Too many Christians are afraid of failure, afraid of offending, and afraid of the unknown. They’re skulking on the sidelines of life and wishing they were in the game, but doubting they have what it takes to win.
No one in God’s family ever needs to feel that way. None of us has maxed out the passion scale—there is no upper limit on life! Each of us has potential which hasn’t been tapped; each of us has passion which hasn’t been unleashed. Regardless of who we are or where we are in the journey, we have passion inside that is just waiting to explode.
1. Look ahead, not behind.
2. Be thankful, not resentful.
3. Look at opportunities, not obstacles.
4. Focus on rewards, not results.
5. Seize God before you seize the day.
Here are five energizing truths that can split your status quo wide open and help you to break out of your comfort zone:
Are You a Prisoner of Your Perspective? Look ahead, not behind.
Don’t live your life thinking “I coulda’, shoulda’, woulda’.” Instead, live like the apostle Paul: “I am bringing all my energies to bear on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead” (Philippians 3:13, TLB). Passion can only be exercised today and tomorrow; leave yesterday to the past and move on.
Are You a Prisoner of Your Attitude? Be thankful, not resentful.
If you had dived into a lake as a teenager and broken your neck, how would you have responded? By God’s grace, Joni Eareckson Tada regained her passion for living and has changed the lives of thousands of people from a wheelchair with only her head and heart as tools. Through music, art, books, and ministry to the disabled, passion has taken Joni to places she never dreamed of going. (Her incredible story is detailed in the article “Finding Your Purpose Through Pain.” Don’t let feelings of resentment, fear, or regret keep you in the comfort zone. Thank Almighty God for the passion He provides.
Are You a Prisoner of Your Pessimism? Look at opportunities, not obstacles.
Being arrested and imprisoned might have discouraged a less passionate man, but not so for the apostle Paul. He had yearned to visit the believers in Rome, and in Acts 25, we read that he appealed his arrest to Caesar and received an all-expenses-paid trip to the capital of the Roman Empire. After his release, he evangelized and visited the beloved Christians to whom he had written earlier. Paul saw God’s hand in everything; it’s how passionate people think.
Are You a Prisoner of Your Results? Focus on rewards, not results.
Missionary Henry Nott and his wife labored for twenty-two years on the island of Tahiti before seeing their first convert. William Carey labored in India for seven years before anyone came to Christ; it also took seven years for Adoniram Judson in Burma and Robert Morrison in China; Jimmy Aldridge, nine years in Ivory Coast. Their passion, not their results, kept them laboring. And the rewards for their faithfulness will stretch into eternity.
Are You a Prisoner of Your Priorities? Seize God (carpe deum) before you seize the day (carpe diem).
It’s important to grab life by the horns every morning, but not before clinging to the “horns of the altar” of God (Psalm 118:27). Passionate Christians are passionate servants of Christ first and foremost. Passion doesn’t mean living with free rein; it means living freely for the One who reigns.
Let’s not become complacent in our faith and instead embrace each of these energizing truths. It’s hard to predict where a life lived outside of the comfort zone might end up.
This article was adapted from an issue of Turning Points devotional magazine.