Christine Caine - A Passionate Life
Hey, everybody! I am so fired up that you are here today. Thank you so much for joining us. I know that God has a great word for you today. We are speaking about how to live a passionate life. You see, there are too many people that are walking around the planet just kind of looking like they're sucking lemons, looking like really depressed, really mediocre, like life is not full of joy. But, you know, we serve a God who I believe wants us to live an abundant, passionate, purpose driven life, and I think if a whole bunch of us get a spark back into our step, a little glint in our eye living like we have a sense of purpose, people are going to look at us and think not only, what is she smoking? They're also going to think I want some of what she is having. And I think that's really important. Our text for this series is going to be from the book of John chapter 10.
Of course I love passion because I'm Greek, and you know, we are passionate about everything. I remember when I first started dating Nick. Now, Nick is the 12th of 13 living children. His mother had 15 full term pregnancies in 17 years which for every woman watching out there I know. There was not a lot of television in that part of Australia obviously. And they kind of figured out what it was all about. That's what we're talking about a passionate life, but I'm saying all of that to go he came as you can tell from good English catholic stock, so that's kind of what happened. So sort of a very British kind of feel about their home. But when we met he came to my house, and we were just having not only a normal conversation. I want to clarify this. We were on our best behavior because by the time I brought him home I was like 29 years old. My mother was so desperate for me to marry anybody that she was like on her absolute best behavior. She's like please, you know, you can have my daughter, six cows, the house, we will give you whatever you need.
So we were having what we'd call very very intimate conversation, beautiful. Now, Nick as we, I mean, I could see him, he's pale anyway but he went another shade of white when he was at my house. And as we were leaving that night he goes, oh my gosh, I'm so sorry. I said, what? He goes, I didn't realize your family fights so much. And I go, what do you mean fight? And he's like, y'all talk so loud, and because we were talking in Greek he couldn't understand most of what we were saying. I go, babe, that is like our polite conversation when everybody is around. And then I went to his house which was very good British and ordered, and I'd like never seen the tone of voice never went above this. And it's like we'd go out. And I'd go Nick, are you excited? And this would be his face. Yeah. Nick, are you sad? Yeah. Nick, are you angry? Yeah. I mean, there was like no change.
And so you could imagine as we sorted our married life out there was a lot of moments of intense fellowship because I'm like in my sleep I'm passionate. I sleep passionately. I talk passionately. Everything about me is full of emotion. Sometimes we'll be sitting there, and he goes, could you settle down? I go, I'm not even worked up yet. You want to say worked up? I will show you worked up. Greeks are just passionate. It's in our blood. It's in our DNA, and Jesus was Jewish. Please don't forget that kind of Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, passion is in our bones, and I think for us as Christians God wants us to live a passionate life.
So in the book of John 10 verse 7, the Bible says "So Jesus again said to them, 'Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. He, who is a hired and not shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father known me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father'".
A great great passage of scripture. Jesus Christ is the good shepherd. He is the door to salvation. I love the fact that this scripture reminds us that he is a good shepherd. Psalm 119 says that God is good and God does good. Goodness emanates from God. Good is who God is. God is good. Jesus is the good shepherd. Now, the fact is not all of us have always thought that about God. And someone could be watching on the other side of the screen and you're like, what God are you talking about? The God I grew up knowing about he was always angry. Everyone said he was always disappointed in us. He's a judgmental God. He's a critical God. He's a negative God. That's the kind of God that a lot of people have been introduced to or have been told about, but the God of the Bible is a good God. The God of the Bible is a good shepherd. Jesus loves you. He has a plan and a purpose and a destiny for you. The Bible says he's a good shepherd.
Now, if you believe that God is good, that God does good, that God works all things together for good it, affects your perception of him and how you receive from him. It affects how you interact with him. I mean, if you think that God is an aloof, angry, dictatorial despot that is just looking for you to do something wrong which is probably very often, and then just basically, you know, tell you off for doing things wrong. And he's just a God that's based on rules and regulations, then you are not going to relate to him in a loving way. In fact, you want to be distant from him. Anyone doesn't want to walk into a God that is angry, a God that is judgmental, or negative, or critical. Scripture tells us that he's a good shepherd, that he's a good God, and that in fact he came that we might have life scripture says, and not just a normal life, not just a little small life, not just a little passive life, but he came that we might have life and life more abundant. God has called us to have an abundant life, a full life. It is the will of God that you prosper. It is the will of God that you live a blessed, abundant life.
When I was growing up, my view of God was that he was just a distant aloof Father that was always angry and he was never having a good day. And my idea of salvation was that I was thinking if I live until I'm 99, I'm gonna wait until I'm 98 and a half and I've got one foot in the grave, then I'm gonna pray the sinner's prayer for fire insurance so I don't go to hell. And that's what I thought Christianity was. I just knew I didn't want to go to the fiery place and the bad place, but it never occurred to me that I could have an abundant life here on earth. It never occurred to me that God was good and actually had something for me to do here. Maybe you're watching this on the other side of the screen. Man, you are still hung over, you've been flipping through the channels, and you just can't find your remote anymore, and now you're stuck watching this Aussie chick just talking to you. I'm here to tell you that your God is a good God, that your God loves you, that there's nothing that you have done that can separate you from the love of God that's in Christ Jesus, that there is therefore now no condemnation for those that are in Christ Jesus, that your God has a great plan and purpose and destiny for you. He's not mad at you. He is mad about you. He loves you so much. That's the kind of God that we serve.
But I didn't know that, so that meant I was really really nervous of God all the time. I thought I had to get all cleaned up to go to God. I thought that I couldn't pray unless I had just settled the right things or done all the right things, and it is so exhausting to try to work yourself up to get good enough to get to God. The good news is about the Gospel of Jesus Christ is that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Christ loves us. That you can never be good enough for God. Jesus did it all. Jesus prayed the price for all of us. And on our worst day, Jesus Christ came and paid the price for all of our sin, gave us forgiveness for our past, a brand-new life and a hope for the future. And I love of the fact that he came to give us a brand-new life today. What happened in my religious background is someone forgot to tell me that you could have a good life on earth. Someone just said you need God so that you don't go to hell, but they didn't tell me what I needed him for here on earth. So I thought that all the people that were having the fun were the people that didn't know Jesus. And you know they were all all right, and they were all having a good time, so I thought well how about I don't know Jesus until I'm older so I can have fun first, and then when I'm too old to have fun, I'll accept Jesus into my life.
Now, I know you all think that's absurd but you'd be surprised how many people live like that and think I kind of sort of know there's a God up there somewhere, but he is so boring, and he's so angry, and he is so judgmental and legalistic, how about I get to know him just before I die so that I can have fun before I get to that place. Now here's the sad thing. We were created by God for a relationship with God, and it's Jesus that connects us to God, and it's Jesus that connects us to the grace of God. And our God is not an angry despot just looking to make our life here on earth miserable. It's not like he had nothing else to do and his cosmic creation, he thought I'm gonna create earth, then I'm gonna make people, then I'm gonna make their life really miserable, then I'm gonna watch them be miserable for their whole life and really enjoy it, then just before they die they're gonna ask me into their heart. Awesome. That is not the God of the Bible.
But looking at some Christians, you would think that. You would just kind of go like do you know God because you look like you've been sucking lemons. Like you look like you are so depressed. You look like you are so sad. You look like you are so miserable. It's just you walk around and you're so legalistic, and you're in bondage, and there's no freedom, and there's no life. That's not the good shepherd that we're talking about here who said that the enemy comes to do one thing, to steal, to kill, to destroy, but I came Jesus said so that you may have life, not just normal life, not just a mediocre life but that you might have a life that is more abundant.
I want you to be of good cheer because you have overcome the world, he has overcome the world, therefore our victory is in him. I remember I had a friend at college, and she had been gone for a few days, and I hadn't seen her for three days. We were really close. She had come from a really well-to-do family and went to the best high school in our state and was really really super bright. She was top cheerleader and a great athlete in her own right. So she was one of those absolutely gorgeous, she could have been a model, she was a cheerleader, she was an athlete, she's a 4.0 student and you know just, it's all going for her. And then I was like this little kid from the poorest suburb that went to the worst school in the state. She went to the best literally before we met at university. And she had all the cool friends, and I was kind of like just the kid that was still so broken because of the abuse and the adoption and just so much brokenness in me.
Well, I remember I'm thinking what can I tell her about Jesus? Like, she's got it all, man. She's got the best boyfriend, the top grades, she lives in the best house, goes to all the parties. She's got everything. She has got it all. Well, I hadn't seen her for three days, and this was in the late 80's in Australia when ecstasy had just kind of really hit the country big time and rave parties were happening everywhere. So after a few days, she comes into the cafeteria where I was doing some work, and she yells at me, she goes Chris! Chris! And I said where have you been? I haven't seen you for a few days. She goes Chris, I've just had the most amazing three days of my life! She goes we've been in a warehouse at a rave party. I haven't slept for the last three days. We danced all day and all night. And Chris, it was so fantastic! There was so much love in that room! There was so much joy in that room! There was so much peace in that room! And with that she reached into her pocket and she pulled out half an ecstasy tablet and she said Chris, I experienced so much love, joy and peace and I saved you half an ecstasy tablet because I did not want you to miss out on the feeling that I had.
And in that moment, I thought she's a better friend to me than I am to her because she found love, joy and peace, even if it was just for a few hours, and she wanted me to experience that, that she pulled out and had saved half her ecstasy tablet, and here's me who's supposed to know the author of love and joy and peace. And love, joy and peace are fruits of the Holy Spirit. They're not fruits of ecstasy incidentally. But the deal was she was more passionate about her synthetic drug than I was about my Jesus. And I remember that day at Sidney university making a decision. I will never again let someone else be more passionate about their synthetic drug than I am ever gonna be about my Jesus.
And here we are three decades later, and people go Christine why do you act so passionate? And every time I come back and I think in my mind, man, when I thought someone had everything and I thought you know what, do they really need Jesus? I thought on my word, we have got the answer. His name is Jesus. We have got true peace, true joy, true love. We've got everything in Christ that pertains to life and Godliness, why would we not want everybody to know? I'm not talking about some legalistic bondage or religion. I'm talking about a passionate life, abundant life, the source of life himself. His name is Jesus Christ. Without him there is no life. In him is abundant life. His name is Jesus. His name is Jesus. So Christ followers ought to be passionate people. You go "Christine, that's just a personality thing". No. Passion is not a personality profile. It's a Jesus follower profile. When you encounter Jesus Christ, there ought to be passion about your life.
Passion is not hype. It's not hype. See, a lot of people go you're just caught up in the hype. I'm not caught up in the hype. I've had enough pain and suffering in my life to know that this is not all hype. Hype depends on something outside of itself to stimulate it, so you get into a hyped up environment, which means I just need a big worship band and bright lights and lots of people. That's hype. And I need another event, and I need a better message, and I need more. That's like a drug addict. I need more, more, more. But passion, passion is not externally motivated by things. It's internally regulated by the Spirit of God, which means it actually doesn't matter what's happening around me. I've got the passion of God within me. I've got a deep-rooted passion.
Now, when Jesus was going to the cross, remember the steps of the cross, it's called the passion of the Christ. Mel Gibson did the movie the passion. Now it was not called the boring religious obligation of the Christ. It was called the passion. Passion isn't just about doing fun things. Passion means that I am steadfast and integris, and because of my passion for Jesus, I'm not gonna compromise. Because of my passion for Jesus, I'm not gonna get caught up in the cultural things of the world. Because of my passion for Jesus, I'm willing to be misunderstood by man so that I can be faithful to God. It is my passion for Jesus that keeps me steadfast and keeps me on course. It not dependent on what's happening around me. I don't need people to hype me up. I need the Spirit of God, and I need to stir up that gift of faith on the inside of me. That's where the passion comes.
So what happens with that is that we have to understand that I believe God wants us to live enthusiastic lives. And you don't go "Well, Christine, that's just because you're Greek so you're enthusiastic". The word enthusiasm means en Theos, God. In God. If you are in God, you ought to be enthusiastic. And it doesn't matter where you fit on the disc profile. It doesn't mean what your strength is on the strength finder. It doesn't matter what your enneagram number is. You can be an eight or a two. It doesn't matter. That's not what I'm talking about here. I'm not talking about a personality profile. I'm talking about being in Christ. If you are in Christ, if you are en Theos, in God, then there ought to be a passion because God's very passionate.
And so whatever your enneagram number is, there still ought to be a passion about the way you live your life. There ought to be something that emanates from you that is bigger than you. There's something powerful inside of you that should flow out of you. You and I ought to be touching the world around us with a passion of Christ. There ought to be an "In God-ness" in us that comes out of us and flows into the world around us. Many of us, we pray for revival, God send revival! And God says I did, I sent you. Out of you will flow rivers of living water. Wherever you go, revival is turned up. If you're in your college, if you're in your workplace, if you're in your community, guess what? Christ in you is the hope of glory. Christ in you should be flowing out of you, and out of you rivers of living water should be changing the world around you. That's actually what should happen for us as Christians.
So I love what 2 Corinthians chapter 6 verse 11 in the message Bible says. It says "Dear Corinthians, I can't tell you how much I long for you to enter this wide open spacious life. We didn't fence you in. The smallness you feel comes from within you. Your lives aren't small but you're living them in a small way. I'm speaking as plainly as I can and with affection. Open up your lives. Live openly and expansively".
I love that. Open up your lives. My hope and prayer in this series is that we will learn to live bighearted lives. He says open up your lives, live openly and expansively. Some of us, we live such small lives. Some people don't even have a passport. Some people have never even left their city. Some people "Well, you know, I'm just happy where I am", but there is a world. Jesus said go into all the world. God has created you not just to live a small life but a wide, open, spacious life, a life that let's other people in, a life that is generous, a life that helps and serves a lost and a broken humanity, a life that says I'm open. Christ in you is what we need to get into the world around you. If you just live a small, limited, contained life, that's not passionate life.
Have you ever seen the movie Groundhog Day? It's just like, it's so hilarious, we're just reliving the same old day. I think many Christians live like that. They just get up, brush your teeth, get dressed, have breakfast, maybe the other way around, go to work, come home, watch TV, have a bath, go to bed. Next day. Get up, this time we won't brush our teeth before breakfast, but you know. But I'll tell you some people you could just predict their life. It's just this groundhog day. Groundhog week. Groundhog month. Groundhog year. Do you think that's all God put us on the earth to do, to live our vapor here on earth just to go through the same old system? Just to live the same old day? He says no, no, no, let's break out. Let's have a wide open spacious life, a life that is huge, a life that is passionate, a life that touches the world around us. Don't settle for small.
"Christine, we've always been in this community". "Christine, our family has always done it. This is what we've always done for a trade". Maybe God is inviting you through this series to lift your eyes up, to get a view of a bigger God, to say there is a big expansive world. I don't want to live a small, limited, contained life. I want to live a large, wide, open, generous, spacious life. I want to make a difference in the world around me. I want the Spirit of God to flow through me. I want to bring joy, and love, and peace, and compassion, and mercy, and justice, and grace into a lost and a broken world. God, use me to live a passionate life in Jesus' name. In Jesus' name. Amen!
Hey everybody! I am so fired up that you're here today. Thank you so much for joining us. I'm always so grateful that you would tune in and I believe that God has a powerful word for you. Now we are in one of my all-time favorites series, one of my all-time favorite subjects. We're talking about living a passionate life. Jesus Christ did not call us just to live small, mediocre, insignificant lives but he called us to live lives full of joy and peace and abundance. In John 10:10, the Bible says Jesus said that the enemy comes to steal kill and destroy, but I have come, Jesus said, that you might have life and guess what kind of life? Life more abundant, and we're talking about what does it mean to live an abundant life in a world full of pain, in a world full of chaos, in a world full of struggle and heartache? And I know you're watching this right now and so many of you have experienced great, great, deep, deep pain.
I'm not talking about some sort of external hype where everything's gotta be happy on the outside for you to be happy. I am saying that the Spirit of God lives on the inside of you, and passion is internally regulated by the Spirit of God not externally motivated by external circumstances. So, even if you're going through a difficult time, I want you to know that even in the midst of that you can know the passion of Jesus. That you can still know the love and the joy and the peace of Jesus. These are in qualities of the heart that can be with us despite the trials and the tribulations and the circumstances that surround us in our everyday life.
Now remember, we were talking initially in this series that we don't wanna live life like groundhog day where it's just one same old repeat. We just get up, we go to work, we come home, we watch television, we have dinner, we go to bed. We get up, we go to work, we come home, we watch television, we have dinner, we go to bed. We get up, we come home, we get up if after we've gone to work and then we have dinner watch television and go to bed. It's just that's what some people's whole routine is like. And God is saying, "Hey let's shake this up a bit". You've only got one life, you're gonna go from time into eternity so you don't wanna waste time and get back and go, "I missed this whole thing called time and I'm never gonna have this thing called time again". I wanna do what God has called me to do in this period of life called time. Time.
And so to live a passionate life, what is it going to take? And here first and foremost is we have to understand that you have to know the difference between passion and obligation. If you're gonna live the life that God's called you to live which is a wide-open, spacious expansive life then you've gotta know the difference between passion and obligation. Well the point is an obligation is something you have to fulfill. I've got an obligation I've gotta go to the dentist or I've gotta go to the doctor. I've gotta fulfill my obligation. I've gotta get my oil changed or I said I was gonna go to that party, I really don't want to but it's my obligation to turn up and do it, but that's something you have to do, nobody can get passionate for too long about an obligation it's not the kind of thing that flicks our switch. But passion is, you don't have to, you want to. There's a whole different spirit about it, you're like, "I get to do this".
Oftentimes people will say to me, "Christine, oh wow, you have to get on another plane". I'm like, "No, I want to". "You have to go and speak again". "No I want to". "Don't you get, you're writing". No, I want to write another book I want to produce television programs that are gonna help bless people. I want to travel and teach the word of God. I want to run propel events. I want to, it's not a have to. Now, sometimes do I do it out of responsibility? I don't always feel like it, but my feelings are irrelevant my passion is what's relevant. And I'm passionate about helping people, I'm passionate about serving people. People go, "Well do you really feel like "Jumping on this long-haul flight again"? I'm like, "I haven't asked myself how I feel about that for a long time". Because if I ask myself, well it depends if I've had a good night's sleep. It depends if I'm hormonal, it depends if the kids have behaved really well. There's a lot of factors that affect whether I feel like catching a plane or not, but my passion says oh no, I'm on it, because I've already decided ahead of time I'm passionate about the cause of the Gospel and following Jesus Christ. And so it's not an obligation: it's a passion.
I mentioned that Mel Gibson he made the movie "The Passion of the Christ", not "The Boring Religious Obligation of the Christ". I remember two weeks after that film came out, and I was a little bit starstruck, who wasn't? We were just messed up by that film, I mean it was so powerful. Well a couple of weeks later I was in baton rouge speaking in a church and Jim Caviezel, who played Jesus in the movie was in the same restaurant. Now because I had been so undone by this film, I'm like looking across the restaurant and very inappropriately loudly, very loud. I tapped Nick and grabbed his arm and I went very loudly I yelled, "Oh my word, there's Jesus"! To which Nick said, "Christine you would think you might know the difference". Okay, so the guy that was with us he goes, "You know I know the person that's with Jim, would you like to meet him"? I'm like, "Yes".
So we stand up we're walking across the restaurant my heart is gonna come out of my chest I'm like, "I'm going to meet Jesus! I'm going to meet Jesus"! I was like freaking out. Now, we get to the table he's sitting, I'm standing, we're the same height and and my friend's saying, "This is my friend Christine from Australia". Did not tell her anything I did, what I was. And as soon as he said this is Christine from Australia Jim stands up and he looks down at me and he says you're from Australia. And I kind of couldn't believe Jesus was talking to me. And then he said, "There are not many believers In Australia, are there"? I was so stunned he was talking to me, I'm like, "No, no, nobody believes in Australia. There are no believers in Australia". What was I thinking?
And then I'm not joking, for the next 10-15 minutes he starts witnessing to me I mean full-on, the blood, the cross, the resurrection. He was so passionate. I did not have the heart to tell him I was a Christian. I was just like go for it. And I had decided if he keeps going and asks me to pray the sinner's prayer, I'm getting down on my knee I gonna pray the sinner's prayer. He was passionate. There's a lot to be said for passion. There's a lot to be said for passion. It's not I have to. Passion is I get to. Passion is this is awesome, this is good news, is this message still good news to you? Are you still feeling a sense of thank you Jesus, you saved my soul. Thank you Jesus, that you gave me a new life. Thank you Jesus that you have delivered me, you have saved me, you have redeemed me, you have restored me. Thank you Jesus for forgiving my past. Thank you Jesus for giving me a brand new life today. Thank you Jesus that your presence is with me. Thank you Jesus that you make a way where there is no way. Thank you Jesus that you never leave me, you never forsake me, that you love me, that you always forgive me. I don't know about you, but I'm pretty, pretty, pretty excited. That Jesus Christ saved my life, saved my soul.
30 years later this does not get old for me. I don't really care what people think, "Man, she's a little bit crazy". Yes. Christine, that's very undignified. I feel like David who said to Michael you think that's undignified honey? I'll show you undignified oh I refuse to get cool and sleek about my relationship with Jesus Christ. He saved my soul from hell, he saved my life and gave me a brand-new life today there is no expression that would be too extravagant to express my love for the Lord Jesus Christ. And I'm telling you as a 51 year old, I'm more in love with him. And the older I get and when my kids have kids I'm gonna be supergranny for Jesus, that's what I'm going to do, absolute super granny for Jesus.
If your passion for Jesus is greater than your passion for yourself then that will override some things in your life. But if you give yourself this set of rules and regulations you are not likely to keep them for very long. Somewhere along the line you're gonna get sick of God, you're gonna get sick of Christianity. You're gonna get sick of the rules and the regulations and that's why we have better promises and a better covenant in the New Testament. Grace does not mean that we get to do whatever we want to do. It's means that you know what, when I'm filled with the grace of God I want to do what God wants me to do, there is I want to, there is I get to do this, I get to serve God. Now sin has no more power over me, I can make right choices because my passion for Jesus, my passion for the word of God, my passion for holiness, my passion for commitment to Christ overrides my fleshly desires. I'm not saying I don't have fleshly desires but I'm saying my passion for Jesus is greater than those things.
And so then it doesn't become, "Well I just can't because I'm a Christian and I'm just really boring". It's like, "You know what I love Jesus, and the life that I have in him is so worth honoring him". That's where it comes from. And so, the fact is, things shift from passion to obligation over time. Marriages start with passion, and it's amazing how they go from passion to obligation. I guess I have to, and it's so sad when you see that in couples. Nick and I make a point and maybe I'm Greek so who knows I might be predisposed. But you know what we're keeping the life and the passion.
Well of course it looks different, you have children, you're a couple of decades down the road but what I'm saying is let's not confuse lust with passion either, that's not what I'm talking about. Some people get married out of lust and then realize there's no passion for marriage in it. And so that's not what I'm talking about. And the world has confused it so much with all the hyper sexualized imagery everywhere. We think that something's got to look like a staged television or movie show in order for it to be passionate. That's just not even real. Those actors are not even feeling what they're exhibiting on the screen and we have just ripped a whole generation off by selling them some cheap sex as in calling it passion, or calling it love. That's just lust and it's just a gratification of the flesh and it doesn't even last. Anyone that's been married for four and a half minutes will tell you it's not like it is in the movies.
But there's something greater when it's a godly marriage, something much, much greater. And there's true passion, there's true passion. Remember lust is not passion but there is true, true, true passion. But marriages often start passionate and then just if you don't tend to your passion then it's going to become a boring obligation. A new job, how many times do you start a new job and you're full of passion, and then two years later. Again if you do not cultivate, I see it on my team. I see different people come in and they're gonna change the world. And I'm like, "You know what, how about we start with just turning up to work on time every day that would be awesome and then we'll get to changing the world after that". But you watch them two years later, get a few disappointments, a few discouragement, a little bit of disillusionment and then you go "Where'd your passion go"? You didn't cultivate it. You didn't keep working on it.
People that start a new ministry, oh they have faith man they're on fire for Jesus, and then 10 years later "Well you know Christine I used to be passionate like you once, but now I've been in the way for like 20 years". I'm like, "Could you get out of the way then, could you get out of the way, because you're giving the way a really bad name". You ought to be getting more on fire for Jesus the older you get. The longer you're with him, you shouldn't look like you've been sucking lemons. I mean seriously! You're hanging around the God of the universe, he is not depressed, you might be, he's not. He is full of joy, he is full of peace. He is full of love, he is full of hope, he is full of fire he is full of grace. Yes, he is. And if you've been walking with him for 20 or 30 years, could it reflect? Could we see a bit of joy? Seriously!
All I get around people and I go, they're singing songs about joy, I'm like, "Could you remind your face about what you're singing".Please. This is not a charismatic thing, this is not a pentecostal thing, this is a Christian thing. A Christian thing. Could there be a reflection of the joy? If you don't tend to your passion it's gonna run dry and you're gonna move over into your flesh. When people say, "I lost my passion" it's kind of like, if you do not stoke it, that's what they mean, I've just lost my passion. What it means is I haven't been stoking it and it's just kind of like, "I've just lost my desire for this anymore". You have to stir up that gift of faith. You gotta stir it up. Just like in the natural, you have to cultivate a relationship in order to have fire in that relationship. You've gotta do it, so stop looking for spectacular encounters with God and start cultivating supernatural experiences with God every day. What I find is the passion is in the everyday seemingly normal insignificant life you can find the supernatural power of God in the normality of every day. If you have to keep living for spectacular encounter after spectacular encounter, at some point you're gonna run dry because God is not like some cosmic show that you just turn up and have an encounter and get a buzz feeling all of the time, that's not what I'm talking about.
When I'm talking about passion I'm talking about finding the supernatural in the natural, or finding the extraordinary in the ordinary it is in our normal everyday life that a supernatural God encounters natural people and we can have supernatural experiences in our everyday life, that's where it works, that's how passion works. And so you get to choose that you and I we are called to passionate living. It's a mindset, it's an attitude, it's where we value every moment of every day, that's what I'm talking about. When I'm saying passionate living. Forget the fact that you think it's a personality profile thing, this is not a personality profile thing. It's something that on the inside of you there is a zest for life, you wanna see the beauty in life you want to see the goodness in the world. You wanna bring the grace of God to a lost and a broken world. That you're not looking at it through the lens of cynicism and defeat and being a naysayer and negativity and a critical spirit but there's the life of Christ on the inside of you and it is abundant life which it means it brings life and hope and peace and blessing and prosperity and encouragement into everybody that you encounter wherever you are. It is that kind of living, that kind of living.
You see life itself as a gift and no matter what's going on around you, you' re like, "You know what I'm alive, I'm alive. If I woke up today, if I could brush my teeth I thank God". I was walking up the stairs in my house two days ago and I went, you know what God thank you". I literally said this out loud that at my age and my stage without any problems I can run up these stairs three or four at a time if I want to, and I said thank you for the miracle of my legs. Literally thank you for the miracle of being able to walk. I look at other people in their 50s my age and I'm thinking wow, maybe either just something has happened beyond their control and they don't have movement in the same way that I have or perhaps maybe they haven't taken care of their body. And I'm like, "God I'm so grateful". You can always find something to be grateful about every single one of us has something to be grateful about.
You know what happens, I remember once seeing the movie Shirley Valentine and there was this line and it struck me, she said most of us are dead before we die and the thing that kills us is all of this unused life that we carry around. And I would say there's a lot of dead men walking and dead women walking. And although we're going through the motions of everyday we're kind of living this life, it's not an abundant life. We're dead way before we get to the grave and what's killed us is all of this unused life this Zoe life, this life that Jesus came to give us. I tell you what when I go down into that ground as if the Lord doesn't return and take me up in the sky whichever way happens first, no one is gonna say, "She could have done more". I'm not gonna stand before God. I mean at best he might say, "You could have had a bit more rest". That's okay I don't mind. I'd rather have that than, "Christine what did you actually do with this life that I gave you? Christine I put so much potential on the inside of you and it went to the grave with you".
Could you imagine that? Do you know our graveyards are full of potential that was never realized? It just went into the grave, into the coffin with the people. That little dash. Full of potential could have said so much more. But I intend to suck the very marrow out of life. I wanna see, well look God, what could you do with a life that's just abandoned to you? I just keep saying, "Here I am, send me. Here I am, send me". I just wanna see what's possible that's okay. I'm gonna go into eternity anyway. It's coming sooner than it is in my past so whenever it's gonna happen I want to make sure that I've sucked the marrow out of life on this earth. I want a passionate life. I don't wanna just the most I think about is how I'm gonna pay the bills and have my retirement and golf my way into heaven, no thank you, no. No, I've got no plans. People are like what's your plans for retirement? I'm not talking about economically looking after yourself, but I certainly have not got this view of where I'm gonna have my little retirement house and what am I going to do, no way. I'm gonna run hard after Jesus until the day I die. I'm telling you.
You know, if it wasn't. My kids don't like this because they think it would be really horrible for you, but I think would it be awesome to be in the middle of an arena preaching and just then I go into glory, my kids are like, "Mom you're sick, imagine how that would make everybody feel "If you just drop dead while you were preaching in an arena". But anyway okay so maybe that wouldn't be the case. But there's something on the inside of me that goes, "Come on, I want to make every second count for the sake of Jesus Christ". Do you remember the film Chariots of Fire and Eric Lidell he said, "I believe God made me for a purpose, for China". He's gonna be a Chinese missionary and his sister was saying to him, "Hey you, you're gonna run in the Olympics, are you compromising your Christian call"? And he says, "I believe God made me for a purpose for china but he also made me fast. When I run I feel his pleasure, it is not just for fun. To win is to honor him". He knew that there was this thing he was passionate about.
You can be passionate about a lot of things and you can express that passion. If God gave you gifts and talents in your art, in technological advances in maybe you're a CEO and you love business I don't know what it is but there oughta be something about you that says, "Man God has created me and I'm on this planet for him and I feel alive about the thing that I'm doing for him that is reflecting his glory on the earth".
I wonder do you like your life? Do you enjoy your life? You need to go home you need to ask your family, are you fun to live with? Ask the people around, am I fun to live with? I ask my kids all the time, am I fun to live with? I don't wanna be boring. I'll tell you one thing, whatever happens when they go they might say a lot of things about me but they will not say I'm boring. They will go, "Well it was not that predictable, our home was a little bit cray, cray, because my mom was very, very passionate". And so what we wanna do is have a spring in our step a little glint in our eye. Christians ought to be just a little bit naughty, not illegal, not immoral just naughty. There ought to be something about us that goes what is up with these people? Have a bit of fun, put a bit of spring in your life enjoy this life. Jesus came that we might have life and life more abundant in Jesus' name.
Hey, hey everybody! I am so fired up to be with you today. Thank you so much for joining us. It is always a great privilege and honor to come into your home or onto your device and I'm believing that God has a word for you today. We are certainly talking about one of my favorite subjects. We're talking about how to live a passionate life. We don't wanna live a boring life. We don't wanna live a religious life. We don't wanna live a mundane life. We wanna live a passionate, purpose-driven life. In the book of John 10:10, Jesus said, I came that you might have life and life more abundant. We want to live an abundant, passionate life and we've been looking at what does it take to live a life that is huge, that is wide, that is expansive, that is full of joy, that is full of peace, that is full of love, that is full of grace regardless of the circumstances that we find ourselves in. Because we all find ourselves in challenging circumstances. We all have trials. We all have struggles. There are times for each of us where things externally are not going great but we want to be internally regulated by the Spirit of God. That's where your passion comes from. Entheos, enthusiasm. In God, God in us. The Spirit of God in us keeps us passionate regardless of what is happening around us, or to us. The source of our passion is the Holy Spirit of God. It's not hype. It's the Holy Spirit of God is what is the source of our passion.
So we must understand the passion principle. Scripture tells us in Colossians 3:23-24, whatever you do, now I want you to know in the Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic, that word, whatever, means whatever. I know that's rocket science. It says whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance, for you serve the Lord. Whatever you do, do it whole heartedly. If you're a full-time mum, do it whole heartedly. If you are a CEO, do it whole heartedly. If you're an athlete for the glory of God, do it whole heartedly. We talked about Eric Liddell from chariots of fire, do it whole heartedly. Whatever it is that you are called to do. If you are a ballerina do it whole heartedly. If you are a writer, do it whole heartedly. Whatever means whatever. Don't segment your passion.
A lot of times what happens in our Christianity is we segment our passion. We think I should be passionate about my spiritual life, some prayer, fasting, church, Bible study, and then we think, but I shouldn't be passionate about anything else. I'm here to tell you God created you an integrated being. He created you with your passions. He created you to make a difference on the earth. So you don't have to apologize for your passion. If you're an artist, do it great to the glory of God. If you're a singer, do it great to the glory of God. If you are an inventor, invent great things for the glory of God. If you're a scientist then discover new things for the glory of God. I hope someone finds the cure for cancer. I hope that somebody discovers new ways of just advancing things on the earth. We didn't come here to run from the earth, but we came to be in the world. Jesus said, for this cause I came that my life would bear witness to the truth. We need to be Christians and stop running from the world, but step into the world and bear witness to the truth of the world through the passion of Christ that lives on the inside of us. That is our job.
Can you imagine if everybody watching this today was activated in their passion and to live their passion for the glory of God. To live it to advance the kingdom of God. To live it to bring a touch of heaven here on earth as it is in heaven. We would begin to transform the world around us. Our passion isn't just for us, it's to transform the world around us. It is so crucial, so crucial. So we don't wanna be a generation of Christians that just kind of endure life, we wanna enjoy life, we wanna enjoy life.
So you have to understand that passion, number four, is an issue of the heart. It's an issue of the heart. Colossians 3:23, whatever you do do it heartily as to the Lord and not to men. Proverbs 4:23 says guard your heart with all diligence for out of it flow all of the issues of life. So passion is a heart issue. So the condition of your heart will determine the potency of your passion. So how's your heart today? Is your heart full of peace and love and joy, generosity, goodness, kindness? Or is your heart toxic? Is it full of anger, hurt, bitterness, unforgiveness, lust, greed, envy, jealousy, gile, malice, covetousness? Those kinds of things will pollute your heart and that will stop you from having a passionate life. Because it's like your spiritual heart arteries are clogged up and that toxicity spreads through your entire spiritual life and it impacts around you.
You know you get around some people and you go, whoa, that spirit's off. There's something off. I know they call themselves a Christ-follower, but there's something off. And I can't be around that for too long because I can't zip my mouth. But so the point is that if there's something and you're just like, that's not bringing any life to this conversation. You ever been in those sort of conversations, you're like, boy you're really angry about something. And sometimes people are speaking out of their wounds and not their wisdom, that causes a lot of destruction. You see it on social media a lot, someone's venting and you're like, whoa, that's very divisive. And you're angry, or you're wounded and the fact is what's in you will eventually come out of you. If the wrong piece of that wound is squeezed, the toxicity will come out of you.
So it's important that we allow the Holy Spirit to come and do a heart cleanse as frequently as possible so that then when we touch, you know, that area of brokenness is touched, you go, no, no, no, that wound's healed there's no more junk coming out of that. But if you have unresolved issues to do with your background, perhaps you were abused, perhaps you were violated, perhaps one of your parents wasn't around, maybe a teacher said some negative words over you, if you don't allow the Spirit of God to bring healing from the inside out, somewhere along the line that toxicity's gonna come out of you. And so it will sap you of your passion. It will take your passion from you and you will just get into a rut of a boring religious obligation, but you'll go, where is my fire, where is my life, where is my zest for following Jesus? You know it's so important that we understand that Christianity is not a behavior-modification program. Christianity is a heart-transformation program. The Bible says that the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately we could, who could know it.
And in the book of Ezekiel the Lord says, I'll take out your heart of stone and I'll put in my heart of flesh. There's a divine spiritual heart transplant that happens. And the whole Christian life is an ongoing development of the heart. And so if there are areas in your life that feel wounded and broken, allow the Holy Spirit to do that. Sometimes your blockage, and your not passionate, is because there's a deep wound that you have not let God deal with and it has zapped you of your passion, and your hurt, and your pain. I love Psalm 51, David cries out, create in me a clean heart oh God and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from they presence oh Lord and let not, take not they Holy Spirit from me. You could tell I used to listen to Keith Green. And so at the end of the day create in me a clean heart. You know I've, in recent, the last year or so, I have just been praying that, Psalm 51, more then almost anything else. Create in me a clean heart. God, renew a right spirit within me. I want to speak words of life. I wanna speak words of encouragement.
And life sometimes disappoints doesn't it? Life, some people betray you. People hurt you. We're living a life, and you know, sometimes we just mess up and we feel like a failure, or there has been a betrayal, or there's just been something that's happened. It is so important that daily we come before him and say, Father, create in me a clean heart. God, I can't work one up, I need you to create one in me. Create it, that's what God does. He's in the supernatural creation business. Remember Genesis chapter one? He's really good at doing that sort of stuff. He just like can make something out of nothing. No one else can do that. You and I can't make something out of nothing, but God can. So I'm like, okay, please create in me a clean heart and renew a right spirit. God I want a right spirit. When I communicate with people, I want a right spirit to the best of my ability when I'm talking and interacting with people, I want a right spirit. When I'm writing emails and writing on social media, I want a right spirit to come within 'cause that keeps passion alive in people. It keeps the passion alive.
The passion is going to well up and dry if your heart is toxic and if your heart is polluted. We talked a lot about that because I couldn't talk enough about that. That your heart is absolutely crucial to maintaining passion. You can see it when sometimes a commentator will talk about an athlete on, you know, a football show, and they'll say they're on the field, but their heart's not in it today. I can tell it with the team. I can walk into my office and I know, even if they're all sitting in their chairs, who's there and who's there. And there's a difference between sitting in your chair and being there. There's a difference between being at work in your body and your heart being at work.
I can tell when I'm speaking to an auditorium whether the people are just sitting in their seats or whether they're there, and their heart is there. And we don't wanna just be there, present, we wanna be there. We wanna be like, I have turned up God, I am expectant, I want you to be there. There's an attitude, there's a spirit, there's a difference. And so I don't wanna just kind of go through the routines of life, I could think of nothing more boring, I wanna be engaged in every part of life. I wanna live the abundant life and if something's off then I wanna get it right in my heart so that I can get adjusted back into life again. It is absolutely crucial that we do that.
The third thing is passivity, apathy, and indifference. It will kill you every time. If you're just passive, apathetic, indifferent, I don't care, que sera, sera, whatever will be, will be. I don't really care what they're doing. I don't care what's happening. That kind of attitude will kill your passion. You will have no passion for taking in the Gospel of Jesus Christ into the world. You will have no passion, or sense of mission, or evangelism, or urgency for discipleship, you won't care what's happening in your community, you won't care about the lost and broken, you won't care about the poor or the marginalized. Apathy and indifference will kill your passion. And unfortunately we have too many apathetic and indifferent Christians. And if we would engage with the world around us by staying connected to the God that we serve, I think we'd start to see a lot of transformation in our world.
You know in revelation chapter two, the church in Ephesus had moved from faith to formalism and Jesus says, this one thing I have against you, you've left your first love. You're doing so many awesome things, got a whole lot of activity going on, but you've, you've left your first love. You're actually not even connected to me anymore. They had just gone through the forms, they'd bureaucratized and institutionalized their Christianity, and they'd left their first love. In revelation chapter three, the Laodicean church, they had compromised their faith and they had become conceited and Christless and they were lukewarm, they were so lukewarm they did not even know Jesus was not in their midst anymore. Two churches that were so potent, so passionate, and Jesus says, let me talk to you. You have gone from faith to formalism, you've left your first love and you have become lukewarm. That could be any of us. They both started on fire for Jesus and he says, somewhere along the line you left it. And he says, in fact, lukewarm passivity makes me want to vomit. Now I don't know where you wanna be? In Jesus' vomit is not where I wanna be. It's not where I wanna be.
It says, you're so lukewarm you have no taste, no you have no impact on your culture. You're so satisfied with your own salvation you have no zeal to take this great Gospel into all the world. And so, you know, cold water is good for drinking, hot water's good for tea and coffee, but lukewarm water it's only good for spitting out. And Jesus says, that's not the kind of church I want. I want a passionate church. I wanna a church that is on fire. A church that loves me. And so I wonder where we are? Whether we're still tasty for Jesus? Whether we're still on fire for Jesus? Adversity, trials, and tribulations, they can quench your passion as well. John 16:33, Jesus said, these things I have spoken to you that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation, but, be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.
I don't understand Christians that say you're not gonna have any trials on earth, I don't know what Bible they're reading, but not this one. Because Jesus said, I need you to know, in this world you will, not you might, you will have tribulation. But he says in the same breath, but be of good cheer. I'm like, only God would say that, but be of good cheer I have overcome the world. Which means there's nothing too big that you can't get through without God. That Jesus' grace will get you through. Often it can feel like trials sap the life out of us, but I want you to know, God gives us grace in trails. You know he doesn't take us over everything, he doesn't take us around everything, he doesn't take us under everything, more often then not he will take us through. Yea though I walk through, through, through, through, through the valley of the shadow of death. You will find the grace of God in there.
I would love to say I was delivered from most of my trials, but you know what, what I did was I discovered Jesus in most of them. And in them his grace was sufficient, and his grace took me through. And I can testify thus far the Lord God is faithful, thus far the Lord God has never left me, never forsake, oh boy it's been painful, and he's never, never not come through for me. Admittedly I would have preferred him to come through a bit quicker sometimes, but you know, that's okay, that's like he's God and I'm not. But here's the deal, that there will be tribulations, don't let that quench your passion. Jesus never said this was gonna be an easy kind of ride, but he did say, it's gonna be a wild ride and it really, really is.
An unwillingness to change is another reason that your passion could quench. This whole Christian deal can get boring. In the book of acts 2:1-4, when the Holy Spirit came the church was birthed in change. The Bible says that they heard a sound like, they'd never heard this before, they saw a sight like, they spoke something like, see they had heard something they'd never heard, they saw something they'd never seen, and they said things they'd never said. The church was birthed in change. Christian's ought to be prophetic. We oughta still be hearing things no one else is hearing. Seeing things no one else is seeing. Saying things no one else is saying. Now if you're not growing, and you're not changing, you're just gonna be the same old boring Christian that listens to your sermonettes, does the occasional pirouette, and then goes home. What is that? We were not called to a boring religious obligation. We were called to an abundant life. So you've gotta be willing to change. You've gotta be willing to grow. You've gotta continue to let God come alive through his scripture to you all the time.
Another thing that causes our passion to be quenched is fear. Fear paralyzes us, fear cripples us, fear stops us from trusting God, fear stops us from taking risks, fear stops us from believing God. We have to be a people that remember that God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of love, power, and a sound mind. We have not often taken so many opportunities because we're so scared. We fear the what-ifs. We have to stop fearing the future. We have to make what we know about God bigger then what we do not know about the future. We have to not make what we trust about God bigger then what we do not know about the future. Don't pull back. Don't live a mediocre life. Don't live a safe life. Make a decision that you're gonna keep moving forward and keeping taking risks.
Number seven, an enemy of a passionate life is lack of confidence. I love Hebrews 10:35 says, do not throw away your confidence because it has a great reward. Do not ever underestimate the power of confidence. The enemy always will go after your confidence. He will always try to rob you off your confidence because he wants your passion. He does not want you to live full on for God so he's gonna come to you and he's gonna say, you're an idiot, you made a fool of yourself, who do you think you are? That's his major one. Who do you think you are? And he often just has to whisper that in our ear and then we begin to tell him who we're not. Oh yeah, I know, I'm not this, I'm not smart enough, I'm not good enough, I'm not talented enough, I'm not as good as that person, I'm not as bright as that person, I'm not as gifted as that person, and off we go on a downward spiral. He's after our confidence.
That's right, the Hebrew writer says, do not throw away your confidence it has a great reward. The same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead lives on the inside of you. God is not looking for your ability, he's just looking for your availability. He's just looking for a willing vessel and he will do exceedingly abundantly above and beyond anything you could ever ask, hope, or think. So hang onto your confidence. Don't let the devil rob you of your confidence. I mean seriously, who were the 12 disciples before Jesus found them? Not much, but the Bible says they turned the world upside down. I look at my team and I think they're a bunch of world changers. No one else might think so, but I do. And you watch them just rising and greatness come out of them because I want them to be confident in what God has called them to be.
Number eight, if you are gonna fulfill what God has for you and you're gonna live a passionate life, do not allow your history to determine your destiny. The Bible says in Philippians 3:12, one thing I do forgetting those things that lie behind, Paul says, I press on to those things, reach forward to those things which are ahead. You have got to make a decision that your past does not determine your future. You may have made some mistakes in your past, but your life starts brand new today. Don't limit your future based on what you did or did not do in your past. Don't let your past rob you of your future passion. Don't let your past mistakes rob you of your future, passion. Don't let your past failures rob you of your future passion. Make a decision that you are going to run your race and finish your course and you're gonna fix your eyes on Jesus.
And finally you are not going to lose your childlike wonder, this is the key to the passionate life. Mark 10:15, assuredly I say to you whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it. I wanna encourage you today to stay, to stay young a heart, to maintain your childlike wonder. I'm only 51 1/2 years young and you know what I still wake up and there's still a glint in my eye, my Jesus is still awesome. I'm not gonna get cynical, I'm not gonna get disillusioned, I'm not gonna get disappointed, I'm not gonna become a naysayer, I'm not gonna become a critic. I'm gonna keep talking about the goodness of God, the grace of God, the love of God, the mercy of God. I'm gonna stay on fire and stay passionate about this life Jesus has called us to. Amen, amen, amen.