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Passion Smashin’

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I had a great time meeting with a young man for breakfast and talking about life, faith, and relationships.  He has a blog that you can check out if you are interested in knowing more about him and what he stands for: The Change Theory.

My first encounter with Jordan was several years back in a student discipleship class that I was teaching.  After the first night of class, I had an email from him that was waiting in my queue before I ever got home.  This had me thinking, “Wow, I have really connected with one of the kids!”  When I had read the email, I discovered that he wanted me to help him with his skit for the upcoming student talent show.  He was going to impersonate Elton John and he needed someone to help him with this skit.  How was I to help him with his impersonation of Elton John, you ask?  Funny you should ask because I asked the same question.

Jordan was going to perform the song, Tiny Dancer, and he wanted me to be the tiny dancer while he was singing.  Imagine the images that were floating across my inner screen… me in a tutu dancing in front of people.  I have to admit that I wasn’t too thrilled with the idea. I called a couple of other adults hoping to get an excuse that it wouldn’t be appropriate for a grown man to dance in a tutu.  Uh.. didn’t happen.  They all thought it was a great idea and their laughter was all the proof that I needed that they believed it and that I wasn’t going to have a good excuse to decline the invitation to make a fool of myself.

There were several moments over the weeks that followed that proved that dancing in a tutu was not my passion – from the many rehearsals that were ‘mandatory’ ( I think Kenny called them mandatory so that he could laugh some more as I pranced around the stage) to the time I stopped in at the local store that sold princess apparel for little girls.  The cashier was all sweet and gushing over my purchases of fairy wings, wand, tiara, and glitter until she asked me if the purchases were for my little princess and I chose to respond truthfully that, “No, they are for me.”

The big night came and went and at the end of it all Jordan and I earned 2nd place.  Maybe if my passion had been dancing we could have danced sneaked  into first.

I share that story to add some depth to the conversation that Jordan and I had this morning.  We got onto the subject of passion as it relates to faith.  During the discussion, I shared the following thoughts with him.

There are a lot of contemporary books that instruct us that God calls us according to our passions.  While that may be true in some cases, it is not the case across the board and we only have to look to the bible to see evidence of this.

  • Moses didn’t seem too passionate about going back to Egypt
  • Jonah was so passionate about going to Nineveh that he got on a boat going in the opposite direction

I think there is a verse in Psalms that is better geared to how we should align our passions for God’s calling:

Delight yourself in the LORD; And He will give you the desires of your heart.  ~ Psalms 37:4

So what happens when God becomes our passion?  According to the scripture above, we receive the desires of our hearts.  Maybe God uses our pre-existing passions maybe He doesn’t but it won’t matter because no matter the circumstance we find ourselves in, we still have God.  I think Paul would agree with this type of thinking.  Actually, if you read Philippians you can find that all of his previous passions became as dung to him when it came to his new passion – to know Christ.

That new passion lead him to some bad situations like prison.  That new passion earned him stonings and beatings.  Yet.. he didn’t look at those things as negatives but as positives because they gave him the opportunity to advance the gospel.

Maybe you are one of the lucky ones where you have been called to your passion.  Or maybe you are struggling with where God is calling you because you don’t have that overwhelming passion like missionary work or church planting or name any number of contemporary high-profile gigs that we all think we are supposed to be called to if we are following Christ.

What if you changed your focus instead and made God your passion?  And were passionate right where you are until God moves you?  Is it possible that you will get the desires of your heart even if it means your calling is to clean the church when nobody is looking?  Or to be a friend to someone in need that other people have rejected or minimized?  Or maybe you are to share your passion through a community or workplace bible study.

Maybe in your passion for God, you will find that what once would have been an unbearable situation can actually bring you joy.

So, let me ask this question, how would you apply Jack Nicklaus’s statement to delighting in the Lord?

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  1. May 26, 2010 at 4:07 pm

    yikes. tough question, tony.
    tough because it hits home.
    i need to learn to better enjoy (delight in) the Lord and the working and ministry i do for Him. the less i focus on everything i have to do in ministry, and the more i focus on the joyful reward of the Lord, the more i get done, and the more anointing i have, without the deep stress.

    • May 27, 2010 at 7:27 am

      Totally agree with you, Joy. When our focus shifts from the one who supplies to our considerations, we miss out on the greater blessing.

  2. May 26, 2010 at 5:10 pm

    Tony,
    Very good question, for me it began with getting my priorities straight, God, wife, kids, friends, work, etc.. In doing so, with God being numero uno, I began to see how much he loves me and wants me to be happy. In experiencing Gods love, I noticed all those around me who did not have that love in their lives, and it convicted me to my core. In being a lover of people, I became passionate about showing others how God loves them and spreading the good news of the Gospel. So my passion is lay ministry, my passion for those who are lost, and I delight in sharing God at any opportunity. There inlies my passion.
    God Bless
    Jim

    • May 27, 2010 at 7:30 am

      Jim,

      I know for myself that it can be difficult to keep the priorities straight. It seems that there is always something that is clamoring for my attention. I think the hardest struggle is to bring all the different areas of life under the same umbrella of passion for God.

  3. May 26, 2010 at 8:07 pm

    Fantastic post Mr. Tony! Seriously. This is one of the best I have read on the subject of passion. That young man should cherish the moments from this morning and jump on more. As for the question: If i don’t enjoy God how in the world can I share that with anyone else? IMHO one can’t share what one doesn’t have.

    Do you have a video of that performance? it would be priceless on YouTube. I know…evil but someone has to be. 😀

  4. May 27, 2010 at 7:33 am

    Thanks, Bill. I was blessed to spend time with this young man.

    As far as the video.. funny you should ask because my wife did tape it. And she laughed through the whole thing.

    Fortunately or unfortunately depending on one’s point of view, she accidentally taped over it when she grabbed the tape by accident to tape our daughter doing a presentation at school.

    I think someone has a copy somewhere but I don’t know that it will ever make it to youtube.. 🙂

  5. May 27, 2010 at 11:32 am

    UGH! I just rambled and rambled, clicked over to reference something…..and closed out the page. *grumble

    OK……..let’s see what I can pull back.

    First off……I am willing to bet that performance surfaces sometime soon on Youtube now that you mention it. HA!

    Oh, I am here from Bill (Cycleguy)’s place…..Michelle, nice to “meet you”. I think we visit the same places as I recognize your name/face.

    OK, passion. hmmmmmmmm…….tough one. I can totally relate to BlessedDad when he talks about the more we fig deep with our walk with God, the more we start noticing how many people around him do not have any love of any kind in their life. And it is really difficult to explain God’s Agape love to them, when they haven’t even experienced any form of true love even on the surface.

    As far as finding your passion, my husband and I just took a leap of faith in the area of our passion, the youth. (shameless plug http://pridelandsmommy.blogspot.com/2010/04/psalm-287.html) We feel that we (collective we) need to start investing in the next generation before we end up like the days of Joshua where that generation ended up falling away from God and started sacrificing their children. Maybe they did the sacrificing in the literal sense, but our world is sacrificing our children with the media, the constant bombardment of sex/violence that is deemed normal/acceptable, the “Father-less” families (not just divorce/single parent….The Father). We need to prepare these kids and teach them about God and how awesome it is to have Him in their life. They crave to latch on to something, they want to belong …..and if we don’t get them hooked on Jesus, it is for certain that they will get hooked on something else. guaranteed.

    so yeah, that is my passion…..oh wait, that really wasn’t your question, was it?

    *sigh*

    Ok, before I lose this post,….I’ll stop and wish you a great weekend! Glad I stopped by. 🙂

    • May 27, 2010 at 10:49 pm

      Thanks, Michelle, for stopping by. And thank you for your kinds words.

      I know what it is to be passionate about youth. I spent several years teaching 10-11-12 graders and it was one of my favorite ministries. You are blessed to be in a place where God is affirming your passions.

  6. May 27, 2010 at 1:47 pm

    Great message. I am all about passion. In the past three years this has been my passion, so to speak. Three years ago I admitted I was an alcoholic and went to my knees in search of Him. In this, I find truth in the fact that as I delighted in Him He did give me the desires and affirmations of my heart. People can excel for a season doing things they don’t love or have a passion for but eventually they will settle into what they love…something will bring them to their knees and it may be what they thought they loved.

    • May 27, 2010 at 10:51 pm

      Totally agree, Tom. We can do things in our own power for a season. Eventually, the battery drains and there is nothing left to charge it. It is in those moments we face reality and recognize our true need. God uses those moments.

  7. Kim
    May 27, 2010 at 2:12 pm

    Great read this morning. I am totally “God Crazy” (not to be confused with boy crazy) these days. I am fully delighting in the Lord. He hasn’t moved me yet, but I am doing what I can where I’m at.

    Thanks for the reminder that He needs to be my hearts passion and the rest will fall into place.

    • May 27, 2010 at 10:53 pm

      Thanks for stopping by, Kim. While I don’t know much about being ‘boy-crazy’ 🙂 I do understand what you mean about being God Crazy.

      Keep waiting on God and you will find yourself in the middle of His will.

  1. May 27, 2010 at 8:43 am

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