Discerning Your Passion

What are you passionate about?  Maybe it’s a sport or club.  Maybe it’s reading or writing. Maybe you’re passionate about music.

We all have passions.  We are not all passionate about the same things but we all do have things we are passionate about.  As you get older your passions may change.  Not because your passion is bad or wrong.  Just because you get older and they change.  For example, when I was younger I was very passionate about baseball.  In fact, that’s why I went to college.  It wasn’t because I was good at baseball, it was because I was passionate about it.  That was close to 25 years ago!  I still like baseball.  I love to go to baseball games.  But to say I am passionate about it would be wrong.  I’m passionate about other things now.  I’m passionate about my family, I’m passionate about preaching, and I’m passionate about seeing people know God and grow in their faith.  I’m still passionate, just about different things.

Do you think that your passion and your purpose are connected?  I think they can be.  Pastor Erwin McManus writes in his book Soul Cravings, “There is a reason why you have a sense of destiny.  It was placed there by God, and it woos you to pursue it.” (Entry 6)  There’s a reason why you are the way you are.  There’s a reason that you have the passions you have.  For some reason, God has placed them there.  Your job now is to find out what they are and then discover what you are to do with them.

Look at 1 Peter 1:13-14.  What do those 2 verses say to you?

Here’s what they say to me.  Before I became a Christ follower, I had passions.  They were passions of the world.  Now that I am a Christ follower, I must no longer have those passions.  I have new passions.  And my hope is that Christ will REVEAL His plans and His purposes for me regarding the passions that I have.  Hope here does not mean what we sometimes think it means.  In our world, hope means wishing for something to happen.  Not expecting it, but wishing for it.  But the word for hope used here is not wishing at all.  Hope here means waiting with confidence.  We know Christ will come again.  We know He will REVEAL our purpose to us.  We are just waiting for it to happen.  We’re waiting for Him to come.

Even waiting is defined wrong.  Waiting here does not mean that we sit back and do nothing.  I don’t think that God intends for us to do that.  To wait on the Lord means you are listening for God’s voice to stir within you.  Trying to discern what He is telling you to do.  Waiting means prayerfully seeking God and His direction for your life.

The word passion simply means any powerful or compelling emotion or feeling.  So let me ask you, what’s compelling you?  What do you feel compelled to do?  Answering this question will help you discern your passion.  To discern means to distinguish or to recognize or understand.  The goal is to recognize the passion God has placed within you and then be about carrying it out.

In Cure for the Common Life, Max Lucado writes, “You cannot be anything you want to be.  But you can be everything God wants you to be.” (pg18)  So, knowing that God has a plan for you and unlimited power to carry it out, what is it He is calling you to do?  Well, I can’t completely answer that for you.  You have to discern that on your own.  But here’s what I do know.

1 Corinthians 10:31 says, “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”  Did you catch that?  According to Paul, inspired by the Holy Spirit, it really doesn’t matter “what” you do.  “What” is not important here.  What’s important is “who.”  It’s not what we become, it’s who we become.  Let me try to explain…

When I felt like God was calling me into ministry full-time, I was scared to death.  I was 19 years old.  I felt there was no way that I could be a preacher.  All I knew that preachers did was preach and wear a suit and tie.  I didn’t even like to talk in front of others back then and suits just weren’t me, there was no way I could be a preacher.  As time went on I began to realize that is wasn’t about what I could or couldn’t do.  It had very little to do with me and my abilities.  God could use me to do anything He was calling me to do.  And He can do the same with you.

What is it that you feel compelled to do but also feel less than qualified to do it?  That could be your passion.  Or at least it could lead you to your passion.  It doesn’t matter that you don’t feel like you are able to do it.  In fact, I think that is by design too.  God calls us not because we are qualified and equippedHe calls us and then prepares us for that calling.

Remember Gideon?  The story about him is found in Judges 6-8.  Gideon was a regular guy.  An average Joe.  He was not a soldier or even a fighter.  But God called him and used him to lead an army of men to victory against a much bigger and stronger opponent.  Not because of Gideon’s great skill.  But because of God’s great power.

Don’t worry about feeling inadequate.  God’s got a plan.  And remember, His plan does not include wrath for you.

1 Thessalonians 5:9 says, “For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Don’t worry if you feel overwhelmed.  God is there and will carry you if you need Him to.

Read this passage, Philippians 4:4-8, “4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. 5 Let your reasonableness[a] be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; 6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”

Still not sure about discerning your passion?  Listen to what Pastor John Piper says in his book Don’t Waste Your Life,

            But whatever you do, find the God-centered, Christ-exalting, Bible-saturate passion of your life, and find your way to say it and live for it and die for it.  And you will make a difference that lasts.  You will not waste your life. (pg 47)

I don’t know what God’s specific plan for you is.  I know that He desires to know you intimately.  Beyond that, you have to discover on your own.  All I know is, whatever He is calling you to do He will see it through.  You just have to be obedient and follow the passion He has laid on your heart.

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1 Comment »

  1. Terry A Quadnau Jr Said:

    Excellent and great timing. Been wondering around for years looking for my purpose. Every time I tried to pursue something I ran into a wall. It’s been frustrating to the point of crippling. (Mom and Dad never taught me how to deal with this kind of thing so I am still learning at 46.) But I know I can’t give up and turn back.


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