Steven Furtick - Lost Your Passion? Here's How To Recover It!
This is an excerpt from: Put Your Passion In Its Place
"Well, I would pray, but I just don't feel anything when I pray". You haven't practiced enough. If you would pray two minutes, you would see the peace that two minutes brings, and tomorrow you'll want to pray five. If you practice, if you'd open your Bible and read a verse, you'd want to read two. You might read four. You might read eight. You might finish the book of Galatians before the week is over if you would practice. I'm practicing. If you ever see me in the grocery store and I'm mumbling, I'm not crazy. I'm practicing. "What are you doing throwing that stick on the ground, Moses"? "I'm practicing, because I have to use this stick to part the waters".
Until I practice, I can't perform it. You've lost your passion because you stopped practicing. Even the best lose their passion without practice. Even David, the kid who ran to the battle line and said, "I don't need a position; I have passion. I don't need the endorsement of Saul; I have passion. I don't even need my brothers to like me; I have passion". That kid who ran to the battle line, a kid who practiced, found himself decades later… He was in the palace, but he had lost his passion. He sat down and wrote a psalm. He cried out to God and asked the Lord to recreate and restore his passion. "Create a clean heart in me, O God". "I had a pure passion when I started. I've allowed some things to come into my life. I've allowed some people and some memories and some decisions and distractions and even some good things. I've been trying to keep the false stuff out, but I've left my first love, and I want my passion back".
He was home one day, walking around on his roof. That same kid who was willing to run to the battle lines… He has seen a lot of years now. Maybe not 43, like the church at Ephesus, but it has been quite a few years since that time. He's not running toward the battle anymore. He's avoiding it. The Bible says that in the springtime, when the kings go off to war, David stayed home. The king in the palace had lost that passion of the kid in the pasture. He got out of place. He saw a beautiful woman bathing on the roof. He called for her, and she had no choice but to come. When he slept with her, they conceived a child that resulted in a national scandal. Her husband was murdered at the behest of David's henchman.
David received word that the child born to his wife would die, and he cried out from that place, "I want my passion back. I've lost my baby. I've compromised my integrity, but if it took me losing some things to realize that I had lost my passion… God, all I can do now… I can't get back the baby, but I can get back my passion. I can't get back last week, last month, last year. Would you redeem the time I've wasted, God? I want my passion back". I just know somebody's heart is crying out. Maybe even watching online. You couldn't even get to church. You didn't even come today. Your heart is crying out as I preach. Stand to your feet. It's a holy moment in the sanctuary. "I want my passion back". Abbey asked me that question. She said, "Daddy, did you have to practice that"?
I was standing there thinking about my kids. Maybe one day they'll take their kids to the church they grew up in, and I wonder what they'll be telling them about our church. Will they be telling them what God used to do? Will they be telling them about the people who used to give sacrificially, who didn't have a building but had passion? Will this be the place where they had revival one time, or will it be a place where the revival fire never died because of a people with a passion? I want to pray for you. When David got done lamenting what he had lost and he prayed out, "God, don't take your Spirit from me. I can lose anything, but I don't want to lose my place…" "To the angel of the church at Ephesus, to the husband and dad of four at Ballantyne, to the teenage girl in Rock Hill, write these words. If you will find your purpose, you will recover your passion".
I think the worst advice we could give a young person is to follow your passion. That might sound exciting, but it's self-destructive. You don't follow your passion. If you follow your passion, you're going to get your passion confused with your feelings, and the first time the wind blows really hard your flame will go out. Don't follow your passion, because sometimes you can't tell your passion apart from your preference. Sometimes you can't tell your faith apart from your feelings, so you don't stay in Ephesus. You don't stay in the hard places. Don't follow your passion. Follow your purpose. Remember the reason God saved you. Get your lampstand back. Every candle needs a stand. The passion is the flame, and the purpose is the stand. Put your passion on your purpose. My passion follows my purpose.
When I feel it, when I don't, same purpose. You've been here and there and everywhere, losing time, losing joy, losing passion, following your passion. That's ridiculous. "Follow your passion". How ridiculous is that? You know you would have married that crazy girl. Follow your passion? No, no. Find your passion and teach your passion to follow your purpose. Tell your passion where to show up in the place of your purpose. I mean, imagine if the people running the cameras at this church got it flipped. Imagine if the people running the cameras while I'm preaching all of a sudden thought it was my job to follow the camera. How ridiculous would that be? In fact, I'm going to illustrate it. I'm going to show you how ridiculous it is when you follow your passion.
So I have to preach now, and while I'm preaching, the camera… Now I have to follow the camera. How ridiculous is it when you run around in life letting your feelings tell you what job to take and what job to quit and what relationship to be in? No, no, no. I don't follow the camera; the camera follows me. You have to stay with me. I don't follow passion. My passion follows my purpose. Does anybody have purpose? "Looking unto Jesus, the author, the finisher of my faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, despising the shame". I want my passion back, and my passion is waiting in the place of my purpose. I want to pray for you. If this message hit your heart today, if it was for you, I want you to know that after David laid down and prayed and asked God to give him the baby back, the Bible says he made a decision to get up, to repent.
After he had been there long enough, he got up and he went in and he had another baby. He got his passion back. Could this be the day that you get your passion back? Not just goose bumps, not just a comfortable feeling, but an inner determination and resolve that says, "I will. I will. I will. I don't feel it, but I will. I don't even want to sometimes, but I will, because my passion serves my purpose". Bow your head. "Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence, and do not take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of your salvation. Renew a right spirit, and grant me a willing spirit". Somebody say, "I will". Even when I don't feel, I will, because I have a passion. I will. I'm not waiting on the position; I have a passion.
Father, we thank you today for returning us to our first love. We don't want to labor without love, and we don't want to serve you without passion. We don't want to lose our place. We don't want to miss our chance. While the lampstand is still in place, while we still have breath in our bodies, while we still have an opportunity, we call out to you, God. We don't ask you to restore our passion, because the fact is you didn't take it away. It's still in us. It was just waiting for this word, for this moment, to be awakened. God, we call our passion to the surface, like Elisha called the iron ax head to float to the top of the water. We're calling our passion forth today. We're calling our victory forth today. Like David got up, we're getting up. We want our passion back. We command our passion to serve your purpose in our lives. We will by your Spirit. We will by your power. We will. We're getting up today. Not staying down, not staying lost, not staying lonely. We're getting up. I'm getting up! I'm getting up right now, right here! I want my passion back!