"It is fine to be zealous, provided the purpose is good." (Galatians 4:18 NIV)
God is a passionate God. He passionately loves some things and passionately hates other things. As you grow closer to him, he'll give you a passion for something he cares about deeply so you can be a spokesperson for him in the world.
It may be a passion about a problem, a purpose, a principle, or a group of people. Whatever it is, you'll feel compelled to speak up about it and do what you can to make a difference.
You cannot keep yourself from talking about what you care about most. Jesus said, "A man's heart determines his speech" (Matthew 12:34 LB).
Here are two examples:
- David, who said, "My zeal for God and his work burns hot within me" (Psalm 69:9 LB).
- Jeremiah, who said, "Your message burns in my heart and bones, and I cannot keep silent" (Jeremiah 20:9 CEV).
God gives some people a godly passion to champion a cause. It's often a problem they personally experienced such as abuse, addiction, infertility, depression, a disease, or some other difficulty.
Sometimes God gives people a passion to speak up for a group of others who can't speak for themselves: the unborn, the persecuted, the poor, the imprisoned, the mistreated, the disadvantaged, and those who are denied justice.
The Bible is filled with commands to defend the defenseless.
God uses passionate people to further his Kingdom. He may give you a godly passion for starting new churches, strengthening families, funding Bible translations, or training Christian leaders, or you may be given a godly passion for reaching a particular group of people with the Gospel: businessmen, teenagers, foreign exchange students, young mothers, or those with a particular hobby or sport.
If you ask God, he’ll burden your heart for a specific country or ethnic group that desperately needs a strong Christian witness.
God gives us different passions so everything he wants done in the world will get done. You should not expect everyone else to be passionate about your passion.
Instead we must listen to and value each other's life message, because nobody can say it all. Never belittle someone else's godly passion.
The Bible says, "It is fine to be zealous, provided the purpose is good" (Galatians 4:18 NIV).
Talk About It
- What passion has God given you?
- What are you currently doing to pursue that passion?
- Do you believe God wants you to do something more or different to accomplish his goals?
- How can you support the godly passions of your friends and family?
Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., one of America's largest and most influential churches. Rick is author of the New York Times bestseller "The Purpose Driven Life." His book, "The Purpose Driven Church," was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also the founder of Pastors.com, a global Internet community for pastors.
This devotional © 2012 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.