What does it mean to live with passion for the sake of Jesus Christ? Those of us who seek to follow Him would probably agree that it is our desire to live a life full of passion, a life fully alive in Him. In practice, however, our resolve can wane and we end up swept away by the tides of life.
As long as we are focused on ourselves, we will never come to terms with what it means to live a life of devotion. To experience the life of joy found only in Christ, our focus must be on Him and Him alone.
Passion has been defined as a “strong and barely controllable emotion.” That is certainly my desire when it comes to the way I follow Christ in my daily life. Here’s what I think this looks like in practical application:
- Getting up in the morning with Christ as our focus for the day – We must be intentional in setting our focus for the day. Beginning each morning with prayer and reading God’s Word is a great way to direct your thoughts toward Him. I avoid looking at any news until at least lunch time as I’ve found that filling your mind with the negative and evil things occurring in our world is a sure prescription to distract us from seeing the glory of God. Pray that God will help you not only see opportunities throughout your day, but to seize them as well.
- Seeing Christ in every person we encounter throughout the day – If we would look on everyone we meet as if we were gazing on Jesus, our attitude toward others will be transformed. Any kindness we do for someone else is a kindness done to Christ and enables us to continue the mission He has given us. Again, this must be an intentional discipline. People do not magically become less irritating and our own frustrations will not simply disappear. What must change is the way we approach these difficulties. It requires us to be in continual prayer throughout the day asking God to help us see others as He does and focus on their worth to Him.
- Capturing our thoughts so that evil ones are cast aside and we are left with only the goodness of God on which to dwell – In addition to our attitude towards others, we must also be diligent in guarding our thoughts. I’ve already spoken of the dangers of letting negative thoughts enter your mind first thing in the morning, but it is equally important to bathe your mind with positive, God-honoring thoughts as we go throughout our day. This is perhaps the hardest discipline to develop, at least in my personal experience. When you notice a thought that is not in line with the character of God, immediately stop it by asking Jesus to drown that thought with His blood so that it no longer exists in your mind. Consciously refocus on those things that are honorable and pure (Philippians 4:8).
- Lying down at night with thankfulness for the day behind us and eager anticipation of the one to come – As you lay down at night, spend some time reflecting on your actions and conversations of the day. Thank the Lord for the divine moments you seized for His glory, and ask for His power to help you better deal with the moments you let slip by. Ask for His grace to cover you the next day and make certain you continue to think thoughts of Him as you drift to sleep.
If we can fill our days in such a way, I believe we will be consumed with our passion to follow Christ. When everything we do is with Him in mind, our love for Him cannot help but grow as we immerse ourselves deeper and deeper into His character. It takes work and it takes discipline, but I believe God will honor your efforts to live for Him. If you have a bad day, start anew the next; you will fail, but you must never quit. Determine to live your life with passion for Christ. In this you will find joy and experience a life well lived.
Question: What do you think a life full of passion for Christ looks like? You can leave a comment below.