Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Passion. Belonging. Purpose.

Still thinking of Joseph - what an inspiration his life and obedience was: as Jennie Allen (Day 12 of 'Restless') says:
"We all are longing to live for something bigger than ourselves. As believers in Jesus with need all around us, we get to. We look past the normal of mundane jobs and boring places and see the need in them, and passions start to wake up. God built us to take the material around us and invest it into our nearest need. It's how we've been wired: we are most fulfilled when we are meeting needs.
And yet, this week, I had a conversation with someone who, before going on an overseas missionary assignment, said: "I said to someone there was nothing for us to do here. It sounds ridiculous now, as of course there IS so much to do, but I think it was God loosening our roots to help us go."

How I feel. One way or another, I am praying that my heart is stirred with purpose for others' needs - and perhaps I need only open my eyes wider, or turn in a different direction to see needs I have not noticed before.

"God built us to love different things so we could meet different needs. It's beautiful that your heart doesn't beat fast about the same things my heart beats over...Beautiful is the body of Christ poured out into every crevice of this world, every city, every office, every home. It's the unselfish passions of people displaying the love of their God in a million unique ways. a direction that blesses people and shows God. That direction is usually determined by the things that cause you to beat the table, or lay in bed awake, or speak with exclamation marks.

 Our passions determine our direction.... Where does my heart bleed for the need I
see around me ?

She talks of William Wilberforce, whose passion was to right the injustice of the slave trade and who gave his life to this cause. "But at some point William's passions turned into a calling. When that happens, the cost becomes irrelevant.

Every one of us who knows Christ has a calling for our lives. William Wilberforce and Joseph aren't especially epic, they just gave their lives to the problem of their generations. We could do that too. The problem is we don't naturally have passion for others. We are naturally danged selfish.

But when we were bought by Christ, we exchanged our heart full of self-seeking passions for things on this earth for God's heart. And now we share his passions. Our hearts are new, and now what was cold and hard is soft and full of compassion, led and moved by his Spirit.

It is a privilege to use our passions to participate in the work of God. What is holding you back?

What needs have I experienced or observed that have moved me?
How could I use my passions for God's glory?

This CAN happen, because God has promised: "I’ll pour pure water over you and scrub you clean. I’ll give you a new heart, put a new spirit in you. I’ll remove the stone heart from your body and replace it with a heart that’s God-willed, not self-willed. I’ll put my Spirit in you and make it possible for you to do what I tell you and live by my commands." (Ezekiel 36:25 - 27)

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