Hope to Overcome Anything
After doing my devotions today, I had gotten a late start and felt the pressure to get a message out. As I sat in front of the computer, not spending my time in prayer yet, I had nothing to say. I felt within me that I needed to get out the door and walk and pray. So, out the door I went to see what would happen.
The timing of the devotions I did this morning, along with the thoughts I’ve had during my quiet time recently, all converged and I hope to be able to put it into words, by God’s grace alone.
Passions can come in different forms. In my devotion today it said, “Passions are cravings, longings, and desires that beg to be indulged.”
Now, most people would easily put lust or sexuality into that picture, but I want you to think bigger than the obvious.
Anxiety and stress are also things people indulge in and sometimes are so pervasive that they have become a “passion” in our lives. When we give into anxiety and stress over and over again, we are indulging in it.
Other things can become passions and you might have something that pops into your head immediately. It would be the thing that you seem to struggle with over and over again. You may think at times that you have a handle on it but then it comes back at you full force. Passion for food, shopping, control, money…these are just a few that popped into my head.
Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. Ezekiel 36:26
I have thought about the apostle Paul and how he had a passion to execute Christians but when He encountered God, God redirected that passion into promoting Christianity in a pretty incredible way.
The thing is, Satan never had an original idea. He loves to take a passion and direct it subtly the wrong way. Something that started out as a normal desire can quickly become tainted in his sneaky hands. And, he masquerades as a spirit of light and tries to get as close to the truth as he can to fool us. That is why unless you are in God’s truth, it is very hard to detect him at work.
For example, what started out as a desire for comfort that God only can fill, he might take something we need for daily life, food, and steer us toward that as our passion and our “go to” when we need comfort.
Or, our concern for the welfare of our children that is natural can turn into anxiety and sleepless nights in his hands. We might justify that anxiety as simply our need to do what is best for them or our concern for them, but when it causes overwhelming focus over all other things, then the passion is not from God.
God’s passion and direction lead us to peace and our purpose. Satan’s passion and direction lead to anxiety, regret and depression or despair.
The thing that I really wanted to say here is that if you could look at the “passion” that flares in your mind as I’m saying this as something God can redirect toward His plan, His purpose and His passion, then you might just have the most amazing breakthrough of your life! How could the very thing that you struggle with be redirected toward what God has for you?
Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. 2 Corinthians 5:17
The thing is, this is not something you have to muster up for yourself. If you can be truly honest and open your heart up to God, HE will do the changing. HE will do the refining. Refining happens in layers. He knows how and the timing and what layers need to be peeled off. You can trust Him. The first step, in my opinion, is to see things clearly through the light of His Word and not to stay in denial or make excuses.
From there, allow the process, painful as it may seem, it also just feels right. It is the sense of peace that you are finally moving in the right direction.
God’s passions always lead to health and life.
This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live.