The Apostle Paul is a great example of what it means to follow your passion – the one God has placed in your heart. Paul said, “I want to know Christ — yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death.”  Philippians 3:10. Friends, I, too, have found my passion; for the past 30 years my mission field(s) have been nations across Asia and Eastern Europe. I have seen the powerful move of God, taught and trained leaders, and brought the Good News message to the unreached. This is God’s calling on my life. This is my passion.

Two months ago I was visiting leaders and believers in North China. One of the men I met told me about how he recognized his calling and passion. He had wanted to start a business, but was unable to. It was as if the Lord prevented him because He had a significant plan for this man’s life. The man eventually followed the leading of the Holy Spirit and went into ministry. God called him to feed His sheep and lead them to the Way and the Truth and the Life. The believer explained how he was able to boldly pray, talk, and share about Jesus to masses of people. Many accepted Christ, were baptized, and received discipleship. The man told of how he was awake for two nights in a row and on the morning of the third day he knew his calling. “Neil, I had fire within me and I knew it was from God”, he said. This man now leads hundreds and takes the gospel to the unreached regions.

What is the passion in your life?

The Apostle Paul was a passionate, zealous man who had every reason to boast in his works. After all, he was intellectually brilliant and had benefited from the best training available in his day. He had self-discipline, drive, and ambition about serving God. Paul took the gospel to the world, and although it was not easy, he chose to live a passionate life for Christ.

Paul said in Romans 12:1-2, “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”

The day came when Paul yielded his life to the lordship of Jesus Christ and clarity hit him. He realized that all his enviable accomplishments did not lead him to God’s true calling on his life.

He finally ended up at a certain place, where he acknowledged that his education couldn’t satisfy the deepest longings of his soul. He needed something more than prestige, learning, and recognition. He didn’t find the satisfaction he craved by being able to say that he was blameless. In fact, he had been so passionate that he was convinced he was right. His perspective had been incomplete. His confidence in himself took him away from the will of God for his life.

Be careful when you think you know and when you are sure you are right. Your perspective isn’t all there is to life.

Will you follow the Lord’s purpose and trust His plans for your life or will you say, “This is my life and I can do what I want with it?” Yes, it may be your life, but your choices and actions have consequences. Let’s not get to the point where we simply won’t listen to anyone; where we realize we are charging in a certain direction and not stopping to really look at the bigger picture.

Remember, it is better to let God lead you than to be unhappy with your decisions. Be aware of where your confidence lies. The strength of your natural advantages will not fulfill you. Yield your strength to the purposes of God and watch what He will do with your life. Like Paul you will live a life far beyond the one you could have made by following your own will and desires.

 

Dr. Neil Anderson

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