Serving with Passion, Laura Masoner
I grew up hearing that God is love, but I never heard the word “passion” when describing God or His character. The description of God’s passion toward us is found all over scripture, a prime example being the Song of Solomon. If you’ve spent any time in Psalms, you can’t miss David’s passion for God. I love where Psalm 42:1 says: “As the deer pants for the water brook so my soul longs after thee”. I can sense the love, passion, and longing that David feels toward God. Through trials and triumph, David loves and longs for the abiding presence of our creator, and it pours out of him like a bride gushing over her groom. The bible itself is the greatest love story in existence, no one can deny the unconditional love and the lengths to which He goes to draw us near and lavish us with His love. But the bible is more than a mere love story, is pure passion from cover to cover.
We are only able to love because He first loved us. Not only does he love us, He is passionate about us. As a jealous God, His godly jealousy is also a display of His passion for us. He is passionate that we remove idols from our lives that keep us in bondage to sin and rob us of the freedom He has for us. It is not self-seeking, God knows the pain and loss we will suffer if we choose sin over Him. God has a passion for intimacy with His children, and true intimacy between God and his children occurs when we pursue Him with an undivided heart.
When I decided to fully devote myself to Christ and die to self, the Holy Spirit ignited my passion toward Him. Not only am I passionate about Him, I am passionate about my calling and purpose. He wants us to serve Him out of our passion for Him, not out of a feeling of obligation. We are to have an eternal perspective that helps to develop the drive to exchange the things of this life for the things God calls us to endure. The apostle Paul knew this all too well.
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.2 Corinthians 4:16-18
As leaders we must have an eternal perspective from which we view the world. We also need passion and purpose, although it is essential that we are passionate about the right things. We need to place a high value in people rather than possessions or positions because we serve a God who is all about relationship. As leaders we must be invested in people, not in numbers, fancy websites, or lavish brunches which are mere tools. That is not to say that events and websites have little value because they are great tools to disseminate information and draw women together. The point is that relationships are the point, and we must be careful not to turn ourselves into little “Martha’s” and begin to extend our focus in the wrong direction.
An effective leader should have passion about their ministry. That’s not to say that 100% of the time we are positively effusive about leading women’s ministry, but if we ever find ourselves in a place where we’ve lost passion for the ministry, we need to inquire about it at the throne. We could be taking the ministry in a wrong direction, or God may be calling us to step out of leadership so He can raise up a new leader. It can be evident to the team you are leading if you lack passion for the position to which you are assigned, and you will notice the enthusiasm of the team begin to wane.
Paul was passionate about Christ, his ministry, and people. Paul was actively and heavily invested in the people he served and his fellow servants in the ministry. This is evident all over scripture, it is seen in his greetings at the beginning of each of his letters. He models a sacrificial leadership fueled by passion and bound by love. He gives thanks, encourages, and prays for those to whom God has entrusted to him. Read over the first few verses of a couple of Paul’s letters, such as Romans and Ephesians, and as you pour over the beginnings of his letters, prayerfully consider what made him a passionate leader. This week, let us pray over our ministries and our leadership, that we will honor Christ courageously and passionately in the path He has set before us.