How passionate are you for God and His presence?
Maybe you remember back to the earlier days when you were a brand new Christian, and how eager you were to go to church and read your Bible.
Perhaps you long to back to the days before you had kids, when you could spend endless hours studying the Bible, listening to podcasts, and attending Bible studies.
Has your passion dissipated?
Do you feel dry and cold?
The longer we serve Christ, the easier it is to settle down into our “Christian groove”, filled with Christian activities and Christian circles, and go along the Christian life on “cruise control”.
We do our Christian duties:
- Read the Bible a few times a week
- Say a prayer before meals and bedtime…maybe even while we’re yawning, waiting for the coffee to finish brewing in the morning
- Attend church a few times a month
- Share a Bible verse meme on Facebook or Instagram
And we look at those new Christians who are all excited about Jesus, all looking like the entire pep squad out there dancing and jumping during worship, making a crazy, hot mess of themselves in church.
And we sort of grow cynical.
We give them a little side-eye while secretly thinking, “Just you wait, in a few years you’ll calm down”, while quoting a random verse far out of context about “zeal without knowledge”.
Ever been there?
I think we all have. And it’s not because we really resent new Christians and all their peppiness, it’s because we’re secretly jealous of the passion they have.
Because we remember the excitement and joy we used to feel in God’s presence, and we wish we could get back there, ourselves.
Deep in our hearts, we’re crying and longing and praying with David, “Restore unto me the joy of Thy salvation” …and yet struggle to see a clear path from where we are back to those days of unbridled passion in God’s presence.
I’ve been there….a few times.
4 Ways to Cultivate a Passion for God
After nearly 40 years of walking with Jesus, I’ve learned that the Christian life is filled with mountain peaks and valleys.
In each season of life we run the risk of either faking mountain top experiences while in the valley, or accepting the valley as our home and building a life for ourselves there while growing cynical of others’ mountain tops.
Yet, God wants to teach us to allow our mountain peaks to fill us with such passion that as we descend into a valley, we can draw from our reserves of passion until we climb a new mountain.
Going from strength to strength.
“As they pass through the Valley of Baca, they make it a spring…they go from strength to strength…” Psalm 84:6-7
There are two kinds of passion Christians experience in their walk with God.
A new Christian will experience the passion of new life. Their sins have been forgiven and the sudden release of the weight they have felt from their sin brings excitement and joy.
Also, they now have a new family, a new way of life. Everything for them is new and exciting.
And with every new adventure in life (spiritual or otherwise) comes a “honeymoon period”. Following that comes a challenge:
- To cultivate a lifestyle of joy and passion
- To settle into rote, religious living
- To abandon Christianity out of disillusionment because the honeymoon period is over
A seasoned Christian will need to cultivate a passion for God. The temptation to settle into a Christian life on “cruise control” must be rejected as we daily make the decision to seek God’s face for a passionate heart after Him.
We must also reject the temptation to intellectual salvation, seeking a daily experience with Jesus Christ that touches our soul: our mind, will and emotions.
“How lovely is Your tabernacle, O Lord of hosts! My soul longs, yes, even faints for the courts of the Lord; my heart and flesh cry out for the living God.” Psalm 84:1-2
The Bible is filled with examples of men and women who cultivated a life of white-hot passion for God:
Moses, Isaiah, Jeremiah and the other prophets, David, Daniel, Peter, Paul, the other apostles….just to name a few.
So, how do we cultivate a passion for God?
1. Commit to spending daily time with God
Passion for God is first developed by making the decision to spend a part of our day getting to know Him more.
For moms with small children, this will look differently than it will for women with older children or no children at all. Moms of small children need to get creative about their time with God.
But without a doubt, daily time in the Word and prayer is an essential tool in cultivating a passion for God.
Daily pray that the Holy Spirit fill you with His fire.
If you can, choose one day when you can spend extended time in prayer, seeking God’s face until a passion begins to build in your heart.
You can find inspiration for your quiet times here
2. Repent for any sin you are harboring in your life
Your passion for God is in direct proportion to the amount of sin you choose to harbor in your life.
If you are habitually sinning, you will not, and cannot, have a genuine passion for Jesus Christ because that sin is an area of darkness that will block the light of Christ in you.
Many times, our secret sins will cause us to grow resentful of seasoned Christians who regularly cultivate a passion for God, labeling them as legalistic.
A heart that is passionate for God is a heart that is open to the Holy Spirit’s prompting toward repentance; because only a pure heart can cultivate genuine passion for God.
3. Make singing worship to God a daily part of your life
As we move on toward the end of this Good Morning Girls’ study through Psalms 51-100, we read in those final chapters several commands to sing to God.
While worship isn’t limited to music, a big part of worship is singing; and I don’t think it is coincidental that music plays a huge role throughout the Bible.
God created music as a tool that easily passes through the barrier between our intellect and emotions, feeding our mind with lyrics that reinforce the principles and commands we read in Scripture while simultaneously unlocking our emotions, allowing us to experience Him in a very real way.
Setting aside time to daily sing songs of worship to Him from the depths of our heart is a key step in cultivating a passion for God.
I wrote a book about worship called Live Worship. You can find it here: Live Worship eBook
You can find more articles on worship here
4. Surround yourself with people passionate about God
Sometimes, the difference between living in a dry, dead place spiritually and living a life of fiery passion comes down to the people with which we surround ourselves.
If you are surrounded by negative, pessimistic people who suck the passion out of you; who leave you feeling defeated and weighed down, it will be hard to cultivate a heart of passion.
Passionate people inspire those around them to cultivate passion in their own lives because passion is contagious!
You can surround yourselves with passionate people in two ways:
- Make sure your real-life friends are passionate people. Spend time fellowshipping with them: Go to coffee, talk with them after church, invite them over for dinner. Cultivate a friendship with them and allow them opportunities to speak into your life.
- Find books, podcasts, YouTube channels, and other resources by passionate people that will help to feed that passion growing in your heart. These resources will help to daily encourage you to seek God in a deeper way in your life and will be those “springs in the Valley of Baca” for you that will continue to feed your passion until you climb a new mountain.
What are those things that you’re doing right now to cultivate a passion for God in your life?
Here are some passionate people I’ve surrounded myself with.
Here is where you can find our online Bible study group: Good Morning Girls in the Word