Last week was a well-timed kickoff of my online virtual Zoom study for Discovering Jesus…
God created men with passion in their souls. To Adam, He said, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” From the very beginning, men were given big assignments! It didn’t take long, however, for the passion to become redirected into a murderous encounter between two brothers, Cain and Abel. Ever since then, one of the primary challenges of men is to keep the powerful passions of their lives focused on pursuits and activities that take full advantage of their inherent strength.
Keeping our passions focused begins with developing an ongoing, consistent passion for God. During Jesus’ earthly ministry He consistently talked about a relationship with God as an intense pursuit. Consider Luke 12:21, “This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.” Jesus told men they should make it their goal to be rich toward God. Not just barely getting by or casually connected, but rich. As men, we know how big the pull is to get rich in this world. It can consume our thoughts, our schedules and our decisions. Jesus uses this intense desire to define what a relationship with God should be like. The implication is clear. We should pursue God as hard as anybody has ever desired to be rich in this world.
One of the greatest compliments God ever gave to a man was to David in the Old Testament when he called him “a man after God’s own heart.” As you watch the progress of David’s life, you will notice that he has a habit of checking in with God before he took major steps in his life. In 1 Samuel 23:2, he heard that the Philistines were fighting against the city of Keilah. His past was filled with successful campaigns against the Philistines so it would have been easy for him to rely on his own abilities and rush into battle. He, however, had a bigger passion for God than he did for his accomplishments and so he inquired of the LORD, saying, “Shall I go and attack these Philistines?” The LORD answered him, “Go . . .” Just to make sure he was on the same wavelength, “Once again David inquired of the LORD, and the LORD answered him, “Go down to Keilah, for I am going to give the Philistines into your hand.” (1 Samuel 23:4)
We are all talented and we all have strong desires in our souls. Next time you have the opportunity to simply rely on your abilities, inquire of the Lord before you jump in. The passion you build in your relationship with God will far overshadow any delay it creates in your forward movement!