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Devotionals : The Path To Passion
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The Path To Passion

By Michael Lane, Executive Director, Delve Christian Ministries
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And how can we be sure that we belong to him? By obeying his commandments. If someone says, I belong to God, but doesn't obey God's commandments, that person is a liar and does not live in the truth. But those who obey God's word really do love him. That is the way to know whether or not we live in him. Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Christ did. 1 John 2:3-6

There's something really special about Christians who become born-again in their adult years. Almost all the men and women I know who endured a childhood and adolescence without Jesus but have recently accepted Him, now seem to love Jesus with such fiery passion. The moment when they accept Jesus becomes a catalyst for change in their life, and nothing seems the same afterward. These people shine with love for Jesus, and they are such a joy to be around.

I'm not a very emotional person and this extends to my relationship with Jesus. I have always been an intellectual Christian, which is to say that I believe in Jesus Christ because it makes sense. When I weigh the facts and the evidence, the logical conclusion I reach is that Jesus is who He said He is, and that conclusion demands a response. And so, I worship Jesus because that is the logical thing to do. But that is not the same thing as loving Jesus, and that has been a very difficult path for me to follow.

Years ago, I attended a very powerful youth retreat. At the conclusion of the evening's service, the pastor gave an impassioned plea for all of us young men to commit to God. He implored us to reach deep within ourselves, find the empty void and invite Christ to come and fill it. The room became awash with emotion, and soon two dozen young men were weeping, falling to their knees and crying out to God. Yet, I felt nothing. I wanted to feel something - anything - but I was empty inside. I was concerned and wondered, "What is wrong with me?" Not long after that event, I walked away from Christianity, and it took me ten wasted years to come back.

I made the same mistake many people do. I assumed that passion for Jesus is something that just happens once we decide to make Him Lord. For some, it does, but many others don't automatically have the same emotional response. It depends on your state of mind when you come to Christ. If you come to Jesus from a place of desperate emotional need, He responds on that level, and there may still be work that must be done to understand Him on an intellectual level. If, however, you come to Christ on an intellectual level as I did, there is work to be done in order to connect with Him emotionally.

What work am I talking about? It is obedience to His commands.

It may seem that obedience to God is the result of our passion for Him, but in reality, the opposite is true. If you come to Christ from an intellectual perspective as I did, your passion for God will be the result of your obedience to Him.

There is certainly an analogy we can make between our relationship with Jesus and a relationship between husband and wife. When we come to Jesus simply because He makes sense, it is like choosing a spouse based on their suitability and compatibility. This may not be real love, but it's a start. How could we change a relationship such as this into one based on real, passionate love? By getting to know the person and by spending time with them. Falling in love takes time. So it is with Jesus - spend time getting to know the One you have chosen as your Lord, and you fall in love with Him.

It's a mistake to wait until we "feel" something before we start "doing" something. God is not just asking us to accept Him, He is asking us to put that acceptance into action. He is asking for a relationship. That takes the form of regular prayer, reading His word, attending church, removing sin from our lives and serving in our church and community. We need to obediently do these things even if we don't yet feel anything on an emotional level.

Oh, how hard it is to pray and read our Bible in the beginning! It takes conviction and self-discipline. In time, God rewards our obedience by touching us emotionally and allowing our passion for Him to grow. The more we are obedient, the more we will feel His presence. In time, we will have that passion that we so desired - not by seeking it directly, but instead, by seeking to please God.
 

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Comments


Great devotional, I could not agree more!!
9/12/2007 7:43:53 PM - Sam, Member of Delve into Jesus since 4/29/2007


AMEN!!! God did not call us to be "feelers" of the Word, but "doers". Thank you again for blessing me this morning.
10/4/2007 8:01:21 AM - Dr.Carter, Member of Delve into Jesus since 10/2/2007


AMEN INDEED! It grieves GOD lots when people even committed Christians forget their FIRST LOVE. GOD IS CALLING HIS PEOPLE TO RETURN TO HIM BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE!

I pray that people will soften their hearts and open wide their eyes and ears to see what God is doing and give thanks. FOR GOD SO LOVE THE WORLD THAT HE GAVE HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON TO DIE ON THE CROSS TO REDEEM US. WHAT A POWERFUL EXAMPLE OF REAL AND GENUINE PASSION AND LOVE!!! (JOHN 3:16)
Celia

12/29/2007 6:02:17 PM - anonymous


That's is a very very encouraging message, I love reading a devotional topic that strengthens me and helping me also on how to share the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
1/2/2008 11:43:29 PM - anonymous


It's so true!! Great Devotion.
Your ACTIONS (doing something to please) shows your love towards that person!
Similarly in GOD's case it's your obedience (ACTION to please GOD) that will show your love towards GOD!!
1/14/2008 7:53:15 PM - anonymous


I was tracking this devotional up until the end when you said; relationship with God involves "removing sin from our lives". We cannot do anything to remove sin in our lives, except acknowledge what Jesus has already done to redeem us, cleanse us from our sins, past, present and future. We are made righteous by His blood. Under His grace, in His grace, He will walk with us in our sin, work with us by the Spirit, to a walk that truly is following Him, which a sinning less path. Romans 5:8, "and while we were yet sinners", Christ died for us. In our sin, He loved us so much that He died for us. It is not about us and what we do for Him. Out of a heart that yields to the lover of my soul, I obey, motivated by His love, acceptance, forgiveness and grace. Yes, I'm one of those adults who Jesus ransomed. Hallelujah!
1/18/2008 9:24:15 AM - anonymous


In response to that last comment, please consider Romans 6:15, "What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? By no means! "

Removing sin has nothing to do with our salvation, it has to do with our love for and obedience to Christ, and it is absolutely essential to a healthy relationship with Him.

Also consider 1 John 2:3-6, "And we can be sure that we know him if we obey his commandments. If someone claims, 'I know God,' but doesnt obey Gods commandments, that person is a liar and is not living in the truth. But those who obey Gods word truly show how completely they love him."

Again, not a prerequisite for salvation, but the result of our love and obedience for our Lord after his amazing, unmerited gift to us.
1/18/2008 9:37:00 AM - Michael Lane


Obedience certainly is vital to maintaining a healthy relationship with God and we will only become obedient as we get to know Him through daily prayer, reading His Word and putting it into practice.

We must always focus on the facts ie. what we know to be true of God by reading the Word. Our feelings can be up and down, often depending on how much time we have spent with Him as well as other things going on in our lives.

I agree that our passion develops out of getting to know God more intimately and growing that intimacy through going to church, Bible study groups, serving and most importantly, our own quiet time where we daily confess our sin and ask for help in learning to please Him.

Praise God that He loves us so much that He desires such an intimate relationship with us that He sent Jesus to be our model and our Saviour!
Sydney, Australia
3/14/2008 9:12:18 PM - anonymous


arsindelve,

Wow, I really like your statement below.

"It may seem that obedience to God is the result of our passion for Him, but in reality, the opposite is true. Your passion for God will be the result of your obedience to Him."

I had been battling a certain sin in my life, which God had recently exposed, thank God by faithful loving friends. Even though, I didn't like it, I knew that I had to change and obey God to respond to the truths about this. Just obeying God, and submitting to Him, helped me have hope for change in this area of my life. I pray God will renew my passion for Him as I obey Him. Thank you brother for your article, it was a real encouragement to me.
3/21/2008 3:10:03 PM - Iliana, Member of Delve into Jesus since 3/7/2008


This is an amazing look into why some people FEEL more than others. When I was younger the same thing happened to me at a youth rally and ever since I always question whether or not I'm doing enough to be fulfilling my role as a believer in Christ. I THINK I should FEEL more, but after reading this devotional, it has given me a new perspective on the situation and I understand how I am to gain more of a passion for Christ.

Thank you very much for sharing!
5/4/2009 12:08:28 AM - jcalds, Member of Delve into Jesus since 5/3/2009



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