Mar 17, 2008

Pass the Passion, Please

Yesterday I read a heartbreaking story of a woman named Amy, who, as a child, experienced significant emotional trauma. Not knowing how to effectively overcome her pain, she carried it into her adult life. After years of seeking out every source of help she could think of, she could find no peace. She shrank into a lonely, reclusive life and fell victim to her pain. One afternoon, she was found in her house, alone, having purposefully drunk herself to death.

A devastating story. But what was even more upsetting to me was that Amy had sought out the church. She had reached out to Christians for help, and there was no one who could effectively communicate the very real freedom and peace we have in Jesus. Maybe she was simply not in a place mentally to be able to receive it, but what if that wasn't the case? What if the people she reached out to just didn't have the answers? What if she could tell that the words of freedom spoken to her were just that: words? Have you ever been in her shoes? Perhaps you've had a very real problem and the advice you received was biblical, but the presenter had no passion behind it. Platitudes. Warm Fuzzies. This has happened to me many times, and I found myself thinking, "Does she really even believe that or is it just something she's been taught?" Unfortunately, it made it hard for me to believe the words. I'm also sad to say that I have been the passionless platitude speaker myself. I don't think we do it maliciously. I think we want to believe the promises of freedom, peace, and joy that we've been given, but we sometimes fall short.

I remember when I first started attending Beth Moore's classes in Houston. This woman taught with a fiery passion and sense of urgency that I had never seen. I could tell she believed what she was saying with everything in her. I've since realized this was one of the reasons I was so attracted to her teaching. It was real. She had been in the pit and watched her Father pull her out of the mire and place her high upon a rock. She gave me hope that if God did it for her, He would do it for me. Was there someone like Beth in Amy's life? I don't know. But here's what I do know: I want to be that person for the hurting souls in my life. I want to be so passionate about the freedom God has given me that the women around me would dare to believe that God would accomplish great wonders in them, too! I'm not claiming to have attained all that God wants to do in me, but He has done miracles. And it is my responsibility to share them. I want to be "a voice of one calling in the desert, 'prepare the way for the Lord"! (Luke 3:4) I want to be the one telling the Amy's of this world that there is a hope and His name is Jesus Christ. There is liberty in no other!

While Jesus was on this earth, He met a woman at a well and showed Himself to be God to her. She responded to this encounter by telling the people in her town about this Jesus. In fact, she was so excited that she left her water jar behind when she left! Here's the cool part:

"Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in [Jesus] because of the woman's testimony." (John 4:39)

Amazing! This one woman changed an entire city with her passion. Because of her zeal for the Lord, the people around her were attracted to Him and He saved them. Don't you long for your testimony to do the same?

Ladies, we must stop settling for mediocrity. Our God is a powerful God who performs mighty wonders in us. Let's start acting like it! The Amy's in your midst will thank you, and you just might save a life.

Father, you have done tremendous works in us, but sometimes, we don't see them. Open our eyes to the wonders you've performed and may we be awestruck! Turn our complacency into passion. A passion that can't be contained, that bursts forth from grateful lips. We love you. Amen.

I'm including a few discussion questions for those of you who would like to participate. I'll be checking and responding soon. And you all feel free to respond to one another. Love you all.

1. How am I pursuing freedom?
2. Do I believe what I say I believe, and if not, what am I doing to remedy that?
3. Looking at where I am now and where I have been, what has God done in me?
4. Am I excited about what He's done, or am I complacent?
5. Do I need to ask God to light a fire of passion in me?
6. Who is it in my circle of people that needs to see the passion of a life lived in freedom?


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4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Misti,

Those are some tough questions, they definitely make this ole gal think!

Thanks.

Love
Your aunt

mbc said...

Im stuck on the first discussion question. "How am I pursuing freedom?" I have recently come to realize that I have created my own trap, my own chains. full time school and ministry, part time job, reserach assistent. bla bla bla. There is nothing left in my cup to give and furthermore I am not creating space for the Lord to fill it up again. SOmetimes a 30 minute quiet time isnt enough. My freedom must lie in creating space for the Lord to fill me up again. My empty Christ sharing isnt because I dont believe the promises. Its becuase I am not living in them. Jesus said, "Mary has chosen what is better."
We have to live in the freedom of Gods promises in order to share them.

Misti said...

MB...that's good stuff. Yea, sometimes we just don't make the time and then we wonder why we feel empty and emotionally exhausted. I fall into this trap often. Thanks for reminding me that in order to live effectively I must let God fill me up daily. Love you girl.

Anonymous said...

#5 is mine. Thanks for reminding me that I can PRAY for passion.

Love,
Mom