This is part 2 out of 4 from a sermon Justin recently gave. It’s his hope that through posting it to our blog you might be challenged and encouraged in your daily walk with the Lord to follow your God given passions!
If we believe what Galatians tells us in chapter 5 verse 17, then the desires of the Holy Spirit are to oppose the flesh. My prayer for you today is that you would be encouraged to walk in your God given passions and desires. These look like passions and desires rooted in love. We see that in verse 22. The first fruit of the Spirit is love and each fruit that follows that comes from love.
Passions are a gift from God
So let’s look at our passions from which we experience the fruit of the Spirit. When we remember James 1:17 which says, “Every good gift and ever perfect gift is from above…” we can know that any passion, any desire, that is full of love must be good and so is a gift from God. Your passions, your desires that produce good fruit, they’re a gift from God. Are you pursuing them?
Let me get real with you; Before moving to Taiwan I worked in marketing. I loved it. I created video and radio commercials for casinos and non profits, home builders and food creators. It was a career that allowed me to pour out my creativity and had quite a bit of diverse work… For quite some time my passion has been in telling good stories. I love film and video and take any chance I can get to try my hand at visual story telling. This job was great for me! Too often though, the videos I made ended up producing the wrong fruit. Even though I had the best of intentions, I pulled others down to do the work. I became prideful thinking I could do it better than others… and I can’t count the number of times I became envy over other’s tools. Just ask my wife how many times I’ve asked her if I can buy a new camera.
There’s a real tension here. Verse 17 lays it out. “For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.
The beauty of it is this though. God puts this tension in place to push us closer towards him. By keeping us from doing what we want to do, despite our best intentions, he steers us towards his will. God gives us our gifts, these passions and desires, and uses them in our lives to fulfill his will.
God took the passion for one job and placed it elsewhere. I still wanted to work in film and video, but God had plans for me elsewhere. I knew what my passion was, and as my wife and I prayed through different opportunities, God showed us Taiwan. That’s when I had to make a choice, choose to trust the Spirit and trust God’s plan for my passions and desires or try to fulfill them myself. For better or worse, a sacrifice would have to be made. Either I give up and my own desires and trust, or I give up what the Spirit has for me and miss out on whatever blessings were in store for me.