In America, we are passionate about sports. We are passionate about movies we watch. We are passionate about fashion, the clothes we wear. We are passionate about certain kinds of cars. We are passionate about restaurants—some of us more than others.
The amazing thing in our culture is it’s ok, even appropriate, for you to be passionate about anything as long as it’s not God. I can go to any sporting event and yell, scream my head off, jump up and down, raise my hands in the air and when we lose I can cry and when we win I can dance around and people would say, “There’s a fan!” But if I came to church and did any of that, they’d say, “There’s a fanatic!” It’s like it’s appropriate to get excited, be enthusiastic, have a passion for anything in life, as long as it’s not God. Yet Jesus said, If you’re going to follow Me, you’ve got to do it with passion. With all your heart.
Romans 12:11 “Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor.” That means it’s not automatic. You don’t stay on fire for God automatically. It must be maintained. You must stoke those fires, fan that flame to maintain your spiritual passion.
When I’m talking about passion you need to understand passion has nothing to do with age. I know old folks who are passionate. I know little kids who are passionate. It has nothing to do with your personality. You do not have to be an extrovert to be passionate. My wife is basically an introvert, but she’s a very passionate woman. She feels things very deeply. ou were born with an inborn, God-given sense of passion. You were wired up that way. God gave you your feelings. He gave you your emotion. He created you to be able to feel all that happens in the world. It makes you different from animals in the emotions you feel. You were wired up, naturally born with passion. ut years of years of socialization have pushed that down and we don’t do that. We keep a lid on our emotions in public. But passion is natural to the human being.
So what happened? After a while, that passion began to drain out of your life. And the enthusiasm began to fade. And your zest and your zip and the joy in your life began to go away, fade. Life became so … daily, mundane, routine. Same place, same thing. Monday… ho hum! Same thing over and over. And your dreams began to gather dust. You lost your zip. It’s a predictable pattern. The first thing, you get the blahs. The second thing, you begin to lower your expectations in life. The third thing, you begin to question things around you. Then inevitably, if you let this spiral go on, you begin to get aches and pains in your body. And finally, if you get it full-blown, you get a full-blown case of depression.
What happened? Why don’t you have that enthusiasm that you used to? Why don’t you still feel the same way about your career that you used to? Why don’t you still feel the same enthusiasm about your marriage that you used to? Why aren’t you as close and on fire for God as you used to be? What happened?
Tomorrow we will begin looking at the reasons that passion dies. Stay tuned!