Passion is complicated because of the many meanings of the word. The word, passion, also closely relates to other words. Lets cover each of these definitions and words.
a) ardent affection or love
b) desire for or devotion to some activity, object or concept
c) an object of desire or deep interest.
- Enthusiasm: lively or eager interest in or admiration of a proposal, cause, or activity
- Zeal: energetic and unflagging pursuit of an aim or devotion to a cause
- Passion: emotion that is deeply stirring and ungovernable
- Ador: warm excited feeling likely to be fitful and soon fading
Ardent affection or love: This kind of passion should be reserved for God. Many times we get in trouble when we substitute the passion we have for God with the passion we have for God’s work. Our relationship with God, not what we do for Him, needs to be the one thing that is above all else in our lives.
Romans 12:11 Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord.
Desire for or devotion to some activity, object, or concept: This is the kind of passion God gives us for children’s ministry. But this
desire should always originate with our love for God.
Psalm 20:4 May He grant you according to your heart’s desire, And fulfill all your purpose.
An object of desire or deep interest: Our greatest desire should always be for God. The desire we have to do ministry should always wane compared to our desire for a relationship with God.
Psalm 73:25 Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire other than you.
Enthusiasm: God-given enthusiasm is good in ministry. Enthusiasm can be compromised by many things like lack of rest, mood swings, preoccupation with problems, or stress. Enthusiasm comes and goes with our emotional state. But if you have lacked enthusiasm for a long time, it may be your time in this ministry is about over or that something in your relationship with God is suffering.
Revelation 2:4-5 But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember then from what you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent.
Zeal: The Bible talks a lot about zeal for God and His house consuming us. Zeal is a good thing provided our zeal for God comes before our zeal for ministry.
Psalm 69:9 It is zeal for your house that has consumed me…
Passion: Our passion for God should be ungovernable. In other words, our passion for God should show in our obedience and zeal toward Him no matter how unusual or crazy it is that He tells us to do.
Jeremiah 32:39-40 And I will give them one heart and one purpose: to worship me forever, for their own good and for the good of all their descendants. And I will make an everlasting covenant with them: I will never stop doing good for them. I will put a desire in their hearts to worship me, and they will never leave me.
Ardor: Ardor is a passion that comes and goes with emotions. If your relationship with God or your passion for ministry is based on an emotional
response and nothing deeper, it will soon fade.
Matthew 13:18-23: “Hear then the parable of the sower. When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what is sown in the heart; this is what was sown on the path. As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and
immediately receives it with joy; yet such a person has no root, but endures only for a while, and when trouble or persecution arises on account of the word, that person immediately falls away. As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the lure of wealth choke the word, and it yields nothing. But as for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.”