It is entirely possible to know the truth but have no joy. It is also possible to be an expert in doctrine but have no passion. We see truth without the Spirit and truth without grace. Some have become experts in engaging the head without much effort toward engaging the heart.
The problem runs deeper than our emphasis on knowledge and doctrine at the expense of the spiritual life. People are tired. They are tired of feeling like faith and church is like a running track…lap after lap but you haven’t really gone anywhere. The faith they read about in scripture is more of a cross country run than running laps and they are desperate to be a part of a community of faith that truly embraces the life and mission we have been called to. There are sights to see, adventures to be had and victories to be won…but is that obvious and if not, why not? If not, how are we going to change that?
It seems to me that in many cases and places we have lost our passion and need restoration…we are a movement that has restoration at the core of who we are but maybe our idea of what needs to be restored needs expanded. The kind of restoration we talk about usually involves patterns for doing church…authorization for church practice but should we have a desire to restore more than that? Having good doctrine is essential and a zeal for being biblical is important but we cannot get so good at that that we lose our soul…our passion…our deepest longings for God and transformation in the process.
When it comes to the Christian faith it is incredibly easy to major in minors. We can dot all the i’s and cross all the t’s without ever having a real passion for God. It is entirely possible to debate people online to be proven right rather than for God to shine through….having great zeal but aiming it at the wrong things. Having a true passion for God, for His people and for the things that God is passionate about is vitally important in the lives of Christians.
The August issue of Wineskins is going to examine what Christians can and should be truly passionate about. We will dive into how we reclaim having a passion for God and how we can put aside the distractions both the world and even the church calls our attention to. There is more competition than ever for the hearts of people in the world today.
What does God want us to be passionate about and how do we restore it? What is it going to take for people to get fired up again over their faith and for the God who has brought them out of darkness and into His wonderful light? It is vitally important that we have a story worth telling, a passion worthy displaying and a faith worth sharing. The good news is, it is all right here in front of us…we just have to embrace it.