Finding Your Passion
'Live with Passion'. 'Follow your Passion'.
Have you come across these banners? Having an 'A' type personality, I always enjoy being in action. I would say that I am passionate about my life and my ministry. Any message on passion stirs me up, so, to understand the true meaning of the word “passion” or “passionate” I did a word study.
The origin and History for the Passion: "Sufferings of Christ on the Cross" from Old French 'passion'. "Christ's passion, physical suffering” from Late Latin passionem (nominative passio). Acts 1: 3 (KJV) 'To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs'.
Hebrew 12: 2 says 'Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.' We see from the life of Jesus that to be passionate we are required to endure until we reach our finish line.
Malala Yousafzai, a 16-year-old girl from Pakistan, inspires me; at the age of 12 Malala shocked her community. In her community, as a young Muslim girl she was allowed to go to school however, once married she was required to be at home. She desired to be an educated woman and a leader in the community. Her dad, a schoolteacher, encouraged her to follow her dreams.
One day, when Malala was returning from school, she was shot in the head by the Taliban. When the news reached the community it shocked many of them. She survived the bullet and after recovering from the injury she continues her studies to pursue her dream. News about Malala’s desire to be an educated woman was flashed in the news around the world. National leaders and presidents empowered her to fulfill her dream. Recently, Malala received the Nobel peace award and she continues to live in danger for her life, but her passion (enduring spirit) causes her to fight for freedom for young women to be educated in her nation.
If you desire to know your destiny God will give you a peak into your destiny. God gave Joseph a blue print of his destiny, but he didn't know the journey to get to his destiny. Our founding pastor, John Arnott, once taught on a convoluted Journey. I remember John asking who would like Joseph’s anointing and my hand went up. Then he asked "would you like to go through what Joseph went through?" My hand went down. I wanted Joseph’s anointing but I was not sure if I would like to go through the trials and testing he went through. It took 13 years of convoluted Journey for Joseph before he became the Governor of Egypt.
Did you ever ponder on the scripture 'The Lord was with Joseph'? I asked the Lord, "what did Joseph do that you were with him?" I remember the Lord saying to me, "he chose to stay with me". Scriptures do not talk about what he did to stay with the Lord, but the scripture speaks about his response at every juncture. He was faithful to Potiphar; he said 'no' to Potiphar’s seductive wife; he served well under the prison guards in the prison; he interpreted dreams to the butler and the baker. Joseph must have been a good Hebrew boy, faithful to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. He did not have bible stories and scriptures to stir up his faith and he probably didn't even have any Hebrew friends with him in Egypt and yet he remained faithful to the Lord.
Did you know, the anointing Joseph had was not for him? Joseph's anointing It was for Potiphar and Potiphar prospered (Genesis 39:2-3), it was for the prison guard as he was the one getting the reward for Joseph’s wisdom and hard work (Genesis 39: 21-23) and it was for the butler, as he got restored back to Pharaoh’s house (Genesis 40:13,21).
However, Joseph was still a slave in bondage serving others. Joseph was anointed for others while God was preparing him; he was increasing in wisdom, learning the culture of Egypt, learning the kingdom of Pharaoh. What I am discovering in life is that God will allow you to be under someone else’s vision, he will anoint you to propel someone else's vision.
Holy Spirit was giving me a word study on “sub-mission”. During our convoluted Journey God will allow us to be under sub-mission, be under other’s vision so he can work on our hearts, give us new skills, equip us for the purpose that he has prepared us for. If you're an 'A' type personality like me, this could be a challenging calling.
In my own convoluted journey I have embraced Psalm 119: 83 that reminds me to hold onto God's promises from his Word. Also, Psalm 119: 25, whereby I ask God to revive me from my earthly life. We find our call whilst we are (passionately) enduring our convoluted Journey. Daily prayer will cause you to see the promises from Proverbs 1:1-4.
Some of the practical steps I have adopted while I am being molded for my call are :-
- A five-year plan to study the word of God for the vocation I am called
- Submission to my leaders and work towards their vision
- Surrounding myself with anointed worship and anointed people
As a born again Christian I have learned my destiny is linked to a Kingdom need. Joseph was prepared for 13 years to meet the need of Jacob and his clans. God knew ahead of time about the famine and he wanted to make sure his people would not go hungry. Joseph was pulled out of his comfortable life to a season of hardships, testing, and culture shock. Preparation time is unusual to us, however,God does speak to us through his word, dreams, and prophecies.
The two areas of life we must continue to work on is our heart and our character. I encourage you to read a chapter called 'Three Transformational Journeys' from the book 'The Invitation' by John and Carol Arnott. This chapter will help you find where your heart is. I think with my mind to plan and act upon things I would like to do in life, but I have noticed my heart responds differently. I have realized that it is my heart that leads me.
Secondly, character is acutely important to remain faithful to your call and I continue to live my life with an 'open palm' (being open for change). In order for our character to be molded towards our call we must have an open palm mind set. Our senior pastor, Steve Long, has written a book called 'On The Run: Become the leader you are destined to be' which looks at the life of David whereby you get helpful insights on what it means to live through hardship and suffering and yet enter into the destiny God has called you to.
In Closing, I want to say if you don’t have zeal in life to do something, then get under someone else's vision for a season. Be committed to that person as your commitment will create longevity of faithfulness in you. Your character filled with faithfulness will launch you into your calling. I have watched people with zeal for life and I have noticed they live for others. To live for others we need Passion, which is endurance, patience, and kindness.