Sunday, January 23, 2011

January 24, 2011

"Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord." Romans 12:11 (TNIV)

“Don't burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame." Romans 12:11 (The Message)

What are you passionate about?

How do you fuel that passion?

What robs you of your passion?

Those are some of the issues addressed in this middle section of Romans 12.
How do you define passion? Is it an emotional state? Is it an attitude? Is it a spiritual condition?
Here, Paul defines it as a level of commitment. He equates it with "zeal".
Commitment implies a narrowed focus. When you are committed to numerous things you are, in fact, not committed. You may have multiple interests but minimal commitment. Most people nowadays can relate to the concept of being "over committed".
What happens to over committed people? Don't they usually become over stressed? Once you are over stressed what happens to your passion? What happens to your energy level? What happens to your level of performance?
I established at the beginning of this series that God calls you to the purpose of overcoming evil with His goodness. But what are the chances of overcoming evil if you are overwhelmed by too many commitments?

"But, Brad" you argue, "The things I am committed to are all good things! Isn't that how you overcome evil?"
While I will give you that if you are going to be overwhelmed it is better to be overwhelmed with good things than by bad things, but the net result is pretty much the same. In my experience, the
most common hindrance to believers overcoming evil WITH good is being overcome BY good. Doing the good things is usually what prevents you from doing the best things.
"So," you ask, "How do I narrow my focus? How do I prioritize my commitments?"
Discover that and you will take a giant step toward living with passion. I will give you a hint, Jesus said, "But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well."