Monday, February 11, 2013

Trading Complacency for Passion

Trading Complacency for Passion


And I will be even more undignified than this, and will be humble in my own sight.” – 2 Samuel 6:22

I’m often amazed at how God will speak to our hearts in that “still, small voice”. Lately He has spilled the same two words into my heart over and over… complacency and apathy.  The two are exact opposites.  Complacency is defined as “self-satisfaction especially when accompanied by unawareness of actual dangers or deficiencies”.  It’s a feeling of quiet pleasure and security, smugness, while danger is on the horizon.  Passion, on the other hand, is an “intense, driving, or overmastering feeling that brings desire and devotion”. While one is cool and calm, the other is hot…and getting hotter!
Consider how a live lobster is cooked.  When cooking a lobster, you don’t put it in hot water or they tense up and become tough and hard.  Instead you put them in lukewarm water that is gently warmed over a hot fire.  Though the water becomes hotter by the minute, the lobster becomes complacent, relaxing into the warm water until, eventually, it takes their life.

Passion, on the other hand, is more like the water in the pot.  It starts with a warm bubble.  The longer it stays in the heat, the hotter it boils until, eventually, it bubbles over onto everything around it.
Complacency and passion don’t just live in the lobster pot.  They are thriving in our churches.  Oh that we children of God would exchange our complacency for passion!  What changes we could bring about in our families, churches, neighborhoods, and nation if we would love God in such a way as to become passionate about Him!  What a bubbling over of His Spirit for all to see we could have if we allowed that passion to drive us and give Him our full devotion as we burn hotter and hotter!  Meanwhile our homes are broken, our children rebellious, our churches beg for volunteers, and our nation lacks morals.  We’re sitting in the warm water and not noticing the destruction.

We fill our prayers with pleas, begging for the things we think we need.  We pray and pray asking, yet all the time feeling distant from Him.  What we need most we don’t even recognize as our seared conscience and religious lives have made us spiritually blind.  We’ve let the altar grow cold.  We need a passionate love for Him, but we’re so deep in the warm water that we’ve become comfortable there, and don’t want to change.
What does passion for God look like?  King David was a man passionately in love with God.  David repeatedly told God of his love for Him, saying:

 “I will love You, O Lord, my strength.” – Psalms 18:1
“I will extol You, my God, O King; And I will bless Your name forever and ever.” – Psalms 145:1

Lord, I have loved the habitation of Your house, And the place where Your glory dwells.” – Psalms 26:8
“I love the Lord, because He has heard My voice and my supplications.” – Psalms 116:1

“Consider how I love Your precepts; Revive me, O Lord, according to Your lovingkindness.” – Psalms 119:159
David longed to be near God, and then even nearer to God.  When the Ark of the Covenant was returned to the City of David, King David was filled with passion!  2 Samuel 6:14-15 says Then David danced before the Lord with ALL HIS MIGHT; and David was wearing a linen ephod.  So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the Lord with SHOUTING and with the sound of the trumpet.” He was in love with God, and so filled with excitement because the mercy seat of God was back in his city. 

But King David’s wife didn’t share his passion.  Michal saw David dancing and criticized him because she felt he wasn’t being “king-like”.  Can you relate?  There are people who expect Christians to be “church-like” as well.  They will criticize you when your passion breaks you to tears because they don’t think that’s appropriate for church.  They will gossip about you when your praise and worship turns you into a bubbling brook!  They will expect something to be wrong with you when your tears push you to the altar for no reason other than to give thanks for the love that is overtaking your heart. 
Michal gave David this same kind of criticism, sarcastically saying to him “How glorious was the king of Israel today, uncovering himself today in the eyes of the maids of his servants, as one of the base fellows shamelessly uncovers himself!” Ah, but David’s reply was rooted in his passion and he said, “And I will be even more undignified than this, and will be humble in my own sight.” David didn’t care what Michal thought because his passion for God was a red hot flame of love inside him.  Nothing puts out a flame like that!  It ignites all that come near!

God has burned the song “consuming fire” into my head the past few days.  I continually find myself hearing and singing the lyrics that say “There must be more than this, O breath of God come breathe within. There must be more than this, Spirit of God we wait for You. Consuming fire fan into flame, a passion for Your Name. Spirit of God would You fall in this place, Lord have Your way, Lord have Your way with us”.  It’s a breathing within, a consuming fire, a passion for His name, that falls inside where His Spirit lives.  It’s humbling yourself to say “Lord, have your way”.  God, can we trade in our complacency for this?

If we want “more than this” from God, we have to be willing to give “more than this” to God.  We have to pray, find passion, and seek out a greater love for Him.  We have to dethrone the Michal’s who will criticize our worship, and put God back on the throne of our hearts.  We can throw up our hands in praise! Sing! Dance!  We can be filled with passion for Him, and be humbled in His sight.  We won’t care what the on-watchers think because Almighty God has our undivided attention.  We will not the complacency of others stop us from a deeper relationship with Him! We will tell God how much we love Him. We will become even more undignified if that is what service to our King requires!  We will give Him our PASSIONATE worship because we love Him…above all!

And it won’t stop at worship!  Our lives will be transformed by the deep and burning love we have for Him.  We won’t live defeated lives, being sick and not knowing why, being overcome by dragging emotions, being disappointed with our day to day lives.  When God takes the throne of our hearts – peace will enter in!
Stir it up in our hearts Lord, a passion for Your Name!

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