Proverbs 19:2 “Also, that the soul be without knowledge, it is not good; and he that hasteth with his feet sinneth.” (KJV)
Passion Allows Courageous Enthusiasm
No doubt we have all known people, or perhaps have been people, with too much zeal and too little knowledge. These people seem to go through life with an over abundance of enthusiasm but no real direction. They are always “getting the cart before the horse”. God is not asking us to blindly rush into ministry. As Christians we need to pace ourselves according to God’s schedule. We must be excited about what we are doing. We must expend energy to get the right job done at the right time, but we must plan and execute our lives with skillfulness and passion. PACE –– Passion Allows Courageous Enthusiasm –– We should take risks. We should be willing to try new approaches, but we cannot effectively minister without a plan.
In a time before cell phones and satellite TV there was Public Broadcast Television. On that channel you could find programs for a wide variety of viewers covering an equally wide variety of topics. Being a Television addict, one of my favorites was a painting program where the artist would demonstrate the techniques of painting landscapes. I have long since forgotten his name and the name of the program, but remember his monotone seemingly hypnotic voice saying something about “happy little accidents”. For a long time I envisioned God in heaven painting our lives with that type of attitude. However, a quick look into the Bible will tell us a plan is important. Passion or zeal can get us started, but a plan will keep us going. (Proverbs 16:3)
God is interested in the details. If a plan is going to succeed, there must be a plan to start with. Committing our plan to the Lord means that we have taken it to Him, sought His advice, listened to His leading, and moved in His timing. Often our passion and our enthusiasm leave our good sense in the dust as we run headlong into a problem that could have been avoided with the proper planning. (Luke 14:28-30)
The PACE in which we move is an integral part of the plan. PACE –– Passion Allows Courageous Enthusiasm. Take a risk. Move in faith. Believe God to do great things, but balance our zeal with knowledge. Prove our knowledge with experience, and align our experience with the word of God. The word of God is our foundation. The plan of God is our focus, and the love of God is our heartbeat. We will finish the task if we keep the proper perspective. (Romans 12:10-11)
Excitement or eagerness may “get the ball rolling”, but fervor or passion keeps us working until the end. We have all started projects that showed great promise or peeked our interest, but many of those projects are to this day unfinished (At least they are at my house). Passion for something gets the job done. Think of one of those unfinished projects. The reason it remains unfinished more than likely boils down to the love for the project waning. The fickle aspect of our attention span causes loss of interest and enthusiasm. We require constant fine-tuning and adjustments to our focus.
All of us can recall without too much difficulty the situation and the setting where we were first introduced to the reality of our need for Jesus Christ. We can go from there to our first burning desire to share the love of God with others, but do we maintain that spiritual fervor even today? Our Christian experiences must be passionate. The heartfelt needs we meet go beyond our emotional state; they touch the soul. We must be willing to take the initiative. Personal courage is vital in our keeping PACE with God’s purpose. Willingness to take the risk makes the difference. (2Corinthians 8:17)
The examples form scripture teach us that Passion Allows Courageous Enthusiasm and is followed by profound action. In spite of personal hardship, and extreme poverty the effort was made to financially support the ministry of the gospel even beyond reasonable human ability. According to the biblical account, individuals took the initiative.
Stepping out and taking the initiative is not a haphazard, flying by the seat of our pants action. We must not allow our zeal to cause us to act in haste and miss the way. We must make the most of the opportunities that present themselves, but our response should be planned and coordinated. We are responsible as stewards of God’s blessings to manage well the resources we have. In the coordination of our efforts our enthusiasm can also motivate others to action. We have to exercise discipline and PACE ourselves. The ministry is a marathon not a sprint. (2Corinthians 9:2)
The excitement and enthusiasm we demonstrate is what stirs others to action. The faith we exercise and invest grows stronger and more productive in partnership with the faith of others. We know faith without works is dead, but do we realize that Passion Allows Courageous Enthusiasm and is followed by profound action. Become enthusiastic Christians allow our passion for the things of God to cause us to act courageously. We are in ministry together for the long haul. (James 2:17)
We must put our faith to work, PACE our efforts, and truly be passionate about the things of God. Passion Allows Courageous Enthusiasm, courageous enthusiasm is contagious. God will move on the hearts of individuals and they will catch the vision and begin to take the initiative. (1Peter 1:13)
The word of God calls us to be prepared. Ready to take action, we stand in faith, fully relying on the hope that we have in Christ. Our actions flow from passion. Our hope strengthens us and our minds are resolute in the Truth. Step by step we march, and as we go forward into victory, the spark of revival ignites into a roaring flame in those around us. God moves powerfully breaking the spiritual chains of bondage to sin as we PACE ourselves according to His plan. Moving in God’s timing has for some been an excuse not to act, but to truly move in God’s timing is a matter of utmost care. (Psalm 19:7-9)
God will make us altogether righteous in His timing. We walk in the light of His word. We trust the wisdom He shares and we know that His precepts are right. God’s schedule is running on an eternal clock. We, as Christians, are already citizens of that eternal Kingdom living here; yet, privileged according to our citizenship there. As a result we answer to a vastly different timetable. What we accomplish for the Kingdom of God in our lifetime is limited to the span of our years; however, our legacy touches eternity.
Abraham spent his life looking for a city whose architect and builder is God. We like him are not bringing about God’s Kingdom on Earth. We are only part of His grand design. Our mission is simple. Allow our passion for the things of God to direct our steps and stay in PACE with the architect. (1Corinthians 3:10)
As we employ the skills available to us through prayer, study, and a life of holiness people see our example and we build a spiritual house. Sound doctrine is the plumb line. If our life does not mirror our teaching, we should check the blueprint and make the necessary corrections. Zeal without knowledge builds an unstable structure, but knowledge without passion will never finish the task. (Hebrews 3:4)
Passion Allows Courageous Enthusiasm –– courageous enthusiasm is contagious. God will move on the hearts of individuals and they will catch the vision and begin to take the initiative. Remember God is building His Kingdom. Simply PACE yourself with the Master Builder.