Below are my notes for DRIVE Part 4- “Fuel Your Passion!” (c) 2012, Terry Broadwater. For personal use only. For all other uses contact email@example.com.
Welcome to Pt. 4 of DRIVE- “Fuel Your Passion!” Passion is your potential- it’s “what’s under the hood.” It’s all that horsepower. It’s what DRIVES your life. But, it doesn’t matter what your potential is, or how big the engine is- the dream, the goal, the desire; you’re not going anywhere without fuel!
Nascar Example: A Sprint Cup car has a 358 cubic inch engine capable of 850 horsepower and speeds of over 200 mph! Compared to the 127 horsepower of my 2002 Honda Civic! Still, whether you have an 850 horsepower passion or a 127 horsepower passion; fueling your passion is what gets you down the road or around the track!
And it’s not a “one time pit stop” or “once to the pumps” thing- it takes actively fueling your passion for you to succeed in life; and more specifically to fulfill God’s purpose for your life! The light on my gauges tells me I need to fuel up soon… We need a light like that; a reminder to “fuel up!” Paul gives Timothy such a reminder…
Note 2 Tim. 1:6-7 “This is why I remind you to fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you when I laid my hands on you. For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” Notice some key things in this passage about how to fuel your passion…
- YOU have to fan the flame! “Fan into flames”- rekindle, fuel the fire (passion) ACTIVELY- keep it burning…
- YOU are gifted by God! “Spiritual gift”- charisma, gifts of God (charismatic/charisma: magnetism, enthusiasm, loyalty… (Notice how people are described as a “gifted writer, singer, athlete…)
- YOU can’t be motivated by fear! “Spirit of fear and timidity”- cowardice, lacking in courage or self-confidence, lacking in boldness or determination…
- YOU have spiritual power to perform your passion! “Power”- dynamis, an ability, a mighty deed, supernatural… (Think of it this way: an engine + fuel = power!)
- YOU are loved by God and he wants you to succeed! “love”- agape, highest regard and appreciation, highest concern… (Realizing how much God values your life)
- YOU must have the will and discipline to do what it takes to fuel your passion! “self-discipline”- self-mastery and will power… (Passion must set priorities!)
Acknowledge and Accept God’s Gifts for Your Life
How do you know what God’s gifts are for your life? Well first consider this: there are 3 lists of “Gifts” in the Bible and you’ve been created with and given certain gifts (I’ll share more on “spiritual gifts” in the teaching series in June). Let me quickly note these three lists:
- The Motivation Gifts: Rom. 12:6-8 (serving, encouraging, giving, leading…)
- The Manifestation Gifts: 1 Cor. 12:7-11 (knowledge, healing, prophesy…
- The Ministry Gifts: Eph. 4:11 (apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor, teacher)
These aren’t exhaustive lists necessarily, but you’ve been given some of these gifts- perhaps one or two from each list. How do I know that? Look at these verses:
- Rom. 12:3 “Do not think that you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us.”
- 1 Cor. 12:7 “A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other.”
- Eph. 4:7 “However, he has given each one of us a special gift according to the generosity of Christ.”
- 1 Peter 4:10 “God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another.”
Again, how do you know or discover what these gifts are that God has given you? Simply:
- What are your desires and abilities? What do you love to do, have an affinity for? What dreams/desires do you have? God gifted you that way!
- Where do you enjoying serving? If you could serve others, meet a need, help someone in some way, what would that look like? Again, you’re gifted for it!
- How do others around you describe your life, abilities, what you’re good at, etc.? Other people, especially spiritually mature people, can greatly help you discover and develop your gifts!
- What do you do, that when you do it, you’re just very good at it? You are simply very effective at ______________?
I want to also give you another practical tool you can use to help you discover your gifts/abilities. Spiritual Gifts Assessment Online: Click here. There are many of these, you can google them, but this is a good one to get you started. Once you discover your gifts and abilities, you have to fuel your passion for those things. It may be, “I have a passion to teach children” or “I have a passion to build things” or “I have a passion to tell others about Jesus!” But you have to fuel those passions by actively exercising those gifts!
Align Your Direction with Your Desires and God’s Gifts
As I just stated, gifts are discovered through desire- the desires of your heart. David in the Psalms knew this and he says something profound: P Ps. 37:4-5 “Take delight in the Lord (how God has made you, etc.), and he will give you the desires of your heart (to honor him with your gifts/life). Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust him, and he will help you.” Help you do what? Fulfill your passions as they are centered in God’s desires for your life. This is another way you fuel your passion…
Desire determines direction; direction determines destiny! I’ve stated many times, “A passion for God gives you a purpose for life! The priority passion of your life must be a passion for the Lord; which is exemplified in a life completely committed to trusting in and serving God’s purpose! Your passion for God begins to align your life as you realize just how uniquely gifted you are for his purposes for you.
Because as you pursue God you are pursuing your destiny. Your direction in life is being determined by following and living out the desires of your heart! You fuel your passion every time you take another step in that right direction- direction that is the result of “delighting in the Lord, committing everything you do to him, and trusting in him” because he has gifted you the way you are on purpose! You actively keep “fanning the flame”- fuel your passion; you’re not fearful or timid about it, and God’s helping you with his power. And that’s why you want to also fuel your passion by setting…
Audacious Goals that Require God’s Power
Here’s another key to fuel your passion. Once you begin to understand your gifts and abilities, you’re exercising them, and your desires within the context of those gifts and abilities are beginning to set direction for your life; then you need to set some goals that are beyond your ability to achieve! “Whoa, wait a second Broadwater… beyond my abilities?” YES! And what I mean by that is this: you set some goals that DO align with your gifts abilities BUT also will require GOD’S POWER! You want to have some God-sized dreams and set some God-sized goals that, like Rom. 12:3 says, are proportionate with your faith that God has given you!
Let me tell you how those God-sized dreams and God-sized goals will fuel your passion: because you will need God’s inspiration and power to achieve them! I love this quote: Zig Ziglar- “Passion will die without constant inspiration!”
You’ll recognize the need to stay tuned into God for the power/fuel you need to see your dreams and goals realized. Paul told Timothy, “God gives you the dynamis- power you need to achieve his purpose!” You tap into God’s power and nothing becomes impossible! I love the example of Caleb in the OT. He’s 80 years old and after helping all the other tribes take possession of their piece of the Promised Land, he says, “Now I want my mountain!
You see there’s no fear or timidity in that! Having audacious goals fuels your passion: you’re invulnerable to fear or intimidation (the meaning of audacious) because you know you have God’s power! What goals are you setting that require God to see them achieved?
Accountability for Achieving Goals
This is the “self-discipline” part that Paul talks to Timothy about. “God has given you a spirit of self-discipline!” This fuels your passion because you not only know where you’re going, you are taking the “pit stops” necessary to keep the “fire burning, the flames fanned!” Dale Jr. needs to stop in the pits every 30-40 laps or his tires are going to wear out, his car is going to run out of fuel and he’s not only going to be potentially “stopped” out there on the track, he may even crash!
You can “be stopped” in life because you lack self-control… or you can have the self-discipline to “stop” and refuel regularly! And when it comes to fueling your passion to achieve and be accountable with your goals, it looks like this:
- The self-discipline of your private time with God– You need that “pit stop” every day! Time in the Bible, in worship, in prayer… Those things are crucial to fuel your passion! Ps. 16:11 “You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.”
- The self-discipline of making yourself accountable to other people– A mentor, your spouse, your Life Group, the Weekend Gatherings… Those people are fuel for your passion! Why? Heb. 10:24-25 “Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.”
You know, there’s NO EXCUSE for running out of gas; especially when you have the cash and there are 5 gas stations at every exit or on every corner! You have no excuse for not fueling your passion by taking regular pit stops daily and weekly, and however often it takes! That’s how you practice the self-discipline necessary to be accountable in achieving your goals!
Fuel your passion! You’re responsible for that. “This is why I remind you to fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you when I laid my hands on you. For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.”
A passionless life is a powerless life! Maybe like Timothy, your passion has been waning and the fire is about to go out! You need to reignite your passion for the Lord- return to your first love. That puts it all into perspective. Don’t wait for the “feeling” to return- passion is not a feeling, it’s a gift and it’s the self-discipline to use that gift (your life) for the highest, most noble purpose- to glorify God!