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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Passion Fruit

I recently started the Beth Moore Bible Study "David: A Heart Like His". In the first sessions, as we began the study with a look at King Saul, Beth mentioned in her material that Saul was not passionate about being king. As a matter of fact, when the leaders of the nation of Israel looked for Saul to crown him, he was hiding. Beth concluded that, in looking at Saul's life and reign as king, his position exceeded his passion.

This statement struck me like a ton of bricks. In fact, I have been mulling over it for at least two weeks now. Why? Because I recently found myself in a similar situation and it has caused me to ask myself the question, "What am I passionate about?". I have certainly realized with startling clarity in recent days what I am NOT passionate about. Unfortunately, for a period of time, that which I was not passionate about seemed to overtake my life. Interestingly enough, it tuned out not to be a fruitful endeavor for me. It also negatively affected relationships with friends, family, and most of all my Lord. Like Saul, I was qualified, had the proper knowledge and ability, and had a following of people who wanted me in my "position". What I lacked from the beginning was passion. I just wasn't passionate enough about the position to make it work. The situation has now resolved itself and I am moving on, but it continues to beg questions: What drives me? What fuels my life? What is it that gets me really excited? What AM I passionate about?

Like any mother or grandmother - we prefer "Nana" at my house - I could say my children or my grandchildren. I love them passionately. I could say I am passionate about reading. I am never without my Kindle or a book in hand. My husband might say I am "passionate" about technology. I love a new electronic toy any day and can get really excited over the tasks they perform...but is this really who I am?

In searching my heart, I find myself drawn to one of the most passionate men in scripture - the Apostle Paul. In Philippians 3, beginning in verse 7 he writes, "But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him....(v. 10) I WANT TO KNOW CHRIST and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead."

That, my friends, is passion. Paul was a wealthy, prestigious man and he lost it all when he chose to follow Christ. He didn't care - his goal in life was to know Christ more and more until he became like Him. Jesus sums it up in Matthew 16:26: "What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?" Big salary, nice house, fancy car - it means nothing without knowing Christ. And once you start to know Christ, the importance of all those things begins to fade because you truly start to understand that HE is all you need.

I pray that I can say with Paul "I want to know Christ" and that He is my passion. That will be a fruitful endeavor. A little passion fruit - its good for the heart....

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