Friday, November 9, 2012

PASSION

Your heart will always be where your treasure is. ~ Matthew 6:21, CEV

  By faith, Moses, when grown, refused the privileges of the Egyptian royal house. He chose a hard life with God’s people rather than an opportunistic soft life of sin with the oppressors. He valued suffering in the Messiah’s camp far greater than Egyptian wealth because he was looking ahead,
anticipating the payoff. ~ Hebrews 11:24-26, MSG

It takes very little time with a person to discover what they value most.  How a person talks, behaves, the choices they make, all point to their ultimate passion.  What excites them?  What gives them energy?  What takes up their time?  What makes them clear their calendar at a moment's notice?

It is frighteningly easy to have our passions slide to the wrong areas of life, especially when difficulties come our way.  When we have to get up early to medicate or treat a child day after day, it seems almost instinctive to look towards worldly pleasures for escape.  When the bills pile up from all of the doctors and therapists, our vision can be distracted by creature comforts way too easily.  When the school is calling again with a medical emergency or for yet another IEP meeting, we often seek to evade the realities of our lives with superficial triflings.  Shopping, television programs, drinking, gossip magazines, spending too much time surfing the internet, having a perfect house and many other obsessions can become our misguided objects of affection.

In other words, our passion can slowly become our very selves seemingly without effort or awareness.  Self-pity still has self at the center of focus.  We can be sure that our priorities are heading in the wrong direction when all we direct our thoughts towards are self-gratification with an attitude of entitlement.  "Have you seen what I go through?  I deserve this!"  Such attitudes should trouble us.  Pushing our kids away or slacking off of our quiet time with God are also sure signs that alert us to our need to reset our values.

In the Bible, the heart was seen as the seat of our affections.  Jesus wants to be on that throne, not only because he is King of Kings.  He wants to reign because he knows that what he has to offer is so much better than any of the cheap imitations we want to grab for ourselves.  When we are weary, discouraged, frustrated, and at the end of our ropes, He knows that His comfort, love, peace and redemption are far more satisfying than any inferior substitute we seek in this temporary world.  The Holy Spirit will keep at us, in a gentlemanly way, but much like an eager child who pesters, "You HAVE to come see this!"  Yahweh God knows this is too exciting to not turn His passion into yours.

Where is your focus today?  Maybe it's time for some self-examination.  Don't waste another day on chasing less than God's best for you.  Recalibrate and direct your passion towards Him.  And you will find the strength, joy and contentment your life so desperately needs.

PRAY:  O Father God, you love me even more than I love myself!  Be gentle as You tap me on the shoulder, reminding me that I've put myself on the throne.  May I never settle for less than Your awesome goodness.  I trust that what You have is far more life-giving than my selfish pursuits could ever be.

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