The Need for Passion!
God loves wholeheartedness. Divided and lukewarm hearts, on the other hand, nauseate Him (see Rev. 3:15 - 16). He refuses to tolerate indifference. The Almighty epitomizes passion and, to those who accept it, offers to share with them His passionate love of people. If we are going to turn America back to Him, we must be a people of extreme passion.
I love the definitions of these two words, “extreme” and “passion,” when applying them to the cause of Christ.
“The greatest possible degree of intensity” – that’s exactly what our cause requires.
“Beyond the norm” – right on. Status quo desire will never change America. The liberals, humanists and antichrist forces in America have been far more passionate about their cause than we, the body of Christ have.
“The point farthest from the middle” – I love that! This is exactly where I want to be. No middle ground. I’m not a moderate; I’m a radical, passionate reformer! Balanced? No thanks.
“Intensely emotional” – you bet. Of all the accusations made toward me, I don’t want lack of intensity to be one of them.
I thought perhaps I should also look up the word intense, just to make sure I was striving for the right qualities: possess a distinctive feature to a heightened degree. Yep, that works. I want a heightened degree of passion.
Passionless Christianity is a contradiction. I’m certainly not setting the standard for passion and commitment - many believers convict me with their level of passion for Christ and His cause - but I’m working on mine. My goal is to always burn with extreme passion!
Pioneers are Cause-Minded
David had the kind of zealous love for God I’m speaking of. When listening to Goliath mock the Lord, he quickly reached his threshold. “Who is this guy to curse the living God in the name of his false gods?“ David asked. Then he asked the poignant and loaded question, “Is there not a cause?“ (1 Samuel 17:29, KJV).
Through this rhetorical question, David was declaring, “The ramifications of this threat are bigger than just the nation of Israel; they’re more important than our lands, and even our lives. God’s reputation is at stake!” Perhaps this is why David actually ran to face the 9 1/2 foot tall giant. Death was possible, yes, but David’s passion for God was stronger than his fear of death.
Where are the David’s of our day who will run to face today’s spiritual giants – the forces of evil who oppose God and His purposes? Where are those willing to lay their lives down for His cause? I believe passionate warriors such as this are on the increase. Though they will never be the majority, there will be enough. God will empower them, just as He did David, and they will prevail.
Years later, David was still passionate after God. As the Ark of God’s presence (abandoned and ignored during Saul’s reign) was making its way to Jerusalem, David threw off his kingly robes, laying aside his royal pomp and dignity, and danced wildly. (see 2 Samuel 12:23 and 1 Chronicles 15:29). He was celebrating the fact that God’s presence was coming home where it belonged. I love it!
His wife Michal, however, not a worshiper and certainly not passionate about God, did not like his passion nor his humility. She actually mocked David’s zeal and lack of dignity. Incidentally, prioritization of dignity over passion would be quite appropriate in most American worship services.
What was David’s response to Michal? “You haven’t seen anything yet,” he stated. I will be much more undignified than this!”
On your journey to find the old road, Christ’s cause will ultimately have to outweigh your pride, and passion will need to overcome personal dignity. Christ and His cause must trump all.
Incidentally, God‘s response to Michal’s spiritual indifference and disdain for David’s passion was much stronger than David’s response. The Lord judged her with barrenness - He didn’t want her nature passed on. That’s pretty serious. Assuredly, God loves passion and loathes apathetic indifference.
A Prisoner of Love
The Apostle Paul was another pioneer who demonstrated extreme passion. “The love of God controls us,“ he said, in describing his commitment to the cause of Christ (see 2 Corinthians 5:14). “Controls“ (Greek: sunecho) is a word actually meaning “to be a prisoner.” God‘s love had possessed Paul to the point that its hold was inescapable. Bound by love, he faced hunger, thirst, numerous beatings, imprisonment, and much more to lead people to Christ. The need for pleasure and comfort didn’t control Paul; passion for Christ’s cause had enslaved him.
The Founders of America had extreme passion and were willing to die for the cause of freedom. “Give me liberty or give me death,” was more than a slick campaign speech. When Patrick Henry made this now famous statement he was stating unequivocally, “I am willing to die for this cause.” Look up his entire speech and you’ll see his unwavering passion for God and this nation.
Passionate Until Death!
I have mentioned John Adams elsewhere but it is appropriate to include him here, as well. Adams was such a passionate pioneer of liberty that Thomas Jefferson referred to him as a “colossus of independence.“ Though the two of them didn’t always see eye-to-eye, their passion for America enabled them to put aside their differences and they died as close friends – on the same day!
Most people aren’t aware that both Adams and Jefferson died on the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1826! Incredibly, it was as though both men willed themselves to live until that landmark day. Their passion to see the survival of this holy “experiment“ - as many described America in that day - kept them alive until this milestone was reached. Adams, too weak to attend the national Fourth of July celebration, asked to be sat in a chair by his window in order to watch the festivities. While there, he drifted into unconsciousness and died later that night. Two of Adams’ last words before he graduated to heaven: “Independence forever.” (1)
Passionate in life; passionate in death.
Adams and our other Founders were God-honoring, pioneer-patriots with the steel of mind and heart to face perhaps the greatest empire in all of history. Like David, they asked the profound question, “Is there not a cause?” And they answered it with their lives.
That is the question we must ask today. Is Christ’s cause in America important enough to live - and die - for? There are now millions of young people in the United States who have had their opportunity to know Him stolen by ungodly educators, liberal politicians, legistating judges and lukewarm preachers. Are not these young people worth our prayers and passion? How many more of them must die in gangs, school shootings, suicides, overdoses, drunken car accidents and sex trafficking before the church of America has the courage and passion to stand up and shout, “Enough!”
How many more babies must be murdered in the womb of their mothers? How many more children will be raised in fatherless homes? When will enough be enough?
America has, indeed, lost the old road. God is calling for a new generation of passionate pioneers to rise up and boldly declare, “We’re going to find the road. Come hell or high water - persecution, mocking, or loss – we will find the way back to God’s plan and purpose for America.”
Many are familiar with the movie Braveheart. At the end of this stirring film, the great warrior, William Wallace, is being tortured to death. He is offered mercy, however, if he will renounce his quest for freedom from England’s tyranny. Wallace’s answer to their offer was a thunderous roar that rang from the depths of his passionate, warrior heart: “Freedom!!!”
Wallace’s passion and commitment, even in death, inspired a nation to fight and gain their freedom.
I certainly have no desire to identify with the method of Wallace’s death, but I do want to end my life with the same message. Like Wallace, I hope my shout is still heard when my mouth is silenced by the grave. And if and when my name is mentioned, I’d like it to provoke passion and action, not praise or acclaim.
How about you?
Pray with me:
Father, You like passion, hunger, and wholeheartedness. You made it clear that You dislike lukewarmness and indifference. We want to be a people of passion, walking in the greatest possible degree of intensity regarding You and Your cause.
With passionate hearts we cry out for revival. With passionate hearts we cry out for a presence movement to sweep the earth. With passionate hearts we ask You for the greatest harvest ever - by far - of people coming out of death into life. With passionate hearts we ask You to set captives free, open prison doors and heal the brokenhearted. With passionate hearts we declare that America shall be saved, the earth will hear the gospel of the kingdom, and the knowledge of the glory of the Lord will cover the earth as the waters cover the sea!
We declare that the “burning ones,” those with hearts aflame, are arising in the earth.
Click on the link below to watch the full prayer.
Adams, John. July 4, 1826
Booth, William. “Who Cares?”.