Living on purpose and living with passion go hand in hand because passion is connected to your holy discontent. In John 2:13-17 Jesus found people using God’s house for something it shouldn’t have been used for = commercial trade instead of relationship with God. Holy discontent rose up in Jesus heart and he became passionate about restoring the house of God to its original purpose.
A lack of passion in your life might suggest a disconnection from calling. I think ‘The Passion’ is a fitting title for Jesus death on the cross because it represents a fulfillment of calling for Jesus in seeking and saving the lost. When you connect to your calling, you will have your own ‘passion’ moment because it will be a natural byproduct of you walking in your purpose.
Passion will inspire you to get creative to resolve your holy discontent. Jesus saw the state of God’s house and he got intentional about changing it. The text says, ‘He made a whip of cords and drove out the money changers’. Passion inspires creativity within you to bring about change. Passion enables you to attempt things you would never have attempted on your own. Passion inspires you to pioneer new ministries, write books and songs and go where others haven’t gone before.
Passion isn’t insecure about what other people think. Jesus told the money changers where to go with their pigeons and business. Jesus knew what the call of God on the Father’s house was and he wasn’t going to let anyone bring a distraction to it. When you get a revelation of what God’s call on the House is, you will get passionate about protecting it. You can’t be passionate about God’s house and be worried about what people think of you. I can’t preach God’s word and be insecure about whether or not people approve of my preaching. I can’t build a church and be constantly checking with everyone, if they are OK with what we are building.
Passion is a God thing, not a personality thing. Never make passion about your personality. I’ve seen some of the most introverted people be extremely passionate when it comes to their call. Never let your wiring get in the way of your passion for God and his House. Don’t wait for the preacher or pastor or someone else to stir your passion. You stir up your own passion. Paul said, ‘Stir up the gift within you.’
Our best passion must be reserved for God’s House. Jesus saw Jesus’ passion in the temple and remembered the words of Psalm 69:9 “Zeal for your house will consume me.” God and his house deserves our best passion and energy. Passion is contagious and whatever you are most passionate about will be passed onto others. Connect to your purpose and passion will follow.
Recently, I updated my mobile handset to an iPhone 4. Thank God for technology because it definitely makes life more efficient especially after messing my iPhone 3 up trying to upgrade it with iPhone 4 software. I’m sure you have found some of the same frustrations with phone companies as I have. I have been a loyal customer of Optus for over a decade but every now and then I’ve considered going to the dark side (…Telstra). Why, you ask? Well have you ever tried to call your phone company and been left on hold for 20, 30, 40+ mins? I have and it’s interesting that the very people who supplied you the phone in the first place, who you are ringing up to get help from don’t end up answering your call for a very long time, if at all.
I think God sometimes feels the same way with us. God calls and calls and calls and calls and then calls some more but we leave him on hold sometimes for a very long time (Like a month, a year or even a life-time). I think there are 2 reasons for this: 1) We don’t recognize the call or; 2) We ignore the call.
The founder of the Salvation Army “William Booth” once said, “‘Not called’, you say. ‘Not heard the call’, more likely.”
God’s call on your life is waiting to be answered. Have you answered it? His call may come in lots of different ways: Scriptures, Prophecy, Burden, Holy Discontent, Dreams and Visions. However it comes is not the issue. The issue is have you responded to it? Don’t leave God on hold but answer his call on your life.
Nehemiah 1:4 “As soon as I heard these words I sat down and wept and mourned for days and I continued in prayer and fasting.”
Nehemiah was a Hebrew living in exile as a slave to the king of the Persian Empire when he received news of the welfare of his people. Nehemiah’s heart was burdened by the plight of his people and it compelled him to deny himself food and seek God in prayer. In fact the rest of Nehemiah’s story is the out working of God’s call to lead the rebuilding work back in Jerusalem.
Not every burden is a call from God but every call will be accompanied by a burden. Too often we misinterpret passing burdens as holy crusades that we must pick up and pursue but not every burden is a call from God. God created you for more than filling a vacancy in a company and receiving a pay cheque each week, he created you to fulfill a unique call.
The burden you carry is a key to recognizing your call. Ask yourself the questions: What drives me? Why do I do what I do? I’m not talking about unhealthy and sinful motivations for acting in inappropriate ways but I’m asking you, what is your holy discontent?
Popeye the Sailor Man was a popular cartoon character many years ago. Popeye had an on again, off again love relationship with Olive Oil and any time Olive’s well-being was threatened or someone was threatening Popeye in some way, he would down a can of spinach and his forearm muscles would grow to twice their size and he would proclaim this phrase before he cleaned up all the baddies, “That’s all I can stands, I can’t stands no more.” (As you can see, Popeye had an incredible command of the English language)
A burden from God is a holy discontent that declares “That’s all I can stands, I can’t stands no more.” Someone once said, “Deep change only comes out of deep pain.” Sometimes it isn’t until we experience a “That’s all I can stands” moment that we rise up and act upon our holy discontent.
When God calls you, a holy discontent will consume your heart and compel you to take action but before you run out and act on the burden, pray into the burden like Nehemiah did. Prayer purifies the burden and releases the power of the Spirit to enable the burden to hit its target. Pay attention to the signals the Spirit of God is sending your way. A call is always accompanied by the right burden.