“Following God's Leading”
Becoming A Passionate Follower of Jesus
I have noticed a common problem for many who follow Jesus today. It is easy to lose your passion for following Jesus. However, I don’t think it is God’s intention for us to lose that first love, joy and passion that often characterizes our Christian life at its beginning.
Why do we lose our passion for following Jesus? I believe there are many forces working against our passion for God. In fact, the world we live in has many passion killers. I think the most common passion killer is our modern and hectic lifestyles. We quite easily get over-scheduled, always running from one thing to another, and as a result the rhythm between rest and balance is lost. This unbalanced life seems like an epidemic in Canadian society; we live in a time filled with workaholics and activity-aholics. It almost seems like a status symbol when someone asks how we are doing to answer with “Been really busy.” When we get too busy with work and other pursuits, the life-giving and soul-recharging activities often get neglected. Things like prayer, meditation, Bible reading and time with our church community get pushed to the bottom of the todo list. An unbalanced life can easily lead to an undernourished soul.
An unbalanced schedule, attending one event after another, makes most of us tired. Vince Lombardi, the great football coach, famously said, “Fatigue makes cowards of us all.” When you’re tired you lose your enthusiasm.
The result of too much doing and not enough recharging is that your passion fades.
Jesus, our example and our teacher, lived with passion. The last moments of his life are often called “the Passion.” But the gospels tell of his passion on many occasions (see Luke 22:44 for an example of passionate prayer). It characterized his life.
One way to think about following Jesus is to consider,
“What was Jesus passionate about?”
Filling up his social calendar?
There are many things that modern people are passionate about that Jesus did not concern himself with. Jesus concerned himself with things that would matter for eternity: the hearts and lives of people.
The verse referenced earlier, Luke 22:44, demonstrates that Jesus was also passionate about staying connected to the source, God the Father. As Jesus said, the vine withers when it is not connected to the branch. You wither when life’s hecticness takes you away from the the things that can re-energize your soul. A vacation might be restful to your body and mind but only the spiritual exercises can recharge your soul. Why? Because those practices move you toward Jesus. And as you move toward Jesus, his love fills your life and your passion grows again.
— Todd Lester is the Director of Ministry Development & Operations at Be In Christ Church of Canada.
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