October 13, 2014

Passion Under Control

Written by Boyd Bailey

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – October 13, 2014

For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. Titus 2:11-13

Passion is something we look for in leaders, coaches, athletes and artists. We admire people who have a passion for their faith, family, work, hobby or life in general. These upbeat individuals bring energy to projects, problems and relationships. You can feel it when they walk into a room. An energized person engages with their eyes, body language, emotions and speech. A neutral response is not an option with someone motivated to do something or be someone. But not all passions are created equal. Energy around foolishness is hurtful–we need passion under control.

Passion is good as long as it is under the control of God’s grace. We can say yes to passion when it is channeled into Christ-centered outcomes. Thus, we pray for the passion of Christ to motivate us. We trust the Holy Spirit to stir our souls. Our confidence in God prepares us to say no to ungodliness and worldly passions, so we can say yes to godliness and eternal motivations. When our desires are fueled by faith we can’t wait to make a difference for Jesus. When He controls our emotions, He frees us to radically love with our whole being. Pure living is passionate.

“At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another” (Titus 3:3).

Are you enslaved by selfish passions and pleasures, or do you enjoy passionate living for the Lord? For example, the all consuming drive to make more money looks a lot different than a disciplined routine to take care of your spiritual and physical health while intentionally investing in your family and friends. If you are always emotionally spent from a frantic pace of life you have nothing left to give when you spend time with those you love most. Ask the Spirit to prune back good activities and questionable behaviors so you can enjoy His best. Choose humility.

Furthermore, seek to gain Christ and not be distracted by self indulgent pleasures. Perhaps the Lord is calling you to a higher standard of conduct so others can be inspired and instructed. Release your affections toward the tender touch of Jesus and He will keep you from unhealthy, even destructive desires. A heart full of Jesus is not co-dependent on another’s manipulative, but otherwise sincere heart. Ask the Lord to fire your faith with His desires. Submit your wishes to His wisdom. Place your heart in the hand of your heavenly Father. Be passionate with Him!

“Delight yourself in the Lord; And He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, Trust also in Him, and He will do it” (Psalm 37:4-5, NASB).

Prayer: Heavenly Father, align my passions with Your passions. Channel my energy into Your outcomes.

Related Readings: Job 27:10; Psalm 145:19; Matthew 6:33; 1 Corinthians 7:9; Galatians 5:24

Post/Tweet today: Ask the Spirit to prune back good activities and questionable behaviors so you can enjoy His best. #wisdomhunters

Additional Resource: 5 minute Passion music video: http://tinyurl.com/nw866hu

Order our new book, The Way of Wisdom: A Journey Towards Spiritual Growthjust out          October 1st! Boyd’s one minute book videohttp://bit.ly/1nhZ2bt

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