Session 5.

 

Passion: the Missing Ingredient.

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.”   Colossians 3:23 (NIV)

 

Passion turns the hot water of mediocrity into the steam of success.

Experts spend a lot of time trying to figure out what makes people successful. They often look at people’s credentials, intelligence, education, and other factors. But more than anything else, passion is what makes the difference.

 

The Bible is full of stories of ordinary people who became fired with passion for the Lord and His Kingdom, and against all odds, were victorious against whatever enemy stood against them.

 

Joshua 14:7-14 Caleb was a man of faith, who had to endure 40 years of wandering in the wilderness because of the unbelief of the people of Israel, but when they finally crossed the Jordan River and possessed the land, his passion was just as strong as it had even been!

 

Numbers 14:24 “But My servant Caleb, because he has a different spirit in him, and has followed Me fully, I will bring into the land where he went, and his descendants shall inherit it.”

Judges 4:4-15 Deborah was the judge, or leader of Israel for a time. Because of her leadership Israel was victorious over their enemies. (Verse 14). She, more than many of the men, understood the importance of integrity and righteousness in those who would lead God’s people:

 

Judges 5:2 “When leaders lead in Israel, when the people willingly offer themselves, Bless the Lord!”

Of course the people will “willingly offer themselves” when they trust their leaders, who are walking in integrity and righteousness! Leaders must lead! When the calling and the anointing of God is on us to lead His people, we must not be hesitant or intimidated; we must rise up with the ability that the Lord supplies, and lead His people into their God-given destiny.

 

1 Corinthians 14:8 “For if the trumpet makes an uncertain sound, who will prepare himself for battle?” The bugler sounded the call to battle, the call to arise or to rest, to advance or to retreat etc. The army was accustomed to listening for the sound of the bugle and then to respond accordingly.

We are the Lord’s “buglers”. If we are compromised in our walk with God, or are bowed down by sin, discouragement, condemnation or a lack of faith, then we will not give God’s people a clear “sound” to follow!

 

John 2:17 “Zeal for Your house has eaten me up.” Even Jesus was consumed by passion for the house of God and for the Kingdom of God.

Poet Rudyard Kipling said,

“If you don’t get what you want, it is a sign either that you did not seriously want it, or that you tried to bargain over the price.”

 

How badly do you want to reach your potential and fulfill your God-given purpose in life? It will take passion on your part to keep growing, learning, and moving forward with the vision the Lord has given you.

  1. Passion is the first step to achievement – Your desire determines your destiny. The stronger your fire, the greater the desire and the greater the potential. Nehemiah is a good example.

Nehemiah 1:3-4 Nehemiah’s passion was fueled by his love for God and His people, and by his relationship with God through prayer and fasting. He caught God’s heart, and therefore nothing could stand in his way!

Nehemiah 2:20, 4:14-15 Faced with opposition, Nehemiah inspired God’s people and “the entire wall was joined together.”
2. Passion increases your willpower – There is no substitute for passion. It is fuel for the will. If you want anything badly enough, you can find the willpower to achieve it. The enemy can place many obstacles in our path, to try to stop us from fulfilling our destiny in God, but as we grit out teeth and refuse to become discouraged, and press into God when things get tough, nothing can stop us!

Acts 20:24 Faced with imprisonment or even death, Paul said, “none of these things move me.”

  1. Passion changes you – If you follow your God-given passion, instead of others’ perceptions, you can’t help but become a more dedicated, productive person. In the end, your passion will have more influence than your personality. Our passion for God, and as we endeavour to become more like Jesus, will inevitably change us, and the world will see that here is a group of people who will love them unconditionally, and be vessels for God’s grace, to be poured out on the desperate and the hurting. Lord, make us more like you!
  2. Passion makes the impossible possible – Human beings are so made that whenever anything fires their soul, impossibilities vanish. A fire in the heart lifts everything in your life.

1 Samuel 16:13 “The Spirit of the Lord came upon David.”

1 Samuel 17:45-49 David “hurried and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine… and he fell on his face to the earth.”

 

A leader with great passion and few skills always outperforms a leader with great skills and no passion.

 

When your passion for your walk with God or your ministry starts to disappear, take a long hard look at yourself: something is wrong.

 

Philippians 3:12-15 Apostle Paul said, “I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”

 

Character creates Self-Discipline

Fruitful Christians and great leaders always have self-discipline.

As General Dwight D. Eisenhower said, “There are no victories at bargain prices.”

When it comes to self-discipline, people choose one of two things: Either they choose the pain of self-discipline, which comes from sacrifice; choosing to persevere and live with integrity, no matter what temptations or stresses come our way, keeping our eyes on Christ, and growth is the result, or they choose the pain of regret, which comes from taking the “broad way” (Matthew 7:13-14); “going with the flow” of the world and the flesh, and thus missing God’s best for their lives. Each person makes the choice.