The Power of Passion

Hope deferred makes the heart sick,
But when desire is fulfilled, it is a tree of life.
-Proverbs 13:12, AMP

As we are being changed from glory to glory, we should be moving from passion to passion, with Him as the delight of our hearts. He is the greatest ecstasy, the highest pleasure. Duty void of passion is religion. Duty fueled by passion is sonship. 

Brother Lawrence, author of  the posthumously compiled book, The Practice of the Presence of God, is one of my favorite characters in church history. He served as a lay brother in a Carmelite monastery in Paris during the 1600’s, where he spent his days either working in the kitchen or repairing sandals. During a time when the church was steeped in religion and works aimed at earning God’s approval, Brother Lawrence, by contrast, had a simple walk with God based solely on doing all things in love. Though, in the flesh, he actually hated kitchen work and was not very good at it, he learned that doing everything out of love for God transformed even the most mundane tasks into holy ecstasy. He said, 

“Men invent means and methods of coming at God’s love, they learn rules and set up devices to remind them of that love, and it seems like a world of trouble to bring oneself into the consciousness of God’s presence. Yet it might be so simple. Is it not quicker and easier just to do our common business wholly for the love of him? … It is not needful that we should have great things to do… We can do little things for God; I turn the cake that is frying on the pan for love of him, and that done, if there is nothing else to call me, I prostrate myself in worship before him, who has given me grace to work; afterwards I rise happier than a king. It is enough for me to pick up but a straw from the ground for the love of God.”

His goal for every moment of every day was to simply love God, without any thought of self, and to seek Him, without even seeking His gifts. He viewed even the most distasteful or mundane task as a way of loving God. He started with the goal of punishing himself (in line with the religious philosophy of the day), but he ended up experiencing wave after wave of indescribable bliss. He learned to “abide in the Vine,” by staying aware of His heart connection to God at all times. He said that at first, it took great effort to train his wandering mind, and that he had to gently bring it back many times each day. But over time, his mind and heart learned to remain at home in the Father’s heart, no matter what he was doing or what was happening around him. His abiding – and his joy – were unshakeable. Though his life, at first glance, may have appeared to be a waste in the eyes of man, he, like Enoch, walked with God in Divine ecstasy. Though he seemed to have accomplished little judged by religious or worldly ideals, his simple, timeless truths have changed the lives of countless people throughout history. 

Another one of my heroes, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said this: If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as a Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, “Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.”

These men understood the power of passion and the secret of being IN desire fulfilled. Desire Fulfilled is actually a person, and His name is Jesus!

“…and I will shake all nations, and they shall come to the Desire of All Nations, and I will fill this temple with glory,” says the Lord of hosts.
-Haggai 2:7, NKJV

And you truly are IN Him. Your awareness of your oneness with Him allows you to experience holy bliss at all times. And unlike happiness that is dependent upon things and circumstances, no one can take it from you, unless you choose to give it away. 

If you are not passionate about your life, you may have a wrong mindset. You should get up every day with enthusiasm about what God has placed before you. That does not mean that every job is your dream job. There are seasons of dying, and there are seasons of preparation. But your passion is in hearing Him, obeying Him, pleasing Him and feeling His pleasure with your life. If you are passionless, you may have compromised something to remain comfortable. If you’re bored and complacent, you may have played it safe instead of stepping out in faith. Somewhere along the way, you may have said no when you should have said yes. Finding your passion will probably involve expending spiritual and emotional energy and taking a risk. If you are not enthusiastic about your life, you need to ask the Father why. Even in difficult situations, you can still delight yourself in Him. He is a continual feast. 

We look away from the natural realm and we fasten our gaze onto Jesus who birthed faith within us and who leads us forward into faith’s perfection. His example is this: Because his heart was focused on the joy of knowing that you would be his, he endured the agony of the cross and conquered its humiliation, and now sits exalted at the right hand of the throne of God!
-Hebrews 12:2, TPT

James 5:16 tells us that it is the “passionate, heartfelt prayer of a godly believer” that moves mountains. Why? Because passionate prayer is the alignment of thought, word and intense emotion. The Father doesn’t want us to be “lukewarm” (Revelation 3:16) for the same reason He doesn’t want us to be double-minded (James 1:8): He longs for us to be recipients of His lavish goodness, and “lukewarmness” (lack of positive feeling and desire) misaligns us so that we do not receive. Everything – everything – is for our good! 

If you are not feeling intense passion for your destiny, there may be a wounded or misaligned place in your soul that simply needs to connect (or reconnect) with His burning heart. If you do not have a burning desire, ask God to give it to you and then wait for it. Remember, He is a zealous, passionate God and His heart is your heart. Joy-filled passion is the highest compliment to God!

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