For our writing class a couple weeks ago, we were to write something about which we are passionate. This past Friday we were to share something in which we’ve persevered…since there was nothing on my heart to share at those times, I decided to combine both weeks together. Hence my title, Passionate Perseverance! 🙂
By definition, when used as an adjective, the word passionate means capable of, affected by, or expressing intense feeling: enthusiastic. To persevere means to persist in a state, enterprise, or undertaking in spite of counterinfluences, opposition, or discouragement. That being said, I initially thought I’d write about how I enjoy photography. I decided I couldn’t write on that subject due to my zeal for photography having died down a great deal. I then realized that my heart’s desire is to share with others what Christ has done and is continuing to do in my heart and life! I believed I could easily write about this “passion” because I’ve also struggled to persevere in sharing it.
For the greater part of my life and to my shame, I greatly neglected to faithfully read God’s Holy Word on a daily basis. A few years ago I began to read more faithfully on my own. God had a plan to help grow me even more…a few weeks after having surgery in 2009, I found myself back in the hospital with a small blood clot in my lung. The next couple of months were very frightening for me as I was thinking more intently about life and death. I knew I was a child of God, but I had a growing fear about death knowing the blood clot had to go through my heart to get into my lung!
Over time, God used diverse means to reveal my wicked heart and helped me realize two things: knowing God and having a personal relationship with His Son, Jesus Christ were not the same. He began to impress upon my heart His means of grace and my need to grow in this grace and knowledge by digging deeper into the Word of God.
As I began to faithfully read God’s Word each day, I found myself being “blown away” by what I was reading. The power of the Holy Spirit’s enlightening me as to what the scriptures were saying was amazing! This is where the passion began. I needed to submit to Christ and learn to trust Him and know of His great love for me. I looked forward every morning to sit at Jesus’ feet and to learn more about Him and from Him.
Imagine how thrilled I was to grasp this idea when I recently read Luke 8:26-39. Jesus was confronted by a man possessed with many demons. These demons asked to be sent into a herd of pigs. When those who were with this man saw what happened, they went and told others what they had seen. When those who heard the story came to see for themselves, they saw this man sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind! What a beautiful reminder this was to me as to how I am clothed with the righteousness of Christ (Isa. 61:10). As I daily sit at Jesus’ feet and feast upon His Word, the Holy Spirit is teaching me how to “be in my right mind”.
Now comes the most challenging part of spiritual growth…perseverance!
In my passion to share what Christ was doing in my life, I began to share on Facebook what I had gleaned from my quiet time with the Lord. I was almost immediately challenged about what I was sharing. The reasons were understandable but I took them as a dagger to my heart. I was excited and eager to share Christ with those who might not know Him and to be an encouragement to those who were struggling. Facebook seemed to be the best way for me to share my new found zeal for the Lord.
I struggled on and off for many years as to whether or not Facebook was the appropriate place in which to share my growing faith. I believe the world, my flesh and the devil were doing all they could to silence me. I would often cave in to the fear of man and no sooner had I done so, the Holy Spirit would encourage and comfort my heart by bringing scripture to my mind.
There were times when I encountered both positive words of encouragement to continue sharing on Facebook as well as hearing a negative report about how I share too much. This was cause for a great battle in my soul as I allowed the negative words to speak more loudly to my heart than the positive. I finally decided that maybe starting to blog might be my answer to overcome this battle of the mind!
Even though it’s been a slow process, I’m learning to become more like my Savior by putting off my old sinful habits and fears and putting on Christ by renewing my mind. The only way to do this is through God’s truths and promises that continue to teach, reprove, correct and instruct me in the way I should go (II Tim. 3:16). I was recently encouraged and reminded by the Apostle Paul as to how to boldly and courageously defend and share my faith (Acts 26).
Jesus said, “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth” (III John 1:4). This is why I desire to passionately persevere as I strive to live for Christ by obeying His commands and loving Him with my whole heart, soul, mind and strength and my neighbor as myself (Luke 10:25-37).