This is part 1 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!
As a teen I had many desires and passions, but one of them was to play bass guitar in a famous band. My sophomore year of college I finally found others that I enjoyed jamming with and they had similar tastes in music. We spent many long hours practicing and averaged three hour practices, every other day, while juggling part time jobs and full time studying… but for our four piece band it was totally worth it. We recorded a handful of demos, played a handful of gigs and loved what we were doing. However, eventually one of our guitar players decided he wanted to invest more time in his passion for the law and becoming a lawyer. This led to a slow and difficult breakup… And as silly as it seems, I was pretty bitter for a long time too.
When I look at Galatians it becomes clear that the fruits of my passion were not good ones.
Galatians 5:16-25 (ESV)
But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 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. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit.
I tell you my college story because it’s not that original. In fact, my father went through a somewhat similar experience. Some of you might relate well, some may not… but all of you have at one time had a passion or desire that was rooted in the flesh. They’re easy to spot when we hold them up to this text. Think about something you’re excited about, or have an intense enthusiasm for… Got it? Now think about it’s effect on your life. Be honest. What comes from it? Impurity? Anger? Jealousy? Perhaps division between you and your significant other, your boss, your friends? Or rather does your enthusiasm, your excitement, for this something bring you love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, or self-control?
There are good and bad passions. As Christians we’ve been given new hearts and so those old passions we cling to, they don’t belong with us!
So… Which one are yours?