During this time of quarantine, I have been contemplating about passion and what role this plays in our lives. For many of us, we believe that the only way we can experience happiness is by somehow discovering something we are passionate about so we can then pursue it. While I understand this perspective, and in fact subscribed to it for a long time, today I see that what we are really after cannot be found in something that we do.
Please allow me to explain.
As I have spent the last 15 years of my life undergoing a healing journey with God I have started to notice something happening within me that I also see taking place within many of the characters found on the pages of the Bible. This does not revolve around their successful attempts in pursuing or doing something they were passionate about. Instead it was a discovery they all made while being in a limited and restrictive space in their lives which then enabled them to live significant lives.
To qualify the above statement I have decided to focus on three individuals in this blog. They are Joseph, Moses, and David. Each of them had a clear purpose in their lives and became aware of them very early on. Joseph had a dream, David was anointed King, and Moses found out the hard way what he was meant to do by trying to do it way before his time.
Without exception, not long after they are shown their futures every one of these men is led into what looks like a detour away from their destinies. As soon as they have had a chance to see what is aligned with their hearts we see God leading them through a path were any passionate pursuit of this new discovery is quite literally impossible. Suddenly without notice, they find themselves in spaces that are made up of extreme circumstances designed to quite literally strip anyone of every reason they have for living except the only valid one.
With each of them, we begin to slowly see the very passion they had shown for their future endeavors disappear from their lives, as they settle into the realities each has been led into. Joseph a slave and later into jail. Moses a fugitive running away into an empty desert. David a wanted man inside a small cave. All three of them in spaces and places custom-designed to zap any passion and encouragement they had. I don’t know about you but this paragraph gives me chills when I consider what I have just written. Especially with the fact that I have been to the cave where David spent over a decade. As well as the desert where Moses spent 40 years and though I have not been to the jail in Egypt were Joseph was for over 7 years, I can only try and imagine what that must have been like, especially after experiencing in real-time the first two places.
Yet the amazing thing is that with all three of these though they could have, none of them try and escape the severe and limiting situations they are in. In fact, quite the contrary happens. Each of them settles into them and their daily routine as if they have found something in these spaces that is somehow enabling them to live in the way one would expect of a man that is able to pursue what he is passionate about and not one that is surrounded by a collection of dead ends.
Now even though we are not given any scriptures to validate that something else was indeed discovered, we nevertheless can see that this has been the case by seeing the way they respond when their opportunity for a change finally shows up. Instead of by-passing it which would show a heart full of resignation or worse yet purposely trying to destroy it, which would show a heart full of resentment, each responds by fully engaging what is before them. Joseph interprets a dream while giving credit to the God who took him into a 14-year detour. Moses not only sees what makes this bush fire different than the ones he’s seen before, but he also takes his shoes off, listens, and does what the voice of the one that kept him in the desert for 40 years says. And David accepts and moves without resentment or hesitation into the position he has been anointed for by the one that has kept him inside a cave for over a decade.
The above facts together with what I am slowly seeing in my own life is enough for me to understand that before we can live passionate lives we need to let our passions die. You see this is because true passion is not meant to be affected by what is around us or not or what we pursue or don’t. True passion is the fruit of real inner intimacy where we are happy to lose our lives and passion so that we can have a real chance to find God's passion for us. When we do this what we begin to find is drenched in ferocious love which quite literally flows out of us in the same way a roaring river flows within its banks. The presence of this passionate force is no longer a product of our own efforts or environment but instead the outflow from the well of deep living waters that we find within our hearts in our true identity in Christ.
Now we each have a choice whether we live out from this space or not. This very much depends on how we respond when we are taken into circumstances that are limited and often prevent us from successfully doing what we want and love. Lately, we have all undergone, and some of us are still undergoing, a detour like this. Granted it has not been as extreme as what these three men faced, yet nevertheless I wonder how you responded to it.
I invite you to take the time to ask yourself what was it that you missed so much that prevented you from displaying the same stillness, happiness, and peace Joseph, Moses, and David did? Consider with me the fact that this very thing that you struggled to live without could be the reason that prevents you from experiencing the happiness and peace you are so desperately trying to find through it. It is clear that none of us like to be limited nor confined however how we respond when we are says much about the true condition of our lives and hearts.
The truth is that the further I travel along this journey of mine I am discovering that life only begins to truly flow when we are able to allow God’s passion for our life to burn in and through us. Here we understand that our sustenance and well being is meant to come from within us and not by finding something we are passionate about to do outside of us.
We can only discover this in a dimension where nothing else is really present. Much like a desert, a jail cell, a cave, and your own apartment or house which you are unable to leave. It is here within these limited spaces that we are given the opportunity to discover a space within us where we are connected to a limitless Kingdom and King. This discovery quite literally changes our lives and the way we interact and impact the reality we live in. Not to mention the mark our existence will leave after we are gone.
Yeshua gave us great clues about this when he told us that though he lived in this World he was not of it. In other words, he did not get his passion or reason for living in anything he found outside of him. He also told his disciples that he had bread to eat that they knew nothing about referring to something that was not made or could be made by the hands of man. If we have eyes to see we will understand that these are wonderful insights for us to appreciate that even though this Jewish man was incredibly passionate, he did not need anything outside of him to help him continue to passionately engage his life and those he encountered. Even if this often took place within dire circumstances.
Remember - In this world of ours detours often mean an inconvenienced delay and limitation. Yet in the Kingdom, they are custom made to help us see that real and sustainable passion will not be found by passionately pursuing something outside of us, as much as it will when we are finally still enough to receive the inner embrace of the one that has been passionately pursuing us all of our lives.
PS - Last week I forgot to link the "Read More" icon to the correct blog. So if you are one of the many that gets this through email and you would like to read it then you can by pressing here
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