Tuesday, April 11, 2006

The Redemption of Passion

As I continue my exploration of the fullness of freedom I’ve made and unexpected discovery; passion and how powerful it can be. Over the past few months I’ve been exploring various forms of creativity. I’ve created a few painting, I’ve started reading an AMAZING author (Ted Dekker), I’ve learned a few new songs on my guitar and I’ve begun writing this blog. These experiments with creativity seem to have opened a crack into the realm of godly passion. I’ve caught a supernatural glimpse into the passionate love that Jesus the Bridegroom has for his bride the church. And it’s more powerful than I’ve ever imagined.

Personally, I’m convinced that this love of God is extravagant, passionate, powerful and the highest expression of freedom. I’m convinced because I’ve experienced it. This passionate, extravagant love of God releases extraordinary power! My heart’s been touched and my head has followed. Hmm… Now that’s a problem isn’t it, the head following the heart. It’s also what’s kept passion imprisoned.

The American church operates in just the opposite manner, the heart follows the head. We are permitted to feel and experience only after we have established a historical and biblical president with a sound theological foundation. Any experiences outside of that established order are suspect at best and demonic at worst. Which accurately describes the Pharisees relationship with Jesus.

Biblically and historically first God moves and then understanding follows. Every documented move of God has been unprecedented. It’s the way of faith. His ways are not our ways (Isaiah 55:8-9). We serve an out of the box God who refuses to be contained by the limits of our intellect. So he does things that rock our world and maybe sometime later we catch up and understand pieces of it. In other words God works from heart to head. If we’re honest with ourselves we’ll admit that we’re afraid of operating this way and the source of our fear is our need to be in control. Yet we serve and worship a God who is beyond our control. God’s not out of control, just beyond our control.

Most of us associate the word passion with ungodly emotions. It’s OK to be passionate about sports or food or politics or sex or even religion, but God? Can I be passionate about Jesus, with Jesus? I want to see the word passion as well as the practice of it redeemed. The Bride is designed to be passionate for her Bridegroom.

Allow me to offer you some food for thought. What did Jesus mean when he said: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength” (Mark 12:30)? Is it possible to love with ALL your HEART and ALL your SOUL devoid of passion? I can’t imagine how.

How about this in 2 Samuel 6 we read how in his underwear, David danced before the Lord with all his might. Was this not an extremely passionate expression of David’s love for God? David’s wife Michal was offended by her husband’s passionate and undignified worship. As a result she was barren the rest of her life. Who would you rather be in this story David or Michal, the one who was passionate or the one who was casting judgment as she observed from a distance? I’ve been a Michal for far too long, I want to be a David.

In an attempt to allow my head to catch up with my heart I was reading Saint Thomas Aquinas’ Summa Theologica where he addresses this question: “Whether there can be moral virtue without passion? In short his answer is no. He writes that “Virtue overcomes inordinate passion; it produces ordinate passion”. So, virtue and passion aren’t diametrically opposed, rather virtue produces passion! I like it and I want to see more of it - in my church and in my life. Passion is powerful, to quote a friend it’s “scary wonderful” so be it.

Lord, stir up pure, holy godly passion within my heart. Touch my heart with your passionate and extravagant love and make me fully the man you created me to be.

© Tom Zawacki 2006

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands Psalm 19:1

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