Passion—> An intense desire or enthusiasm for something. Zeal. Fervor. Devotion.
There are many preachers out there that are excellent orators. Combine this with charisma and you have mega-ministries because of it. The problem is that most of them speak to the mind, and not to the spirit. No wonder why so many of the Christians I know that want to be truly passionate in their faith turn to the writings of great men of the faith from many years past.
There are very few contemporary ministers I have come across in my life that can truly speak to my spirit. And why is that? Simply because of the lack of passion that should be burning inside of them. I will compare it to driving by a place of business during the wee hours of the morning. It’s dark out and you see a bright neon sign in the window flashing “open”, but it is obvious, by all other indications, that it is closed. The sign speaks and the neon gives it charisma, but the service it provides is not available to meet your needs.
Along with lack of passion, I see very little humility now days. Jesus said this:
“The greatest among you must be a servant. But those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” (Matthew 23:11-12 NLT)
Could it be that these ministers who are supposed to be true shepherds are only hired hands?
“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd sacrifices his life for the sheep. A hired hand will run when he sees a wolf coming. He will abandon the sheep because they don’t belong to him and he isn’t their shepherd. And so the wolf attacks them and scatters the flock. The hired hand runs away because he’s working only for the money and doesn’t really care about the sheep.” (John 10:11-13 NLT)
Could it also be what Paul told Timothy about the ‘end times’ just before he was martyred?
But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come. For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers. (2 Timothy 3:1-2 NKJV)
We learn that Saul (Paul) was chosen by the Lord because of his passion and zeal. Only problem was that it needed to be redirected:
“For you have heard of my former life in Judaism, how I persecuted the church of God violently and tried to destroy it. And I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my own age among my people, so extremely zealous was I for the traditions of my fathers.” (Galatians 1:13-14 ESV)
Paul then became so passionate in his ministry for Christ that he said the following, which is mind boggling to my imagination:
“With Christ as my witness, I speak with utter truthfulness. My conscience and the Holy Spirit confirm it. My heart is filled with bitter sorrow and unending grief for my people, my Jewish brothers and sisters. I would be willing to be forever cursed—cut off from Christ!—if that would save them.” (Romans 9:1-3 NLT)
To sum up Paul’s passion for Christ, it was simply this:
“For to me, to live is Christ.” (Philippians 1:21 NKJV)
As for those that have a properly directed passion, it can’t help but come out of them when they speak and act. The core of this passion is only obtained through time in the Word and being upon one’s knees:
The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. (James 5:16)
If you want to pursue passion for Christ, there is a logical sequence you can follow:
1) SEE Christ more for all He is, as you study about Him in God’s Word . . . which leads to
2) SEEK Christ more for all He is, as you ask for more of Him in prayer . . . which leads to
3) SAVOR Christ more for all he is, as you sing praises of Him and to Him . . . which leads to
4) SPEAK of Christ more for all He is, as you teach fellow believers about Him . . . which leads to
5) SHOW Christ more for all He is, as you imitate Him in word and deed . . . which leads to
6) SERVE Christ more for all He is, as you minister to others in His name . . . which leads to
7) SHARE Christ more for all He is, as you point others to Him as Redeemer and Lord.
I have shared this video excerpt a few times before on this website, but I feel the need to share it again because it is probably one of the best examples of passion I have come across. When you combine the subject of this excerpt which is ‘anguish’ to ‘passion’, you end up with a dynamic concoction: