We often consider gifts from God. Routinely our thoughts go to the Gifts of the Spirit as listed in Scripture. However, I, like many Pastors, believe there are innumerable gifts not listed in Scripture. These gifts serve to edify, encourage, and train the Body of Christ. Passion is a word approached with fear by Christians. Our first thoughts are often towards physical passions and the dangers they bring. But passions are also gifts from God. Passions for the things of God and the work of the Body.
We can inflame passions, quench passions, ignore passion and some try to kill passions. I believe it is within our passions that God often reveals the gifts he has provided.
Paul had a passion for the people of Israel. His fellow Jews so filled his heart he desired eternity away from God to bring them salvation. This passion was honored by God to make Paul an instrument to reach the Gentiles.
Where are our passions today? What sits upon our heart and brings out emotions of love, desire and a need to accomplish? For me one of my God given passions is for music. I can be moved through well crafted and heart filled music. Where logic would fail to reach my heart, music waltzes in and moves my heart to dance.
As a pastoral student many years ago, I began to quench my passion for music. I “learned” the place of music in a worship service. I was taught to “use” music to reach the start of teaching or preaching. I have now come to learn teaching and preaching are not the end all goals of the Christian Life.
Teaching and preaching tell us about God. These cornerstones of the present day church convince and guide but do not necessarily glorify God.
Art and music are two key aspects instilled in us which can glorify our Creator. In music we move our hearts and spirits to glorify God. Those impassioned by God are inspired to compose and perform in order to glorify and worship God. It’s such an overwhelming passion they feel confined and defeated when unable to express their gift.
How powerful is music? Paul and Barnabas lifted the hearts of prisoners during their darkest night. So encouraged were the prisoners they attempted no escape when the prison doors were opened by God’s earthquake. In an earlier era, David calmed the tortured heart of Saul providing solace from demons within through the dulcet strains of music.
Why do we sing an invitation after an inspiring message of salvation and dedication? To provide time to respond? Yes, but also to lift up the questioning heart with melody and music that stirs our inner souls to respond.
I write of music because I know and understand this gift from God. Maybe you also feel this pressure for music and long to express your love for God through song. Maybe you feel restrained because it’s not teaching or preaching. Maybe you feel God is inspiring your passions in other areas of art, helps, comforting or many other possibilities. It’s time to let God work fully in our hearts as well as our minds.
Let us open up to glorify and worship God using the passions He provides. Let us not do this without careful consideration and confirmation in the Word but yet with the fullness of our heart.
Let us realize, understand and accept we do not need a prayer time, Bible study or sermon to make a gathering for worship complete. We have worshiped God when He has been glorified in ourselves and in the Body of Christ.
What is your passion? How are you using your giftsfrom God to glorify Him? Have you begun to seek after God not only with your head but also with your heart?
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.” Deuteronomy 6:5