Please find my notes for this past weekend’s teaching at Grace Community Church. These notes are for personal use only. For permission for all other uses please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Feel free to forward to others. (c) 2012, Terry Broadwater.
Drive Pt. 5- “The Passion Driven Life!” I Hope you’ve enjoyed this teaching series! So far we’ve talked about: The Power of Passion and how it drives your life. Passion vs. Obsession and how obsession can take you over the edge. Overcoming Obsession by smashing strongholds. Fuel Your Passion through spiritual pit stops, planning, and getting God’s power. I’ve had a lot of great feedback and hopefully, this weekend we can wrap up the teaching by looking at what it means to live a Passion Driven Life!
You may have heard of the “Purpose Driven Life” by Rick Warren. Basically, Warren says that God put you on the planet on purpose and only when you discover that purpose, through connecting with God relationally, can you live the life you were created for and meant to live. As you know, your life can be driven by many things: work, sports, education, wealth, even ministry! But obviously, you want to have God’s purpose if your life is going to really count.
But purpose without passion to perform it, as well as practical application is, in my opinion, profoundly hypocritical! It’s like someone who has superior knowledge of the Bible but when you look at their life, there’s no supporting evidence! Remember Jesus said, “Now that you know these things, God will bless you fro doing them!” (Jn. 13:17). That’s always the issue isn’t it? Either not living up to what we already know or worse, telling others they should be doing something that you’re not practicing in your own life! Example: Weight Watchers commercials. It’s not believable unless the person telling you why you need weight watchers is living proof that it works! It would be like someone who never exercises, never eats healthy, or doesn’t take good care of themselves telling others all the time, “Hey, you should really get in the gym, look at you…”
But isn’t that exactly what the church or your life can look like and why the culture doesn’t take us seriously? We have purpose, but we don’t have the passion to put purpose into practice!! As a result, we’re not qualified to accurately represent Christ, let alone, advance his cause. That’s why we need to live a PASSION DRIVEN LIFE!
Here’s how Paul puts it: 1 Cor. 9:24-27 24 “Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! 25 All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. 26 So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. 27 I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified.” (NLT).
Paul knows his purpose… what he’s talking about here is what it takes to put that purpose into practice; he’s talking about a passion driven life! He says:
- “Run to win!” So, are you running to win?
- “All athletes are disciplined in their training!” So, are you disciplined in YOUR training?
- “We do it for an eternal prize!” So, do we?
- “I run with purpose in every step!” So, are you taking steps on purpose? To me, this statement puts the passion driven life into perspective!
- “I discipline, I train, so I won’t be disqualified!” So, how’s that look in your life?
Purpose doesn’t disqualify you; it’s not having the passion to drive your purpose and put it into practice! A PASSION DRIVEN LIFE IS ALL ABOUT PUTTING PURPOSE INTO PRACTICE!! So, if you want to live a passion driven life, this is what it’s going to take…
A PASSION-DRIVEN LIFE IS ABOUT DEVOTION
Again, WHO and WHAT are you devoted to? Devotion is being zealous about someone or something. Paul was obviously devoted to the passionate pursuit and performance of God’s purpose for his life. He says, “I’m not just shadowboxing here, I’m running with purpose in every step!” He is telling us what it looks like to be devoted, to be zealous about Christ, his church, his cause, and how all that related to Paul’s personal life. He’s saying, “If you’re really passionate then you’ll be devoted to doing what it takes to put purpose into practice!
And that all really rises and falls on your devotion to the Lord! How can you know purpose without knowing the purpose-giver? So the question is, “What does your devotion to Jesus look like?” Because you can’t know God’s desires for your life without be devoted to God with your life!
Because… Devotion to God determines the desires of your heart! David said in Ps. 27:4 “One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple.” He also said, Ps. 37:4-5 “Take delight in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust him, and he will help you.”
Paul knew that… Devotion to godly desires will passionately drive your life! Rom. 12:1 “I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him.” Rom. 12:11 “Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.”
He was putting into practice what he was preaching and that’s what keeps us from being “disqualified!”
A PASSION-DRIVEN LIFE IS ABOUT DETERMINATION
Devotion is essential, but you also can’t win without determination! Are you “running to win?” Roger Bannister, the great runner, said, “The man who can drive himself further once the effort gets painful is the man who will win.”
Paul asks, 1 Cor. 9:24 “Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win!” That’s determination! Cayla at the MD State Track Championships… Determination is what causes you to “run to win!” Michael Jordan was cut from his JV BB team! But determination caused him to become one of the greatest BB players in history!
Determination is persistent passion that drives you to not be denied! Acts 20:24 “But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.”
That’s another way Paul define his determination! A passion for God’s purpose for your life drives your life because of determination- “I’m not just showing up to wear the uniform. I’m not just in the race. I’m running to win!” Can you say that in your life?? If you’ve lost determination then you’ve lost passion for God’s purpose!
A PASSION-DRIVEN LIFE IS ABOUT DISCIPLINE
Passion drives your purpose:
If you don’t know your purpose for life, why bother? Why get up in the morning? Why put forth the effort? Life without purpose is activity without direction, and motion without meaning. Life without purpose is pointless. If we forget the reasons God put us here on earth, then we drift toward apathy and lethargy. Passion and purpose go together. You need a cause greater than self to give your life significance and meaning. The more you understand God’s purposes for your life and live them, the more passionate you’ll be. Nothing matters more, not fame, wealth, success, or pleasure. Nothing compensates for life without meaning. An unclear purpose will kill your passion! At the same time, a passion for God will give you a purpose for life!
- Mark 12:30 “And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.”
- Ps. 69:9 “Passion for your house has consumed me.”
- Rom. 12:11 “Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.”
Passion drives your priorities:
In Acts 20:24 Paul basically says that my life; my passion to fulfill the assignment God has given me, drives my day, my week, my month, my year, my life! He’s saying, “My life is balanced by knowing and passionately pursuing what God desires for me!” BUT… An unbalanced schedule kills your passion!
You need to see God’s purpose as it relates to the whole of your life; that’s really what being disciplined is all about. Remember, discipline is far different than obsession! The Bible says there’s a season for everything and a rhythm to life. You need intake and outlet, rest and work. Too much of either will cause you to lose your passion to either exhaustion or boredom. Psalm 127:2 “It is useless for you to work so hard from early morning until late at night, anxiously working for food to eat; for God gives rest to his loved ones.”
For some, the problem is you’re always giving out, always helping, sharing, serving, working, and being generous and never take time to recharge. If you don’t, you will get unbalanced and can eventually suffer compassion fatigue – you stop caring about God, others, or anything at all because you burn out from too much work or service. Others are the exact opposite, always taking in but never giving out. You go to Bible studies, listen to teachers on the radio and DVD, go to seminars, concerts, and workshops. You’re always learning, always taking in but not giving out. You don’t have any ministry or mission. You’re not really helping anybody. “Knowledge puffs up”. You start to look like the Pillsbury Dough Boy!
James 4:1 “Remember, it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it.” The more you know about God’s plan for your life the more responsible you are. You need both inlet and outlet, work and rest. You need balance in your schedule. 1 Tim 4:7 “…train yourself to be godly!” (Take the time to keep yourself spiritually fit.) We all know to be physically fit requires a balanced diet – to be spiritually fit you have to balance God’s purposes for your life in every area.
Passion drives your preparation”
Ex. Janay DeLoach, #2 long jumper in the world! We had the privilege of watching her practice, AFTER school, AFTER her work internship… Her purpose to make and with the Olympics is driven by her passion to see this dream realized, which includes preparation! I see too many church-goers with the attitude that God will open every door and make it all happen for them! It doesn’t work that way! Throughout the Bible God calls his people to not only have a passion for his purposes, but to translate that into disciplined preparation!
2 Tim. 4:2 “Preach the word of God. Be prepared, whether the time is favorable or not. Patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage your people with good teaching.” Col. 3:23 “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.”
If you are living, or want to live a passion driven life, then you will consistently preparing yourself… which is another way of talking about being a life-learner, growing spiritually, ongoing development of your giftedness, etc.
Passion drives your performance:
2 Tim. 2:15 “Work hard so you can present yourself to God and receive his approval. Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly explains the word of truth.”
People who possess a passion for God, a passion to fulfill his purposes, simply want to live the best life they can possibly live! They want to truly represent Christ- his character in every facet of their lives. They can’t just show up and go through the motions; they’re not interested in just talking about the Bible, they want to put it into action! Again, the church has lost its credibility with the culture because our “performance” has been greatly lacking! Because passion for God isn’t foremost, we don’t even know what our purpose is; and without knowing what our purpose is, how can we perform it??
It’s back to Paul saying, “Run to win! Be disciplined! Train! Don’t end up disqualified!” Your and my performance has to measure up to the standard of Christ- Does this glorify God!
How many times do you hear Jesus say in the Gospels- “I’m here to do the will of the one who sent me… and everything I do, how I perform must meet the standard of bringing the Father glory and honor!”
DOES YOUR PERFORMANCE MEET GOD’S STANDARD OF HONORING AND GLORIFYING HIM? It takes a passion driven life to do that! A life driven by a passion to perform God’s purposes in a way that highly glorifies and honors God! I want that for me, for you, for GCC!
A passion driven life! Devoted, Determined, and Disciplined to God’s purposes! As we close this series… rate your passion for God’s purpose in your life, in your relationships, in GCC, in your work, in every area!
Pray this with me: “God I want to live a life that is driven by a passion to fulfill your purposes!”