Strategy 1: Your Passion, Getting It Back When It's Gone
February - Issue One
If you haven't already, please read the chapter titled, Your Passion, before reading this newsletter.
What is your purpose in life?
This is one of those deep questions that can seem shallow because of it's overuse. But knowing our purpose in life is paramount as we begin this study.
Many years ago the Lord had me do this, and it has helped me stay focused through every circumstance and season I've faced since, both the good and bad. I have it written in the back of my Bible for easy reference.
Here are the main points of my purpose:
1. Reflect - back in history to see God's hand at work, as well as today in my own life.
2. Record - capture moments in word pictures and write them down.
3. Reveal - Christ revealed to me and through me. More of Him and less of me.
4. Rejoice - In good times and bad for my hope comes from the One who lives forever.
Reading this chapter reminded me of my need to keep my passion alive in order to stay focused on my purpose and not the changing circumstances of my life.
It has been a difficult season in our family. And I'm sure you all have your own stories of the trouble you're currently facing. It even seems the trouble has increased since we set out to do this study together. We shouldn't be surprised at all! We have an enemy who doesn't want us to pray.
"If I were your enemy, I'd make stealing your passion one of my primary goals. Because I know if I could dim your passion, I could significantly lower your resistance to temptation and discouragement. I could make you walk with a spiritual limp and lengthen how long it takes you to recover from the injury. If I could chip away at your zeal, at your hope, at your belief in God and what He can do, I could chisel down your faith to a whimper. Make you want to quit. And never try again. I'd cup an ear in your direction, hear nothing in your voice that sounds like anything but token prayer, and snicker at my success. Chalk another one up to my "Passion Elimination Plan" -- the one with your name on it." (page 26-27)
Do any of these tactics resonate in your life right now?
Mrs. Shirer reminds us of an important way to differentiate the enemy's strategy from God's hand in our trouble:
- Are you discouraged?
- Are you being tempted in continual ways?
- Have you lost your zeal? your hope? your belief in God?
- Has your faith wavered?
"Condemnation always leads to guilt-laden discouragement, while conviction--though often painful in pointing out our wrongdoing--still somehow encourages and lifts us, giving us hope to rebuild on. The first makes you focus on yourself; the other points you to the grace and empowering mercy of Christ. To hear the devil tell it, these weaknesses of yours are reason for nothing but wretched despair; yet God says those same weaknesses are reason for your purest worship and gratitude. Your need for God's grace is supposed to be a passion enhancer." (page 28)
Well, let's start here! Let's pray and ask God to shatter the enemy's strategy to steal our passion. Let's ask the One who knows passion best to impart it as a gift to us today. But be warned. The definition of passion is "to suffer". It's not romantic. It's real. It's raw. But it's life-giving, like giving birth! If we commit to embrace all the circumstances God sends our way with faith in His ability to see us through, we will certainly have stories (testimonies) to record and share.
Thank you that it's not up to me to make it through this life victoriously, but You have promised to give us a future and a hope. We can call on you and You will hear us! As we commit to draw near to You in this book study, I pray for all of us that we will sense your nearness. You have never left us, but our enemy has attempted to deceive us into believing you have.
Today we draw a line in the sand saying we won't allow his deceptions to come near to us any longer. We will fight with the weapons You have provided to resist his tactics--Your Word, Your Spirit and the faith You provide.
I pray for all the ladies participating in this book study. May You keep them from temptation and discouragement. Fill them with fresh passion and zeal to know You and Your ways more intimately. Help us all be honest as we share together, either through the classes the Emily is leading, or on our Facebook page, so that this won't be just a book we read together, but it will become a part of who we are--the Church unstoppable in all her glory.
We love You. Help us love You more!
In Jesus' name,
Read this chapter several times throughout the month of February to help you implement it's truths.
Also, be sure to check out the information provided in the left sidebar. Each issue will be full of useful tools and encouraging worship to help us stay focused throughout this study. Need to give feedback? I'd love to hear from you email@example.com