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IT’S NEWS TO ME
SETTING OUR MINDS ON THINGS ABOVE
If we are to be useful to our Lord where He has placed us and especially in the difficult days ahead, we’ve got to take a close look at our passions. If someone who knew us well was asked to identify our most evident passion, what would they say. Before going on, stop and think about what you think would be said about you. It’s a sobering exercise.
Now, let’s look at some of the most common passions. I think the list would include music, sports, cars, travel, hunting/fishing etc. Those more noble-sounding passions would include helping others, giving, generosity etc. Even higher on that list would be sharing Christ, teaching God’s word, discipling others, etc.
As noble and spiritual as these sound, none of these is the passion God wants most for us. None of these, even leading others to Christ, will result in maximum usefulness to God as He builds His kingdom while the world seems to be falling apart. Think back on those passages that always made you squirm a little every time you read them. Verses like these:
Any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple (Luke 14:33)
Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me” (Matt. 16:24).
What God desires from us is complete surrender and abandonment to Christ, a state where we have no will of our own, where we have given up all rights to ourselves. He has no interest in what we can do for Him. His interest is that we are so devoted to Him that obedience to Him brings us our greatest joy. This means doing whatever He asks. This was the case for Christ, and it must be true for us too.
All the other things we are called to do must flow out of our complete and absolute surrender to Him. This is why the first and greatest commandment is to Love the Lord our God with every part of our lives. From that love flows the desire to share our faith and to minister to others.
So, what is our passion…really? How do we spend the majority of our time and energy? Is it pursuing worldly pleasures? Are we busy “serving the Lord”? Or are we focusing on the Lord Himself? Is He our focus or are we more devoted to our “ministry”?
In these increasingly difficult days, we’ve got to make the necessary adjustments in our passions and our priorities so that we keep the main thing the main thing. God want us, not our best efforts. He wants complete surrender whatever the cost. Since His love for us is perfect and His plans for us far exceed anything we could dream up, why would we ever want to exchange all that He has for us for what we think is best? After all,
Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
Just as it is written,
“FOR YOUR SAKE WE ARE BEING PUT TO DEATH ALL DAY LONG; WE WERE CONSIDERED AS SHEEP TO BE SLAUGHTERED.”
But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:35-39).
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