There is a shift in the Kingdom that allows Kings to embrace their passion. We are all attracted to public figures in music, sports, business, or politics who are passionate. They love what they do; they are really good at it, and their level of fervor, enthusiasm and work ethic are on the edge. I’ve noticed that secular artists are often more free to express passion than Christians! That’s a little puzzling, because we believers have something to be really excited about! We’re the ones who should be most passionate.
Why – Passionate people are connected with their hearts at a level that touches the reason they were created. They’ve tapped the reason God put them here… and many aren’t even saved. They just found themselves, and released their hearts to do it. Living at a heart level that allows me to be myself is fun, fruitful, rewarding, prosperous and inspiring to others.
Why not – When we approach life out of our minds instead of our hearts, we simply can’t be passionate. Amazingly, “religion” can be a primary culprit in taking us away from our hearts and out of our passion. The concept that I’m “obeying God” or “following the leading of the Holy Spirit” is simply an expression for operating out of my head instead of my heart. Servants who take orders are simply never passionate; the more holy we try to become, the less true passion will emanate from our lives. Living out of a rule set in our minds is a legalistic disaster for Christians that totally misrepresents the good news. It’s volunteering for a life of bondage and oppression no matter how spiritual it seems…. not what Jesus intended.
…where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 2 Cor 3:17-18 NASU
Discipline – the difference between heart and mind shows up clearly in our approach to discipline. A religious, mental approach to discipline is corralling our desires and actions to conform to a standard… someone else’s expectations (God’s, for example). We would defend our actions by reasoning that we’ve done and believe what God wants us to. I’m a good servant living up to a standard that is foreign to my own heart! It’s called “double-minded.”
Discipline for a King couldn’t be more different; it’s “self discipline.” We’re pressing into the desires of our heart with great delight. Every extra measure of effort or restraint is an expression of our passion that takes us closer to our own goal and into the freedom of expressing who we really are in Christ. We don’t pit our will against God’s will; we are “friends” on exactly the same page. We know what the Father wants and what we want, and we tap an internal motivation and the power of God’s spirit that results in a surprising level of authority… to ask for the desires of our own heart. My heart, mind, actions and the will of God are finally all “aligned” and pointed in the same direction. Even more amazing, when we really find out who we are, we are free to love others at a whole new level. Life is no longer “about me.” All my needs and heart’s desires are satisfied to overflowing, and I can give myself to blessing people and nations. Pretty amazing!
I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit — fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. 17 This is my command: Love each other. John 15:15-17 NIV
I’m responsible – Servants wait on God, circumstances, direction and other people. Kings aren’t waiting for anything. They define the desires of their hearts with God, marriage, family, vocation, ministry, finances, health and play. They set the bar high, and make their dreams come true with clarity of vision and a plan to fulfill their desires and destiny.
Kings naturally commit themselves to the river of their passion. It’s more than just hoping (I’ll take if it falls in my lap). It’s more than choosing a pathway as an intellectual decision. It’s a warrior’s commitment, from the heart, to action that does whatever it takes as long as it’s necessary.
Taking responsibility for my own destiny:
1. Written goals – that maps my heart’s desires for God, marriage, family, vocation, ministry, finances, health and play. I read them frequently. I list my goals as questions (afformations) to give my mind a job coming up with the reason why it will happen instead of why it won’t happen. The link describes how and gives some examples.
2. Plan – I have a plan to implement those goals by a specific date. Without a plan to take some actions, I just have a mental wish list. The plan can take on the dimensions of a business plan for career goals. Realize that all of your goals are tied to finances so reset your Spiritual Wealth Thermostat. It feels really good to check some goals off with real progress.
3. Daily purpose – Every day I wake up, I have something to look forward to that maps into my heart’s desires. It’s just fun to live that way, and exciting to see the results when my life is aligned with my Kingdom purpose.
4. Divine appointments – I expect to make adjustments to my plan. God and I will come up with a steady stream of new ideas and people who will hasten my dream. Some people, circumstances and the enemy will try to distract my focus. I just won’t let them. Other people, opportunities, and the Holy Spirit will facilitate my dream. I will welcome them.
5. Track your progress – It’s fun to review the goals and the steps to make them reality. I can take credit for accomplishment, add new steps, and adjust the goals as I go. It’s a roadmap to my own dream that tracks right through my own heart’s desire. I’m naturally passionate about it.
6. Enjoy the ride – Living life by intentional design is fun. God really does empower us at a different level than a wandering, double-minded servant. Living our dream is much different than serving another man’s vision. I’m free to love people.
7. Life that impacts – My life can have a significant positive influence if I spend it in the direction of my heart’s desire and become all God created me to be. Many things may seem out of my reach, but when I become intentional, my heart finds a way. Opportunities, healthy relationship and finances all start flowing toward me when I operate out of my heart instead of my head.
“It’s impossible” – said the pride of my intellect.
“It’s risky” – said the experience in my memory.
“It’s meaningless” – said the common sense in my mind.
“Give it a chance” – whispered the desire of my heart!
When I thought of living life without passion, I was reminded of a phrase, “Where’s the beef.” It’s from a 1984 Wendy’s commercial about hamburgers. It reminds me of God’s view of an intellectual life without passion from the heart. The follow-up commercial was pretty good too. Humorously prophetic!