On Passion

A friend was talking with me yesterday, and then again today, about the lack of passion we see in this world we live in. When we go and tell people about Jesus those we share with often don't even argue with us. They won't believe in Jesus but they also don't believe in anything. This frustrates the crap out of my friend who demands, "Just believe in something! Anything for crying out loud."

And this is the spirit of the air more and more in our materialistic world. Now 'things' aren't inherently bad, but our desire for things over God, that's the bummer.

Piper says here,
"Or are we in bondage to the pleasures of this world so that, for all our talk about the glory of God, we love television and food and sleep and sex and money and human praise just like everybody else? If so, let us repent and fix our faces like flint toward the Word of God in prayer: O Lord, open my eyes to see the sovereign sight that in your presence is fullness of joy and at your right hand are pleasures for evermore (Psalm 16:11)."

And Piper mentions something interesting. Our passions and desires. Are we as believers passionate for God's Kingdom? Does the thought even enter our minds? Are we waking up every morning and finding more joy in reading the ESV in pretty letters on our iPhones or iPads than we are in meeting with our Savior? When you stand before Jesus even for just a few minutes in the morning and praise Him for how big He is, you can't help but feel small. Feel awe. And desire to know Him, praise Him, and make His name known in this world.

If and when you truly seek Him you will not be capable of leading a passion-less life. He inherently inspires passion.

Now a few more quotes.
"Indeed, if we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that 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 us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased." - C.S. Lewis

Or another favorite is Yancey who steals away for a retreat and reads the whole Bible from cover to cover in a week. HIs observation? . . .
"As I read through the Bible in my winter aerie, I marveled at how much God lets human beings affect him. I was unprepared for the joy and anguish-in short, the passion-of the God of the Universe. By studying "about" God, by taming him and reducing him to words and concepts that could be filed away in alphabetical order, I lost the force of the passionate relationship God seeks above all else." - Philip Yancey

Our God doesn't want us to walk through this life acting like the eternal damnation of the friend standing next to us is no big deal. Acting like it can wait until we're done with this really promising Dilbert cartoon. Our God wants to know our friend. He wants to call him from darkness to light and to see him respond.

I'm not saying don't rest. I am saying don't miss the battle. It's happening. And you're either fighting or you're taking tea time instead of entering in.

I have to end with one of my favorite verses ever.

"From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence, and the violent take it by force." - Matthew 11:12

Will you be a violent man? Will take the Kingdom of Heaven by force? Or are you too interested in blogging or your iPad, or that fancy pair of shoes, or that raise?

Lord awaken us to Your majesty. Call us before You and show us our worthlessness apart from You. The insignificance of everything around us if You're not there. Remind us that because of You we have a hope for this world, and an eternal hope. Give us a burning sense of pain for the lost around us. Show us the battle and help us to enter in. Teach us to fight the fight that You have ordained for us and make us passionate for You. Passionate for Your name to be glorified. Amen.