What drives you? It could be achieving success, not disappointing your family, competitiveness, a need to provide for someone, or any number of other factors. Many things can drive you or maybe you’re not very driven at all. But I do believe that what ultimately drives your life or what you need to drive your life is PASSION!
What is passion? It is defined as anything from a strong and barely controllable emotion to any powerful and compelling feeling to a love or zeal for life to an intense, driving, overmastering conviction! Some have said that passion is more important than a plan, that passion is what causes you to keep getting up when you’ve been knocked down, and that passion is what energizes every aspect of your life! For the purposes of this teaching series, called “Drive”, I want to use the term more narrowly; that passion is what drives you to move beyond your comfort zone and achieve the potential that resides within all of us!
Even more specifically, passion comes from within; it cannot be imposed or mandated from the outside, yet at the same time, passion compels us to move outside and engage the world around us. To drill it down even further, passion is about pursuit of purpose and the perseverance to see that purpose realized! There are many emotions that can drive, even take over control, or cause you to be out of control, of your life- fear, lust, greed, and anger. There are the emotions of courage, the pursuit of happiness, and a need to be accepted or successful that can drive your life. But PASSION, rightly understood and utilized, is what you want to DRIVE YOUR LIFE!
When speaking of passion…
- John Wesley said, “When you set yourself on fire, people love to come and watch you burn!”
- Field Marshal Ferdinand Foch said, “The most powerful weapon in the world is the human soul on fire.”
- E. M. Forster said, “One person with passion is better than forty people merely interested.”
- Denis Waitly said, “Chase your passion, not your pension!”
- Donald Trump said, “Without passion you don’t have energy; without energy you have nothing!”
- David Sarnoff said, “Nobody can be successful unless he loves his work!”
- Anthony Robbins said, “There is no greatness without a passion to be great, whether it’s the aspiration of an athlete or an artist, a scientist, a parent, or a businessman!”
Paul said, “… I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me… I have bit yet achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize, for which God, through Jesus Christ, is calling us” Phil. 3:12-14 NLT. Paul is describing what DRIVES his life- a passion to pursue, possess, and perfect, the call of God on his life, and achieve the ultimate prize! Paul is describing the POWER OF PASSION!
Consider the Power of Passion:
1. Passion is the First Step to Achievement
- Your desires determine your destiny! It certainly did for Jesus, for Paul. Consider these great leaders and their passion: Gandhi for human rights, Winston Churchill for freedom, Martin Luther King for equality, Bill Gates for technology, Steve Jobs for innovation.
- Anyone who is going to live beyond an ordinary life, be it as a great leader, a great parent, a great man or woman of God, has that great desire! Weak desire means weak results- just like a small fire produces little heat; but the stronger your fire, desire, passion, the greater the potential to achieve.
- In Phil. 3 Paul describes his drive, his passion to be all that Christ had “possessed” his life to be. You need to determine and define that for your life; and then let it drive you to achieve it (more on this in Pt. 3).
2. Passion is the Fuel for Your Willpower
- There is no substitute for passion! It is fuel for your soul, for your life, for your will! If you want anything badly enough, you can find the willpower to achieve it. To drive that desire you have to develop passion!
- There’s an engine in every car… it has amazing potential to be very powerful, to take you places far and wide, but it can’t take you anywhere without fuel! The same is true for your life- you have amazing God-given purpose and potential… but it will never be realized without passion!
- It’s that, “I won’t be denied” mentality. It’s exactly what Paul is talking about in Phil. 3 and in Acts 20:24 “I don’t care what happens to me, as long as I finish the work that the Lord Jesus gave me to do!” It’s what enabled Christ to give his life on the cross. It’s what drives anyone who desires to accomplish anything of significance with his or her life! Willpower. Passion is the fuel for your will to pursue, press on, and achieve!
3. Passion Produces and Focuses Your Energy
- When you have passion, you become energized! The energy that passion produces is what makes you get up in the morning and face your day with enthusiasm, instead of dread. Because you love what you do, you’re passionate about your work, your family, your calling, your life, and you have this incredible energy for it! Paul never apologized for his passion because it produced focused energy to achieve the prize!
- You know, sadly, many people have to pop a pill or drink 2-3 red bulls or 10 cups of coffee just to get through the day! But not so when you’ve go passion- passion produces and focuses your energy. You don’t have to produce perseverance because it’s present in you. You’re not just trying to reach your destination; you’re enjoying the journey!
- If your life looks like this… “The Same Old… house, bed, alarm, breakfast, car, road, job, boss, co-workers, quitting time, car, road, house, dinner, tv, bed… You have no passion and without passion there’s no DRIVE for your life! (Pts. 3-4 will help you find your passion)!
4. Passion is the Foundation for Excellence
- Passion transforms the average into the excellent! Passion drives you to excel at life, at parenting, at work, at following Jesus- when you find purpose you find passion to excel at it!
- Don’t misunderstand what Paul means by perfection in Phil. 3. Paul uses a root of the Greek word, telos to imply achieving a goal or purpose in the most mature or complete way possible! A passion not merely to achieve something, but to do so with excellence!
- Passion drives you to excel, to be the best at whatever purpose or calling or goal that is in front of you. Passion for God, loving him with all your heart, soul, and mind…” Mt. 22:37 is to excel at following Jesus! I want to excel at loving God, loving my wife, my family, and GCC, and fulfilling God’s purpose for my life in all those areas!! That’s my passion, and it’s the foundation for excellence in my life and in yours!
5. Passion Forges Impossibilities into Possibilities
- Illustration of a Blacksmith forging metal into a sword… Passion is like that! Passion is the intense fire in your soul that makes the impossibilities vanish and the possibilities emerge! It’s the fire deep down inside you that forges, what some may consider an impossibility, or a crazy dream, into a reality! Many people may simply see a chunk of a metal, but the blacksmith sees the sword it can become!
- People with fire in their souls, passion, with few skills will always outperform people with great skills but no passion! If passion is not a quality in your life you’re in trouble. Let’s be honest, unless you care passionately about something, you’ll never see it accomplished. Again, Paul cared passionately about “preaching the good news to the Gentiles!” People said it was impossible, but because of his passion, most of the then known world of Asia Minor had been impacted by his message!
- Illustration: I grew up in a place where I was constantly told, “This is all there is!” But I had a passion to make a difference, to be somebody, to see the world; and God has used that passion… Passion makes the impossible, possible!
6. Passion Forms Your Life
- The truth is, if you follow your passion, instead of other people’s perceptions, you cannot help but be a more dedicated, productive person. Your passion will make you who you are and what you’re about. I’ll share on this more in Pt. 3, but a passion for God gives you a purpose for life!
- Passion made Paul! Passion made Mother Teresa. Passion made Lance Armstrong. Passion makes Tim Tebow who he is and what he’s all about. Passion makes you and me; it forms our lives, it shapes everything- your priorities, your schedule, your very life. You are being formed by what you’re passionate about, or not being formed the way you should be or God created you to be, because you lack passion!
- Here’s the thing: passion has the power to not only form you into a productive person, but to enable you to have a positive impact on others. Passion is contagious; your passion will have more influence than your personality!
Take Your Temperature: How passionate are you about your life, about God, family, work? Make an honest assessment. Get some feedback in these areas. You’ll never know the power of passion until you believe passion can be the difference maker in your life!
Above All, Return to Your First Love: Many people allow life and its circumstances to get them off track; especially when it comes to their relationship with Jesus Christ. All passion begins with a passion for God! The first step for some of you may be to return and reignite a passion for the Lord. In Rev. 2:1-4 Jesus told the church at Ephesus, “You’ve lost your first love!” He told them, “You work hard. You don’t put up with evil, but you’ve lost your passion for me and if that’s missing, nothing else matters!”
Next Week Part 2 of Drive: “Passion vs. Obsession!”