Dear, dear Corinthians, I can’t tell you how much I long for you to enter this wide-open, spacious life. We didn’t fence you in. The smallness you feel comes from within you. Your lives aren’t small, but you’re living them in a small way. I’m speaking as plainly as I can and with great affection. Open up your lives. Live openly and expansively! — Paul, in 2 Corinthians 6:11-13 (The Message)
Did you know that the definition for passion is “an intense desire or enthusiasm for something”? The word enthusiasm comes from two Greek words: en meaning “in or within,” and heos meaning “God.”
Yes! Passion means “in God.” Sound familiar? Christ in us!
Christ in you! What better understanding of the source of passion could there be than understanding that passion comes from having God’s presence within us?
Christ in you means that you alone do not keep your God-passion alive. Have you ever tried to manufacture passion where it doesn’t exist? It’s similar to a cheerleader trying to whip an apathetic crowd into enthusiasm. If the cheerleader works hard enough — and especially if something exciting happens in the game — she might succeed or she might not. But passion for the purposes of God is not something we manufacture within us under our own power. It is supernatural.
Passion is the inner spark provided by God’s Holy Spirit that ignites you to your God-given purpose.
So open your life to the continual infilling of the Holy Spirit. Do you remember what Jesus told the disciples about the coming of the Holy Spirit after the resurrection, just before he ascended into heaven?
I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high. – Luke 24:49
That promised gift was the Holy Spirit, and it is the Spirit who clothes us with the power from on high. What a powerful description of the role the Holy Spirit plays in our lives. His passion fills us as he comforts us, teaches us, empowers us, counsels us, convicts us, and intercedes for us. So open up wide. Continually invite God’s Spirit to pour passion into you. He will – and then life will pour abundantly out of you into others, wherever you go. And you will discover a life filled with unstoppable passion, because it will be fueled by God himself.
Paul writes a beautiful invitation to that kind of passionate life.
Dear, dear Corinthians, I can’t tell you how much I long for you to enter this wide-open, spacious life. We didn’t fence you in. The smallness you feel comes from within you. Your lives aren’t small, but you’re living them in a small way. I’m speaking as plainly as I can and with great affection. Open up your lives. Live openly and expansively! — 2 Corinthians 6:11-13 The Message
The wide-open life is about waking up every morning and knowing that you were born for this day.
When I look into the eyes of my husband and children, when I see lives transformed through ministry and love, when I see God multiply what we offer him and make our “not enough” into more than enough, I taste this wide-open, expansive kind of life, and my passion to keep running the race grows.
What keeps our A21 staff at locations around the world going day after day, year after year, even though they must repeatedly face the discouragement and emotional pain of seeing bruised and battered young women trapped in slavery? Passion.
What kept the early Christians hard at work spreading the gospel, even though they saw their fellow believers imprisoned and tortured and knew that they themselves could be thrown into stadiums, where they would be torn to pieces by wild animals before a crowd fired by bloodlust? Passion.
Passion fuels the mother to stay up all night caring for her feverish child. Passion fuels a father to work two jobs to put his kids through college. Passion fuels a woman to care for her elderly, disabled father. Passion fuels a grandmother to set aside her dreams to care for her fatherless grandchildren. Passion drives the human heart to persevere through hardship when nothing else will keep us going.
Jesus’ life on this earth was the ultimate picture of the passionate life. He embraced children, delighted in doing the will of the Father, healed the sick, loved the lost, helped the marginalized, dined with friends and neighbors, and gave His all to run his race. When I see Jesus and His cause, I glimpse the wide-open, spacious life He wants you and me to enjoy.
Today I am more passionate than ever, full of vision, full of faith, full of love, full of hope, full of purpose, full of zeal, and full of dreams, willing to pick up more batons and let go of others as I do the Lord’s work. May the same be true for you. May you know no greater thrill than running your race with your eyes fixed on Jesus. He is so worthy of our all.
I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. – Romans 8:38-39
Excerpted with permission from Unstoppable: Running the Race You Were Born to Win by Christine Caine, copyright Zondervan, 2014.
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Are you filled with passion running your race? What captures your passion? Are you convinced that you were born for this day? Come join the conversation on our blog! We would love to hear from you about passion! ~ Devotionals Daily