PASSION FOR THE CHRIST

Image result for free pictures of the bride of Christ in love with HimWe hear a lot about passion, especially in the movie industry, the kind that’s associated with the amorous side of human experience, but that’s not the only kind that exists. For example, innate within every human soul is a passion for beauty: the beauty of nature, of music and art, and the beauty imbued within all of life. We can love another person passionately where sex isn’t part of the relationship, as in the love between a mother and child. While there are many forms of passion there’s one which surpasses them all – the passion Christ has for lost souls. Likewise, shouldn’t those who are saved be passionate about Him? It appears today that many who call themselves believers have a somewhat dispassionate response to the Lord’s wooing. Yes, Jesus is passionate about spending time with His children. The Song of Songs in the bible is a passionate love story depicting the intimate relationship that should exist between God and His Church. “Draw me….” is the cry of one whose heart desires intimacy with the Lord [Song 1:4]

The Lord is pleased when the redeemed passionately seek His presence, but what does He say about those who halfheartedly seek Him, whose hearts are lukewarm towards Him? God has said that He will spew them out of His mouth – Rev 3:15  I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. Rev 3:16  So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. 

There are many reasons for a lack of passion; one is fear. Down through the ages men have been afraid to stand in the blinding light of God’s presence. The Israelites of old were afraid to approach Mt. Sinai – “Now when all the people saw the thunder and the flashes of lightning and the sound of the trumpet and the mountain smoking, the people were afraid and trembled, and they stood far off.” [ESV] But things have changed since Jesus came; now we can approach His throne (if we’ve been saved) and freely worship Him in the beauty of holiness without fear of being destroyed! A believer shouldn’t be afraid to enter God’s presence but there could be some sin in his life causing separation between himself and God, like Adam and Eve who when they sinned, “hid from God’s presence” – Genesis 3:8. There could also be Demonic oppression causing fear of God’s presence – this is more common than you think. In the first case, one needs to confess and repent (turn away) from his sin or sins, and return to obeying God. Having been cleansed of all unrighteousness, he/she will feel free to enter God’s holy presence again [1 Jn 1:9].

When there’s demonic oppression, the one being oppressed needs deliverance from the demons that are causing him/her to feel afraid of God’s presence. Deliverance should be a normal part of the overall Christian experience but demons keep people in the dark about this so that they remain in bondage. Jesus said He came to set the captives free! Luk 4:18  “The Ruach Adonai is on me, because He has anointed me to proclaim Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free the oppressed, [Tree of Life Version] Paul wrote, Rom 8:15  For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall again into fear; rather, you received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” [Tree of Life Ver.]

Another reason believers may not be as passionate for their Lord as they should be is that they’re preoccupied with making money, chasing dreams of success, acquisition, fame, and happiness. As it is written, 1Jn 2:15  Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 

Some strive to find fulfillment through the use of their talents and skills. Every good gift has come down from the Father above [James 1:17] Therefore, it’s not wrong to take pleasure in using the talents God has given, nor is it wrong to want, have, and appreciate good things in life. The problem comes when people pursue all these things with little or no thought of God who should be at the top of their list, not the bottom.

Redeemed individuals should be more passionate about spending time with their Savior than in pursuing worldly things, “for the things of this world are passing away” – 1Jn 2:17  It grieves the heart of God when His children don’t show the same passion in seeking Him as they do seeking after the things of the world.

Most everyone has probably heard of the movie, “The Passion of The Christ” by movie director/actor Mel Gibson. It’s a movie I was never drawn to and from all I’ve heard about it, I’m glad I never saw it. It contained far too much raw violence for my taste. While it’s true that Christ’s passion to save the lost is why He went to the Cross, it didn’t end there. Christ’s passion for lost souls is as strong today as it’s ever been, and so is His passion for those who have believed on Him.

What about you? Have you a passion for Christ? Has your desire for Him ever been as strong as what you’ve seen in movies or what you have felt for another human being? If not, I can tell you that you’re missing out on the single most wonderful, beautiful and exhilarating experience a human being can have this side of heaven. There simply isn’t a human experience which can surpass feeling the warmth of God’s love upon you as you bask in the pure light of His presence! God is so pleased when His children passionately desire and pursue Him above all else, that He will make them the “apple of His eye” [Deut. 30:10] and His “special possession” – Mal 3:16  Then those who revere Adonai spoke with each other, and Adonai took notice and heard, and a scroll of remembrance was written before Him, for those who revere Adonai, even those who esteem His Name. Mal 3:17  “So they shall be Mine,”—says Adonai-Tzva’ot—“ in the day I make My own special possession. [Tree of Life] I don’t know about you, but I think being God’s “special possession” far surpasses anything this world has to offer. No one can satisfy the heart’s need for love, acceptance, and fulfillment like Jesus can.

Dare to be passionate for the Lord your God; “enter into His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise” (Ps 100:4) for “in His presence is fullness of joy!” (Psalm 16:11)

Debra Stout, January 24, 2020

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