Break off the chains of emotional bondage
This is to finish the lesson of how we cannot take another person’s passion for ourselves. We can be inspired by it to live more passionately, love God and His people with more passion. But we cannot take it and make it own, the only way you make it your own is if you work for it.
Jesus sweated blood in the garden for us, all of us (Luke 22:44). He died on the cross for us but His passion(Hebrews 12:2), His cup didn’t go to the thieves beside Him. It was His cup to drink (Mark 14:36, Luke 22:17, Luke 22:42), the Father knew He alone could drink that cup because He had spent His whole life in preparation for this very moment. The thieves couldn’t take that passion and make it their own. We can’t do that – steal someone else’s passion for Jesus.
I can’t go into any other church and take up their worship leader’s position and show off the same passion. We can’t feed off each other’s passion for Jesus – it has to be cultivated in the gardens of our hearts.
I took Belle for a walk the other day and we walked by this corner lot and I saw this beautiful garden of a lawn. It had tall, thick, luscious grass that would be perfect for sitting on and reading a book. It had beautifully trimmed tall trees of some sort, a vertical herb garden that I want in my own life. But no matter how long I stood there and looked at the garden and wanted it in my own, I am not able to have that for myself.
We can stand in worship and see other people worshipping with all spirit and truth and think “man…I wish I could worship like that. Why do they have the confidence to lift their hands and I don’t?”
Well they have worked throughout the week to keep that passion alive. Through times of drought, emptiness, and silence from God – they, whom you watch with envy, have kept their passion. And they did not let their emotional and carnal response dictate what their spiritual man would do.
It is easy to give in to a tired physical body, getting up and working all day, getting yelled at or piled upon at work – why do you think most of America and people around the world sit and watch TV or read books or sit like a vegetable on the couch after work? It is because it is easy to give into the emotion of apathy, laziness, and procrastination.
You can think, “I’m going to spend each night with Jesus, I’m gonna be a Godly Gladiator, slaying demons left and right” and then actually encounter a demon of anger operating through a person causing them to yell at you for no logical reason and you cower at home and say “this gladiator thing is for the birds.”
If you want to be that warrior for God, having a passion that makes going through the battles worth fighting– you have to find it. You have get with God, regardless of what your body and emotions are telling you “it’s worthless, there isn’t anyone up there, you sound like a crazy person, everyone knows you’re a Jesus freak and no-body likes you, stop talking about God because you’re getting funny looks, God hasn’t answered your prayers in forever, you can’t hear from God – why would He talk to you”- and you basically have to tell those thoughts, those emotions to shut up. God is here, He is listening, He does speak to you, He loves you and wants to have a lover’s relationship with you.
He died on the cross for you, His passion of going through all that suffering out of love for you – that is what we fight for. What we keep in mind when we start to feel overwhelmed. What we stand on after all the fighting within us is done, we stand. Still clothed in His holy armor but standing upon praying through any suffering because of the love that is never ending (Ephesians 6:10-20).
We fully recognize it is our responsibility – I’ve said it before and I will keep saying it, that Jesus has already done His part and the ball is now in our court. If He did everything we would have no free will to choose and that is not what God wants. He wants us to choose Him, He has already chosen us.
1 John 4:19 tells us He has loved us since the beginning. Mark 8:34 tells us that it is now our choice, Jesus is already down on the earth and is saying “If you choose to follow me (If you choose me) then you will deny yourself and pick up your cross. Pick up the same suffering I am about to endure and follow my lead. Come on, let’s play follow the leader.” Ephesians 2:8-9 tells us that we are saved by God’s grace, nothing we have done other than choose Jesus – He is saying you canNOT work your way to heaven. You cannot minister, be a good person, help the poor, have imitations of the fruit of the Spirit without HIM, without Jesus and still make it to heaven.
In baking bread so that it rises, you have to add yeast otherwise it is a wonderful pita bread but not a glorious loaf with lightness to it. That is how it is with heaven. In order to get to heaven you have to have Jesus in your heart, He is the yeast that should permeate throughout your entire being. But without Him, you are a nice little pita in Hell about to be pita chips.