This am at Grace Bible I shared a couple of quotes from notable voices suggesting that something may be missing in our modern expression of our Christian faith — that we have overemphasized conversion and left people without much expectation for the PASSION we see in the life of believers in the Bible, and in Christian history.
“I am fearful that, in general, modern evangelicalism has become uncomfortable with this sense of all-consuming passion for God….I think we often misunderstand our faith and put all the weight on our conversion, with very little expectation for what comes afterward…pressing the dominion of the gospel into the deepest reaches of our hearts and lives will involve lots of dying-to-self moments. ” -Matt Chandler
“The whole transaction of religious conversion has been made mechanical and spiritless. Faith may now be exercised without a jar to the moral life and without embarrassment to the ego. Christ may be “recieved” without creating any special love for Him in the soul of the receiver. The man is “saved” but he is not hungry nor thirsty after God. In fact he is specifically taught to be satisfied and encouraged to be content with little.” -AW Tozer
Their search for passion comes from seeing things like what David said the Psalms:
Ps 42:1-2 As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God. 2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God?
Psalm 18:1-3 I love you, O Lord, my strength. 2 The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.3 I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies.
Psalm 63:3 Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you. 4 So I will bless you as long as I live; in your name I will lift up my hands.
And, also the passion we have seen in the life of Christians historically. Like these words from Jonathan Edwards:
“God is the highest good of the reasonable creature. The enjoyment of him is our proper; and is the only happiness with which our souls can be satisfied. To go to heaven, fully to enjoy God, is infinitely better than the most pleasant accommodations here. Better than fathers and mothers, husbands, wives, or children, or the company of any, or all earthly friends. These are but shadows; but the enjoyment of God is the substance. These are but scattered beams; but God is the sun. These are but streams; but God is the fountain. These are but drops, but God is the ocean.”
And this from Samuel Chadwick:
“Spirit filled souls are ablaze for God. They love with a love that glows. They serve with a faith that kindles. They serve with a devotion that consumes. They hate sin with fierceness that burns. They rejoice with a joy that radiates. Love is perfected in the fire of God.”
And from martyred missionary Jim Elliot:
“God, I pray Thee, light these idle sticks of my life, that I may burn for Thee. Consume my life, my God, for it is Thine. I seek not a long life, but a full one, like You, Lord Jesus.”
The good news is that God is just as worthy of our passion as he’s ever been! The Cross is awe inspiring. Grace is amazing. Salvation is glorious. The wisdom and knowledge of God is as DEEP as ever. AND…we are a people who are erupting with passion! People are passionate about all kinds of things — politics, sports, work, physical fitness, healthy eating, parenting, education, entertainment, hobbies, just to name a few. These are all good things, but none are soul satisfying! None come close to the passion that God is worthy of! And all need to be prioritized and rightfully place behind Him.