What are you passionate about? What is that one thing that invigorates you, energizes you and motivates you. What is that one thing that brings joy to your entire being?
For the Great Apostle Paul, I believe it was service unto the Lord. As we saw last week, Paul considered himself a prisoner of the Lord. Although he was in a Roman jail for preaching the Gospel, He was not their prisoner. He was a prisoner of the One who sent him to preach the Gospel. "He did not consider his life worth anything to him; his only aim was to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus had given him – the task of testifying to the good news of God's grace". (Acts 20:25)
Paul continues to express this passion in the 4th Chapter of Ephesians when he says that he IMPLORES the church at Ephesus to walk in a manner worthy of its calling. He did not merely ask the church. He begged them. He pleaded with them. Paul's usage of words demonstrates his passion for the things of God. Writing this letter was not something he was doing merely to pass time. He passionately believed in the church at Ephesus and the message he had to deliver to them.
So how about you? When was the last time you pursued your passion? When was the last time you cut the chains of safety and moved aside those barriers that were curtailing your pursuit? For many of us, it has been a long time. That raging fire which once burned on the inside of us has become luke warm and in desperate need of stoking.
That is what I had to do to my grill on Mother's Day weekend. I was trying to roast some steak and pork chops for my wife. The grill was flaming hot at the beginning but gradually started going out. I could see that the fire was still burning but it needed some help. So I found a stick and turned a few of those dormant coals over. Soon, the fire started flaming again and my food started cooking.
There are some of us that could use a little stoking. We have allowed the passion that once burned on the inside of us to flame out. From work to children to school to church, the responsibilities of life have smothered our flame. In the same manner, fear and procrastination are constantly trying to throw buckets of water on our flame. Paul challenges a timid Timothy to protect his flame from these hindrances. In 2 Timothy, he says that God has not given us the spirit of fear but of power and of love and of a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7) While a natural feeling, we cannot allow fear to turn us into perpetual feet draggers who are constantly concerned about what might go wrong and what other people might think about us.
We are children of the Most High God. We are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, and a holy nation. (1 Peter 2:9) So let's change our mindset. Let's stop focusing on what could go wrong and start focusing on the One who has sent us. Sure there will be trials and tribulations along the way but we can take refuge in Jesus who has overcome the world. (John 16:33)
Well my passion is not church related. That's okay. God is not limited to the four walls of the church nor has He limited your ministry and gifts to the four walls of the church. Ministry can take place on your job, the softball field, a dance recital, a Zumba class, etc. We are the church, not the building in which we worship.
Well, I am too old to pursue my passion. No, you are not. You have years of seasoning in which you can share. You are not prone to some of the mistakes you would have made 10, 15 or 20 years ago. You have a different perspective on life that allows you to approach situations with wisdom. You understand the difference between a calculated risk and blind ambition. You have a better understanding of people and the various quirks we all possess. You can honestly say I have been there and done that and now you are ready to share your testimony with the world.
Well, I am not talented enough to pursue my passion. Yes, you are talented enough. God equips us in every good thing to do His will. (Hebrews 13:21)
So go for it. Stoke the fire! Unleash the passion that has been lying dormant. You only have one life. Don't waste it watching "them, they and the other people" passionately pursue their mission. Stoke the fire and you will find purpose return to your life. Stoke the fire and watch You Marriage Succeed. Why? Because Happy Fulfilled People Make Happy Fulfilled Spouses.