DayBreaks for 3/25/14 – Passion and the Fire
John 2:17 (NLT) – Then his disciples remembered this prophecy from the Scriptures: “Passion for God’s house will consume me.”
I’ve written recently about some of the spiritual struggles I’ve been wrestling with – about a desire to come closer to God, to really, really connect with Him, to come to trust Him without reservation. Much of my life has been spent, I now realize, trying to keep this frightful God at arm’s length for fear of being asked to do something or sacrifice something that I am unwilling to do or give. Is it that I want to be that way? No, not really. It is just the truth about me in my human weakness and fear.
Yesterday, in my quiet time, I was in looking at today’s text while I was trying to learn something more about the Jesus who is my Lord. I tried to picture the scene in my mind…and then to contrast it with my own “passion” for the Lord’s house. I didn’t like what the passage revealed to me about myself!
Many times throughout my years, going to church has felt like a duty, an obligation, something one had to do in order to make God happy with us (and I was a pastor for 12 of those years!) I think nothing could be further from the truth. While God invites us and wants us to come to His house, I don’t think God wants us going there begrudging Him the time. He wants us there because we delight in worshiping Him, in fellowship and communion with the Trinity and other someday-to-be-glorified saints.
Oh, that we had such passion as Jesus did for the Lord’s house! Where do we get it? Where does it come from? It can’t come from a rocking worship band (though I love powerful worship!), from some spell-binding preacher, lest it be a manufactured thing, and God never manufactures passion for us. It can only come from within, from a strong bond with the Spirit of the Living God Himself, that stirs us to love and adoration, gratitude and humility, inspires us with awe and wonder. The Spirit longs to be with the Father and Son, and They all long to be with One Another!
We are given the gift of the Holy Spirit when we become followers of Christ. 1 Thessalonians 5:19 says we are not to quench that Spirit. In context, that passage comes in the midst of many exhortations to love, to encourage, help, be patient, rejoice, pray, do good always, giving thanks… Those are combustible things that fuel passion for the Spirit. A fire is quenched by putting non-combustible things on it…dirt, water, etc. When we put worldly and non-spiritual things into our lives and hearts instead of the combustible things of God, we will quench the Spirit.
As I have struggled to draw closer to God, I have looked for the “silver bullet” of how to actually do it. I don’t claim to have found all the answers. But this illustration of combustible and non-combustible spoke to me. I have the Spirit that Jesus has given me. If I am lacking in passion for God, it is not the fault of the Spirit – it is because I have quenched the Spirit by feeding myself non-Holy Spirit combustible things. If we are lacking in passion for the Lord’s house, it may well be because we are filling our lives with non-combustible things rather than what fuels the fire of the Spirit!
PRAYER: Jesus, I need your passion for the Father’s house! Ignite those things in my life that need to be consumed and destroyed so that I may be ignited by the Spirit! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright 2014 by Galen C. Dalrymple.
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