Passion is a dangerous thing. God-driven passion leads people to do crazy things.
- Things like leave behind the familiar to care for orphans on another continent.
- Or eat rice and beans for a month to identify with the hungry.
- Or give up Saturdays to build homes for the homeless.
Passion can drive you to lay aside your earnings, your comfort, your retirement, your health, even your life.
Passion is a dangerous thing. The very safest path is to leave passion out of your life, to simply do what you do on a day-in, day-out basis without heart, without desire. But that would be a very dull existence.
Not only would it be a dull existence, but a passionless life would be so much less than what God has planned for you.
In Chapter 3 of S.H.A.P.E., Eric Rees identifies “five passion principles that can inspire us to dream big and think beyond our fears.”
1. Know what drives you.
2. Know who you care about.
3. Know the needs you will meet.
4. Know the cause you will help conquer.
5. Know your ultimate dream for God’s kingdom.
Consider Esther. Ripped from her home and taken to a royal brothel, the king lifted this young Jewish girl out of his harem and placed a crown on her head. Banquets were given in her honor. The king repealed taxes and gave gifts because he was pleased with his new queen. Yet she knew that her position was tenuous. She was a Jew in an anti-Semitic land.
Initiated by one of the king’s own cabinet leaders, hatred against the Jews festered and spread. Yet Esther was safe, or at least she thought so. Considering her personal history, you can certainly understand her fear, her reluctance to step up to the plate. Esther refused to enter the king’s court. With her own safety driving her, she refused to plead with the king on behalf of her people.
Upon hearing of her reluctance, Mordecai writes to his niece stirring a passion deeper than self-preservation,
“If you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this.”
“For such a time as this.” Esther’s heart swelled at these words. Somehow concern for her own welfare seemed a puny passion compared the hope that she could be an agent of deliverance for her people.
Passion is a dangerous thing, as Esther is about to discover. Fear nearly kept her from being God’s agent of relief and deliverance for His people. Fear is often the factor that keeps us from a life of God-led passion, from stepping out to partner with God in advancing His purposes in the world. Join me tomorrow for Part 2 of 5 Passion Principles for A Dangerous Life to see how Esther lives out these passion principles and how you can too.
Can you identify with Esther? Is fear paralyzing you? Do you have a “Mordecai” in your life stirring you to be fueled by God-led passion? Tell me about it! Leave a comment or email me at email@example.com.
This post is part of a Virtual Book Club in which we read and discuss the book S.H.A.P.E.: Finding and Fulfilling Your Unique Purpose in Life, by Eric Rees. In addition to my own study and experience, much of the material and many of the insights originate in this book. I invite you to join me and my friends over the next few months as we work together to find and fulfill our unique purpose for life. It proves to be an exciting journey!