If you are a Christian, you are part of the Church. If you are part of the Church, then you are the Bride of Christ (Ephesians 5:22-32). Just as we can lose the passion for our earthly spouse, we can also lose our passion for our heavenly one, Jesus.
Kenneth Boa, in his book, Conformed to His Image, Zondervan, 2001), points out some natural enemies to spiritual passion:
- Unresolved areas of disobedience. You know God wants you to do something for Him, but you continually push Him aside. James says, “Therefore, to him who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin (James 4:17).” Maybe it’s time to truly give your life over to God in serving Him. Or, maybe you are caught up in a sin that you refuse to give up.
- You have stopped intentionally seeking Him. Your hunger and thirst for God is gone. Indifference has set in. It is time to ask God to awaken us to Him again.
- Erosion in spiritual disciplines. When spiritual disciplines like prayer, bible study, time in solitude with God, and fellowship with other believers take a back seat to other things in life, it is natural for our spiritual passion to wane.
- External obedience. Are you more concerned with conformity to rules, moral behavior, and duty than you are in imitating Jesus? External obedience without internal affection falls short of obeying God from the heart (Jeremiah 31:33; Ephesians 6:6).
- Loving truth more than Christ. Keep reading….don’t give up on me. Some students of God’s Word can easily fall into the trap of loving the content in the Bible more than the Source of that truth. Doctrine and theology are worthy pursuits, but not when they take the place of the pursuit of knowing and becoming like Jesus. Some of us can quote a lot of Scripture and not look anything like Jesus.
- Elevating service and ministry above Christ. Fellowship, serving those in need, telling other people the Gospel message are all essential parts of being a disciple of Christ. However, if we elevate those things above becoming intimate with Jesus then they become empty actions.
- Greater commitment to institutions than to Christ. Does your activity with the church or some other organization occupy more time than your devotion to Jesus? It is easy to get more passionate about causes than to be passionate about Christ.
- A merely functional relationship. Are you in a relationship with Christ only for what you think He can do for you? Do you follow Him because you want help with your marriage, your career, or your health? We have to grow beyond the gifts-above-the-Giver mentality if we hope to be spiritually passionate. What if you got nothing in return for serving Jesus other than forgiveness of sins?
Love for God can truly be threatened by these enemies. If any of these hit home, then I would encourage you to take some time to examine your life, pray to God about it, and seek out a spiritually passionate person to help you reignite your passion for Christ.
“Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts; And see if there be any hurtful way in me, And lead me in the everlasting way.” (Psalm 139:23-24)
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