Question: What are some practical ways that we can stay passionate in our faith for God in everyday life?
Answer:This a great question and, sadly, often misunderstood. The “origin” of our passion/faith as Christians is not external but internal. It is part of the new nature we receive at conversion (Ezk 36:22-27, 2 Cor 5:17)
Scripture teaches that prior to our conversion we were dead spiritually (Eph 2). Our spiritually dead hearts were dead toward God, and rebellious toward God’s holiness and truth. We did not desire the God of the bible! By God’s mercy and grace he awakens us to our need for His Son and grants us repentance, new life and places saving faith in us (Ezk 36:24-27). At our “spiritual birth,” God plants in our new hearts His love and a passionate, irrevocable desire to love, trust and obey Him (Rom 5:5; Jn 14:15).
Do you remember when you were a babe in Christ? I do! We were overwhelmed by the mercy, love and forgiveness showered on us by God’s grace through Christ. We were on fire for God! We passionately desired to spend time with him, learn more about Him, study His Word, worship and serve Him in a local church body and share with others what God had done for us!!
Sometimes that fiery passion waxes and wanes as we continue on in the faith? Why?
As we walk through this sin-scarred world and continue to battle our fallenness, experience trials, succumb to temptations and attacks from the adversary, we can become weary and/or distracted! One common cause of this spiritual malaise is that our dependence upon, and personal intimacy with God, becomes inconsistent or absent for periods of time. The result is spiritual coldness and a divided heart!
Here are three(3) biblical principles for stirring up the God-given desire that resides in you:
(These 3 are only part of what the Word presents to increase our “passion’ for God. There are many more “means of His grace” provided in the Bible for strengthening our hearts and increasing our passion.)
1.Personal time alone with God: Set some time aside each day to humbly sit alone before God and His Word. Get your Bible, a writing pad or a personal journal and “meditate” on the following passage – Revelation 2:2-5.
- As you read this verse over and over (biblical meditation), humbly ask the Lord to show you where the priorities of your heart are presently. Is He the joy and delight of your life (Ps 16:11)? What are the evidences of your love for Him in your life? Where are you lacking passion for Him? Is something else like work, marriage, kids, money, sports, health, church service, etc. receiving the majority of your passion and devotion? Has some “besetting sin” invaded your heart and defeated you?
- As this verse and His Spirit bring things to light, confess and repent of these distracting things that have crept into your heart and have replaced His rightful place as your first love!!
2. Return to your first love: Go back to the things you did as a new believer. Quiet times & devotions, sharing your testimony with others, praising God for who He is, His mercy, grace, love and provision for you! Spend time with a trusted believer to whom you are completely transparent. Every believer needs a Christ-centered relationship with another Christian (Titus 2) where you both encourage and stir up the passion in you to live out the love God has placed in you, with your whole heart! (Matt 22:34-40)
3. Commit to sit under and practice God’s Word as it’s preached each Lord’s Day:
Romans 10:17 says ..”faith comes by hearing and hearing (understanding) by the word of God.” When a Spirit-filled Christian hears the truths of the Bible, it builds our faith!! Hebrews 4 says ..“The word of God is living and powerful”! This means that when it is accurately proclaimed, the Word stimulates the heart of the believer. It builds up, convicts, transforms, illumines, instructs and grows our passion for God and His plans and purposes for our lives.
The pulpit is considered not only the “compass” and “anchor” of the New Testament Church (providing direction, unity and stability), but it’s also its primary “nourisher”!
“Therefore putting aside all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander, like newborn babes desire the pure milk of the Word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation, if you have tasted the kindness of the Lord” (1 Peter 2:1-3)
Just as we need physical food to energize, grow and maintain healthy, vibrant bodies we also need to regularly refuel our spiritual lives with God’s living and powerful Word. Come each Sunday eager to be fed!!!
Every Lord’s Day at FBC, God is providing you and I with fresh doses of His power and energy through the preaching of the living and abiding word of God. Come ready to get filled up . . . like last Sunday’s message on the “people of faith” from Hebrews 11. If that didn’t stir your heart, something’s wrong my friend!