In the course of my walk with Christ, I have come to the realization that the closer I get to God, the more passionate I feel. The more I also realize that people who have passions outside of Christ are empty. They invest so much energy, time and commitments into temporary things; that when it’s all said and done, they will still be empty.
All the challenges were facing today as a country, as individuals and as Christians is almost more then many can bare. But why? Have you ever sat back and wondered WHY all this bothers you so bad? Recently I experienced a number of different “rants” about people’s joys and frustrations over politics, sports, holiday preps and even church. Social media, billboards, news editorials, TV commercials, etc; shine a negative light on many over zealous and over exaggerated passions expressed about each!
Here’s the problem and continual deep frustration I see with all this: Yeah, I’m a Colts fan….Yeah, I’m a St Louis Cardinals fan, and Yeah, I’m a Indiana Hoosier….BUT, my passions for them only go so far. Each has a boundary; each has a respectable limit. I constantly meet people who blow up their outlets to express their passions (pro or con) about their teams, churches, party, whatever! Yet even the churches show more passion about the church itself more than the Savior who built it!
Empty passions are those areas of desire that are half-hearted, lukewarm or just plain fake. Those commitments that you only do out of obligation or to look good; not those passions you INVEST in! Weight loss goals, educational goals and most importantly, your spiritual goals and desires. We tend to drive our most popular passions around those that are easiest to be accepted. When opinions are involved, passions of importance to life take a back burner!
Pointless pursuits are those pursuits that absorb a lot of time and give out little to no fulfillment or satisfaction. The picture below represents a cute rendition of a pointless pursuit:
Charlie Brown desires to play baseball….gets ready, goes out to play….in the rain!! His pursuit, driven by passion, led him there without paying attention to the conditions surrounding his pursuit! How many times have you done the same?
How many times has your pursuit for a passion led you astray or worse, led you from Jesus Christ? You might be thinking to yourself, “I have NEVER let my passions take the place of Jesus!” Well….what about lessen His importance? Uh-oh!! Hit a nerve? How many times now?? The game is coming on tonight….I can’t make church. You wear more clothes supporting your favorite team than you wear Jesus to others supporting Him!
So many issues in the nation today. The fighting and bickering amongst the “parties” looking similar to a play pin of whining babies and what does it do to the avid passionate person? Makes them forget all other things and makes the core of their communication about all the negative hype! Now don’t get me wrong, it’s important to care about our nation and what’s going on with it; BUT when the political drama unfolds in God’s house….that’s when a real awakening is needed! The passion you have for who’s right and who’s wrong is an empty passion; for as the world decays in sin, we need NOT decay with it by giving the negativity the light!
A pointless pursuit is trying to sway an opinion to an empty passion! If Jesus were your real center of your life….and I mean the REAL center, not just the voiced but not acted out; then the rest of your passions would find their place! Why can’t we find the same deep passion and pursuit of our daily lives for Jesus Christ?? In his book, Not A Fan, Pastor Kyle Idleman writes, “The reason Jesus is so adamant about followers surrendering everything is because the reality is this: the one thing we are most reluctant to give up is the one thing that has the most potential to become a substitute for Him.” What are you refusing to give up for Jesus to have room in your dominant life?
I know we can see, feel, and maybe even touch those things we invest our passions in, yet of we are faithful believers in Jesus Christ, our investments should be in full pursuit of Him! “In all ways ACKNOWLEDGE HIM and HE will make your paths straight!! (Proverbs 3:6)” In Colossians 4:4-6, Paul writes, “Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. (Colossians 4:4-6 NIV)” Has your empty passions pushed others away from Jesus? Are you the “Christian” that has Ill-defined who Jesus is to outsiders because your passions are unhealthy for Him?
“If anyone would come after me (PURSUIT), he must deny himself (PASSION) and take up his cross daily and FOLLOW me. (Luke 9:23)” Emphasis there is mine, but really it’s Jesus’. Why don’t we get it?? Why can’t we SEE that He loves us and wants us to love Him the same….with PASSION….and an unwavering PURSUIT that never ends!!
Forget the drama!! Forget the politics of sinful men who truly don’t have Jesus daily!!! PRAY FOR THEM! Forget if your teams loses or the coach is a jerk!! PRAY FOR THEM!! Lie them through failure; it’s good training for life! Forget about the traditional ho-hums of the church that make it boring or stagnant! CHANGE IT!! Don’t wait for it to be done by someone else….BE THAT SOMEONE!! Forget the world and all it’s junk….we are not of this world, REMEMBER? Love them, hate the sin!
It’s that forever AWE moment that never gets old and always brings you peace this world will NEVER bring! The PASSION is for Jesus Christ; the PURSUIT, is for the lost through His love in you! Find it, embrace it….LIVE FOR IT!