Year ago, my youngest brother and I were having a discussion about the various twists and turns that the Lord has led us through in our spiritual walks when he mentioned that he had been asked what his “spiritual passion is.” We chuckled a bit at that because we have both discovered that, in some ways, the expression has become somewhat cliché. Ask a cliché question and most folks learn how to throw back a cliché answer. And if not a cliché answer, then perhaps a mechanical one.
My wife, in a car ride home one evening shortly after, turned to me with a twinkle in her eye. “And what is your spiritual passion?”
“Oh, you overheard our conversation, did you?” I said, laughing. She nodded. “Well, my passion is for God to be glorified.” She waited expectantly. “But what does that mean?” she seemed to be saying. I thought a moment and then continued.
“My passion,” I continued, “is for people to fall so head-over-heals in love with God, that they’re passionate about Him in every aspect of their lives.” And it’s true: I deeply long to see people take the Lord Jesus with them to work, to school, and to play instead of leaving Him at home… or worse, at church on Sunday morning (if they’ve even bothered going). I want to see folks say to the social pressures crowding into their lives, “I’m sorry. I have a very important date with God that I can’t break.”
I want to see people participate in the life of the God’s church NOT because it’s just a cool place to be, or because it’s their duty, or even because they’re hoping to get good moral training in for their kids (although all those things are true). I truly wish that people crave the presence of God so earnestly in their lives that they make meditation in His Word (the Bible) and intense prayer daily parts of each day of their lives.
My passion is to see people involved in God’s kingdom just because they love God. A radical transformation took place in my life when I was about twenty years old. I had called Jesus my Savior and said that He was my Lord, but I had never really surrendered ALL of my life to Him. At least not until I became friends with a college football player named Darrell. Darrell wasn’t a Christian when I met him. He was a nice guy – big, burly, and a lot of street smarts, but still a nice guy. And then one day, he came into the room in which I was working on a project and started talking to some mutual friends about something incredible that had happened to him. He had realized that Jesus had died for him and that He was wanting to be Lord and Master of Darrell’s life. Darrell shared that he had given his heart to God and that everything inside of him had changed.
He got rid of a gold cap on his front tooth (something he had done to make a point with the street gang he had once hung with in Miami, Florida). He got involved in Bible study and then a church. He even became a mentor in a program designed to encourage low-income kids and model for them healthy lifestyle choices. As I watched the changes taking place in him, I recalled a Bible verse that he quoted, Matthew 6:33 “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be given to you” (or “all your needs will be met”).
I remember now, even as he shared then what God was doing in his life, a perfectly clear sense of God’s Holy Spirit speaking to me. “What about you? What are you doing with the investment of my love in your life? Are you going to continue to live your life as you see fit? Or will you truly let Me take charge?”
Of course, there is only one answer to that question. When I consider how miserably lost I would be without Jesus as Lord and Savior of my life, there is no other choice before me. When I think of how I would squander my time here on earth if I were to do with it as I saw fit, I know that there is only One Who can and should hold the reins of my life. As God graciously opened my heart to His loving lordship in those days, He also opened doors of opportunity to get connected with people through whom He’d prepare me for serving Him. Even the wonderful lady who is now my wife is a perfect example of someone I met shortly after that experience with Darrell and who became a major player in helping to shape my future life and work, not to mention that it was during this time of my life that I lived for awhile with my grandparents, both passionately walking with God in the details of life.
And since those days, recalling again and again the lesson that God shared with me in that life-changing experience, I want as much or more than I did then to see God glorified in the lives of His people as they fully surrender their lives to Him.
So if ever my heart desired something and if there is something about which I feel truly passionate, it is that an incredible transformation will take hold of all the Believers in all the churches in our community. How I long for all God’s people to wholeheartedly serve Him. Just think! When He begins to really get a hold of our hearts, our lives begin to radically impact the lives of others and we begin to change the world!
“Thanks be to God, Who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of Him everywhere. For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life. Who is sufficient for these things?” (2 Corinthians 2:14-16 ESV).
Thom Mollohan and his family have ministered in southern Ohio the past 22 years. He is the author of The Fairy Tale Parables, Crimson Harvest, and A Heart at Home with God. He blogs at “unfurledsails.wordpress.com”. Pastor Thom leads Pathway Community Church and may be reached for comments or questions by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.