesty.
In Jesus’ name. Amen