Are they servants of Christ? I know I sound like a madman, but I have served him far more! I have worked harder, been put in prison more often, been whipped times without number, and faced death again and again. Five different times the Jewish leaders gave me thirty-nine lashes. Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked. Once I spent a whole night and a day adrift at sea. I have traveled on many long journeys. I have faced danger from rivers and from robbers. I have faced danger from my own people, the Jews, as well as from the Gentiles. I have faced danger in the cities, in the deserts, and on the seas. And I have faced danger from men who claim to be believers but are not. I have worked hard and long, enduring many sleepless nights. I have been hungry and thirsty and have often gone without food. I have shivered in the cold, without enough clothing to keep me warm. Then, besides all this, I have the daily burden of my concern for all the churches. Who is weak without my feeling that weakness? Who is led astray, and I do not burn with anger? 2 Corinthians 11:23-29
Winners stay passionate as Christine Caine discusses in her book Run to Win. As she puts so perfect, the Holy Spirit is the driving force behind our passion. Without the Holy Spirit, we would burnout so easily of our passion. The above verses show that Paul went through some awful dreadful things that would make a normal person quit the church and God. Had it not been for his passion for God and the things of God he would have buckled under the pressure. In my favorite writing tool Webster’s 1828 dictionary, passion is defined as the feeling of mind, or the sensible effect of impression, excitement, perturbation or agitation of mind: as desire, fear, hope, joy, grief, love, and hatred. One word that sticks out of this definition is perturbation. Have you ever had the feeling inside that you just had to act in a certain way or you were going to be driven mad? The Holy Spirit will do that to you if you are in tune.
A perfect example in my own life is the driving passion to help people overcome obesity. I lost a ton of weight, but I am constantly perturbed by not being able to do enough right now in this stage of life. I want to start training people and being a change agent like my friend is who helped me lose my weight. God has slowly moved me to this position and like always, I want it now, not later. I’m still waiting to hear if I past my Personal Trainer exam or not. The money is great for this occupation, but that is not the motivator, it’s helping people become free of being trapped in their bodies. There are some thoughts that move passion forward.
Passion gives us purpose. Without a cause, we would be living our lives in a constant rotation of routine. In my own experience of watching people, and I’m sure you can too, they have a tendency to show that they are passionless. That server in a restaurant that looks at you coldly and asks what you want to eat. You can tell the lack of passion. They could be making good money, but are they happy with the same routine over and over again. When we have a purpose, we have passion. The Christian’s purpose is to glorify God in all we do.
Hope moves our passion forward. I always equate hope with a sunrise. A sunrise means that it’s a new day full of opportunity to help change the course of history. We can do this in a positive way or we can do this in a negative way. Both have their own passion to move the plans forward, but the best way is the positive way, of course. When we are passionate about the things of God, we are lighthouses that cannot be extinguished.
Grief can be a negative motivator for passion, but can bring about a wonderful good result. God always takes a negative and turns it into a positive. An example I can think of is my race team. The man who started our team had to deal with his son dying of brain cancer. His son’s best friend had the passion in his heart to start doing a yearly bike ride in honor of his friend to help raise money for his friend’s passion, which was youth ministry. The dad then got his passion ignited and so started a race team and a foundation that raises money for people who are hurting. How awesome is that to turn grief into a passion for helping others.
Another motivator and probably the most important one is love. Love for a person, a purpose, and a cause. If you have a love for a person, a purpose, and a cause, you will stop at nothing to achieve what you are after. Love is the most powerful motivator of all and will make people do either negative things or positive things. The negative things are the shallow empty well that the world considers love. Real love is a positive action that happens when you care about something or someone and it is not selfishly motivated. Love is always a choice and not something that is out of our control.
The list of motivators for passion can go on, but I will stop at these four. In our believers marathon having a passion for God can change your world around you. If you desire significance in your life, having a passion for God is changing our attitude from, it’s my duty to do this service, to, we get to do this service. Passion is moved forward by having a purposeful cause, having hope in mind, grief on your shoulders, and love in your heart. All are powerful motivators for an unstoppable passion.
© [David Howard], [David’s Body Temple], 2011-2015.