A Passion For God by Charles Stanley

I found this while doing a Google search and thought it was an adequit way of explaining my heart at the moment. I’m just waiting on God now, so please keep me in your prayers.

Passion for God
by Charles F. Stanley

The Passion of His Heart is Loving and Caring For You For All Eternity

It was the day of the Passover feast and all of Jerusalem was preparing for the celebration. In the evening would be served the Passover meal, which symbolized God’s deliverance of Israel from Egyptian bondage.

That morning Judas, who was in charge of the finances, left Bethany to purchase the lamb that would be sacrificed and cooked for the Passover meal. First, however, he made an unexpected stop at the place of the high priest. And it was there in Caiaphas’s presence that Judas agreed to betray Jesus.

Did Judas know what he was doing? No one knows. John the apostle was direct in his observation: “Satan . . . entered into him,” (John 13:27) and led him to betray the Lord. From the beginning, the passion of Judas’s heart was set on his desires and political interests.

After Judas returned with the lamb, Jesus took Peter and John aside and instructed them as to where and how to prepare the Passover meal. The two immediately left Jerusalem without telling the others of their destination. The stage was now set for the greatest drama of all time, yet no one knew of its coming.

A few hours later, up a flight of simple steps that led to a place we now know as the “upper room,” Peter and John waited nervously for Jesus and the disciples’
arrival.

Gratefully, tensions eased the moment the Savior passed through the door of the upper room. Then under the flickering glow of the room’s oil lamps, Jesus explained what must take place in the coming hours. But even here in this intimate atmosphere, the disciples did not understand Christ’s words.

Peter tried to reason with Jesus, exclaiming that he would die if necessary to protect the One he loved. Yet Jesus knew that though the disciples’ passions were sincere, they also were skewed by human hopes and desires. They continued to look to God for the establishment of a tangible kingdom on earth. Jesus was their one hope that this would take place.

The passion of Christ’s heart was focused on the will of the Father. He loved each person that was with Him, but a greater love consumed His heart, and that was a love that drew Him to obey His heavenly Father.

A PASSION LOST, A PASSION REGAINED

The shock of Jesus’ crucifixion left the disciples feeling helpless and alone. No one could have imagined such an event taking place. Yet it happened. The memory of these final moments spent with the Lord must have seemed bittersweet as the disciples thought back to the love and sacrifice Jesus had displayed.

The Jews were sure that Jesus’ death would put an end to His teaching. Surely, no one would continue to follow a dead man. But they were wrong. Jesus rose again. And with His resurrection came an eternal hope that no man could quench. Before Christ’s death, the passion of the disciples was centred in human emotion. It rose and fell like the wind out on the Sea of Galilee.

But after Jesus’ death, a strong determination to abandon everything for the love of God began to grow within their hearts. They no longer clung to thought of who and what they were before they met Christ. Political passions and personal goals apart from the will of God were put aside and replaced with an insatiable desire to know God and to do His will.

What stirs the passion of your heart? Does knowing God touch your soul so deeply that you find yourself longing to know Him more each day? Or are you torn between satisfying the desire of your flesh and loving God? Many are. The disciples had to come to a point where nothing mattered but the love they had for Jesus.

A PASSION REMAINS

True passion for God requires an investment in things of eternal value. It also requires a true conviction and desire to know and experience God’s love above and beyond all this world has to offer. The apostle Paul wrote: “Whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that, I count all things to be loss in view if the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ” (Philippians 3:7-8). Oswald Chambers says of Paul, “He was recklessly abandoned, separated by God for one purpose – to proclaim the Gospel of God.”

The evidence of a growing passion for God includes:

an increasing desire to know the Lord on an intimate basis.
a desire to obey God that supersedes the need to fulfill personal desires.
repentance the moment we become aware of sin. When we have a passion for God, acts of disobedience will hurt our hearts because we know they hurt the heart of God.
a growing passion to live for Christ. It is this passion that motivates us to love and worship Him.
a loving acceptance for God’s desired plan for our lives. Acceptance in this area may include a season of waiting for God to reveal His will to us.

After Jesus’ death and resurrection, the disciples had to wait in Jerusalem for God’s Spirit to come to them. This was a time of intense testing for them. Jesus had commanded them to wait, and many times we will have to do the same thing. One thing to keep in mind: waiting always prepares us for great blessings.

In times of waiting, our true passion for God is revealed. Either we remain close to Him in our spirits or we rush to fulfill our own desires. The disciples remained in the upper room, and Jesus came to them.

Often we think of a godly passion as being something we learn or achieve through some method of study. But there is no one formula to gaining a passion for God. This is because it is something that God cultivates within us. He places a desire to know Him within the hearts of all men and women. But we must respond to this desire.

Therefore, how do you cultivate a passion for God in your life? The first step is prayer. A humble heart devoted to God in prayer is the beginning of true devotion. God found David to be a man after His own heart. (Acts 13:22)

For David, prayer and worship combined to become the catalyst for his passionate relationship with the Lord.

Only in prayer and worship do we experience true communion with the Savior. It is through prayer that we open our hearts to God. And it is in prayer that we find Him waiting to satisfy our every need. The psalmist writes, “As the deer pants for the water brooks, so my soul pants for You, O God” (Psalm 42:1).

Never be afraid to go to God in prayer. No matter what you have done, God hears your prayers. He loves you with the same love He has for His Son. His love is set on you. And He is committed to taking the broken parts of your life and making them whole.

Spiritual growth begins in His presence. If your schedule is tight, ask Him to help you find a time and place when you can be alone with Him. You may have only a few moments, but God will take advantage of this time and teach you great and mighty principles from His Word.

A growing passion for God leads to an unwavering faith. Even in times of darkness, God is strengthening and refining our passion. Disappointment and failure are tools in His mighty hand. He uses these to shape our lives so that we become the blessings of God.

After the crucifixion, the disciples did not know where to go or what to do. All they had were the words that Jesus had spoken to them, and what, for the moment, appeared to be broken dreams. But the resurrection was only two days away and then eternal glory would wash over the face of this earth! The passion our hearts yearn to enjoy is wrapped up in Jesus Christ. All that we long to know about love is found in the Savior’s embrace.

What you will find when you seek Him is this: the passion of His heart is wrapped up in loving and caring for you for all eternity.

REQUIREMENTS FOR DEVELOPING A PASSION TO SERVE GOD

A desire to serve Him according to His will and not your own.

A willingness to serve Him with the spiritual gifts He has given you and not just your talents. An example, of this is the apostle Paul who never claimed to be a great speaker. Yet God empowered him to become the greatest preacher, other than Jesus Christ, of all time.

A willingness to serve the Lord in His power and not your own strength. Many times you may refuse to do certain things that God is urging you to do because you don’t “feel” adequate. These are the very times God wants us to follow through because it is His adequacy through us that achieves the God-given goal.

A desire to keep the focus of your life set on Jesus Christ and not on the world around you. The spirit of the world will draw you aside and separate you from the things of God. The Lord’s way will often take you along path- ways you would not normally choose for yourself. This is why it is extremely important to ask Him to make you sensitive to the leading of His Spirit.

Scriptures for further study on how to develop a passion for God include:
2 Corinthians 11:22-28; Philippians 3:3-12; Colossians 1:28-29; and Psalm 84.

Have you made the wonderful discovery of a Spirit-filled life? Click here

Taken from the April In Touch magazine, 1999 In Touch Ministries, Atlanta, GA. Used with permission.

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3 thoughts on “A Passion For God by Charles Stanley

  1. Hello Robin,

    Thank you for sharing. I love Dr. Charles Stanley’s teachings. He always brings an awesome message from God’s Word.

    Because of the struggles in this world we cry out to God to rescue us because we know that He is our only hope. We can grow weary in our waiting sometimes, but the Word of God says not to grow weary in well doing because we will reap if we faint not. So while we wait may we continue to do well and know that reaping is just around the corner.

    Thank you for sharing this wonderful teaching by Dr. Stanley. It was very timely and very good!

  2. Great post. Stanley explains things so well. We leaned a song in VBS called “Let Your Passions Match Your Actions”

    God knows our passion.

    Thanks.

  3. I see a lot of interesting posts on your page.
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    save you a lot of time, there is a tool that creates unique, google friendly posts in couple of minutes, just type in google – k2 unlimited content

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