Blog: Church, Where's Our Passion

Church, Where’s Our Passion

Chandler Nazarene Devotionals Leave a Comment

The other day, I was listening to the soundtrack for Hamilton (the musical). One song, My Shot, pushed me down a wandering thought path about passion.

At this stage of the musical, Hamilton has hooked up with other revolutionaries who share a passion for independence and a desire to build a grand nation based on freedom.

Here is a link to the video if you care to listen to the entire song. Here are the lyrics from the chorus:

I am not throwin’ away my shot
I am not throwin’ away my shot
Hey yo, I’m just like my country
I’m young, scrappy and hungry
And I’m not throwin’ away my shot

At one point, Hamilton sings (raps):

Oh, am I talkin’ too loud?
Sometimes I get over excited, shoot off at the mouth

These revolutionaries cannot contain themselves. They are willing to sacrifice ALL for their passion.

This song and the passion behind it make me think of the apostles during the time that God used them to build the New Testament Church. They were revolutionariesThey spoke out. They were driven to do God’s work, regardless of the cost. They took risks. They sometimes forfeited their lives.

I don’t think there is an overall lack of passion in modern life, though it’s usually not focused on life or death circumstances. Here are some places I DO see people expressing passion.

Sports Enthusiasts

  • We paint our faces with team colors.
  • We make watching or attending games a high priority for our time.
  • We follow the sports news religiously.
  • We scream at the top of our lungs when someone scores (or really messes up…)

Patriots

  • The flag is “the emblem of the land I love, the home of the free and the brave.”
  • We have strong political views, and don’t think twice about sharing them.
  • We “bleed red, white, and blue”
  • We stand for the Pledge of Allegiance, AND say it!!!

Music Fanatics

  • We spend lots of money on concert tickets.
  • We memorize the lyrics to our favorite songs.
  • We promote the bands we admire by sharing their music.
  • We sing loud and proud, regardless of the quality of our voices or knowledge of the real lyrics.

Our culture is NOT lacking passion. But, is our passion misdirected?

When attending various churches, I’ve observed these behaviors, sometimes in myself…

  • We prefer to sit more than stand during the service, even when we are singing praises to our Father.
  • We sing quietly, if at all.
  • We fall into a zombie-like trance during sermons…and please don’t ask us to participate
  • We don’t have enough money to tithe faithfully, but somehow, we find the money for the things we desire.
  • We come to Sunday school and worship services to receive, when God tells us we are made to GIVE.
  • We keep our faith to ourselves instead of expressing it freely wherever God calls us to share.
  • In some churches, the passion is over the top, but it often stems from the PROCESS, not the PURPOSE.

My question is, WHY?

Why do we express SO MUCH passion in some areas of our lives but restrain ourselves when we are worshiping our MAKER?

I am not pointing fingers; I am guilty too.

Is the modern Church “throwing away our shot?”

The problem is not new. In the Book of Revelation (Chapters 2 & 3), God calls out several early churches for their misdirected passion.

  • Ephesus had abandoned their first love for Christ – Revelation 2:4.
  • Pergamum needed to repent of sin – Revelation 2:16
  • Thyatira was following a false teacher – Revelation 2:20
  • Sardis was “asleep” and needed to wake up – Revelation 3:2
  • Laodicea had lukewarm faith – Revelation 3:16

As the “bride of Christ” we are MADE to be passionate about God.

How do we revive THAT KIND of passion in the Church? 

I wish I had the answer to that question. I don’t, but here’s what I’m going to try.

  • I am going to start with myself. I will look into my heart and evaluate the depth of my LOVE for God. I know that my passion for God ebbs and flows. When my love cycles down, how do I bring it back?
  • I will take time to KNOW God. I cannot love God if I don’t know him. I have never developed a love relationship with another person from a distance. I had to get up close and personal. How? I need to read HIS history through the Bible and talk with God. Every. Single. Day. I will bury his word in my heart so that it becomes a part of my biological makeup.
  • I will wear it, make it my identity, ACT IT OUT. On a podcast I listened to recently, I heard identity defined as “repeated beingness.” There is a circular relationship between behavior and identity. Identity informs behavior; behavior informs identity. They do not exist independently from one another.
  • I will express it over and over and over again to anyone who will listen, through love, not debate. Every expression must point to God.
  • I will multiply my passion exponentially through REAL relationships with other believers. Depth. Service. Love. Deep relationships are contagious. When I see them, I want to be a part of them.

In his book, Crazy Love, Francis Chan talks about this kind of passion, and here is a sermon he preached about his personal experience grappling with this question.

I have probably rambled a lot here, as I mentioned at the beginning, this was a wandering thought path. Thank you for meandering with me as I sorted out my ponderings. Feel free to share your own thoughts in the comments section below.

My heart is full of yearning NOT TO THROW AWAY MY SHOT, individually or as a limb of the Church. I will leave you with these modified lyrics as an expression of my desire. ?

I am not throwin’ away my shot
I am not throwin’ away my shot
Hey yo, I’m in love with my Yahweh
I’m fully trusting HIS WAY
And I’m not throwin’ away my shot

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