It is that time again. Once every 4 years, countries around the world will compete for the Jules Rimet Trophy, as it was known between 1930 to 1970. Today it is called the FIFA World Cup Trophy. People will be glued to their television sets, tuned into their radios and booking sick days off work in order to watch and listen to the games. Our family had the privilege of living in one such country that is football crazy. What an unbelievable experience that was! We remember how life game to a screeching halt whenever our team played! Even the church prayer meeting was postponed until the penalty kicks were concluded, nobody could concentrate on praying while the game was still undecided! One word describes that kind of atmosphere – passion!
The Lord Jesus Christ told his disciples that they were to love the Lord God with all of their hearts, souls and minds. In other words, they were not just to go through the motions of being religious. They were to be so wrapped up in living for God that He was to be their all and all. He was to be their passion. I find myself more times than not of only floating from one experience to the next in life without involving or thinking about the Lord.
It seems that when we fall into these ruts in life that God has to sort of tap us on the shoulders and says, “Remember me?” For that reason, the New Testament book of James says, “Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.” The trials that God brings into our life help us to keep our priorities right and keep our passion for Him burning strong.
We human beings have a tendency to be full of self, and we like to begin to take credit where we see progress and success. There have been many times after I have stepped down from preaching a sermon where I have accepted the credit and adulation of others. Inevitably, the Lord steps in to remind me who really gets the credit and who really should receive the adulation. We are His instruments that He has chosen to use in order for the glory to go to Him. It is all about Him. Whenever we think that God cannot get along without us, He reminds us in very tangible ways that it is we who cannot get along without Him!
Passion in living for God does not mean that we will always be euphoric or energetic, but it does mean that we will be determined to see His hand in everything we do and in all that we are. We will serve Him because He demonstrated His love for us and has called us to do those things that will encourage one another. Passion for God is giving Him my all in all each day of my life. It is a determination that He will be the first priority.
Finally, to be passionate for God is to give back to Him what He has already given to us, namely and specifically, our lives. Whenever I get too far overflowed with me I am reminded of where God has taken me from. Ephesians 2:1-10 helps me keep things in perspective, I am what I am by the grace of God. I was once a sinner, full of self, full of ungodliness and disobedience to the Lord – but now – because of His grace, I am His workmanship in Christ Jesus created to do good works! It’s unbelievable! That fills me with passion for God! I cannot remain how He found me, I must live to bring Him glory and honour today and every day!