Fruit of the Spirit 2: Mission Passion

As we continue our look at some aspects of the fruit of the Spirit,
today we look at mission passion. Passion is a deep, yearning desire in
your heart, and mission passion is a passion for God’s mission.

We’re going to look at an event that took place early in David’s life, and is one of the greatest Bible stories. (Read 1 Samuel 17). David was a man after God’s own heart; he was a man of great passion and courage, and we certainly see that in this story.

The Philistine and Israeli armies gathered on opposing hills 15 miles
west of Bethlehem overlooking the Elah Valley. Each army waited for
the other army to take the offensive and go down into the valley. But
instead, the giant named Goliath, the champion warrior of the Philistine surprised the
Israelite army by challenging them to send their best warrior for
single, hand-to-hand combat to settle the dispute. Goliath said, "I defy the armies of
Israel! Send me a man who will fight with me!"

Goliath, in a full suit of armor (weighing at least 125 pounds), and
carrying extremely heavy weapons put fear in Saul and his army. In fact,
Scripture says, “When Saul and the Israelites heard this, they were
terrified and deeply shaken.” For 40 days, Goliath terrorizes the
Israelites, taunting them morning and evening.

Finally, a young guy, named David, comes along and overhears Goliath’s
threats and challenges.  David’s father, Jesse, had sent him to
take supplies to his three brothers who were members of Saul’s army.
David observes what’s going on, and he wonders why no one is doing anything
about it!

David’s passion for God gives him courage
After a brief squabble with his older brothers on the frontlines, David convinces Saul to
let him go up against Goliath, saying, "Don’t worry about a thing. I’ll
go fight this Philistine!" Even though Saul thought that was
ridiculous at first, David convinces him to give him a chance noting
how God has used him in the past when taking care of his father’s
sheep, protecting them lions and bears. Saul consents, "All right, go
ahead. And may the LORD be with you!"

Wear your own armor
David learned a valuable lesson, and teaches us one as well. Saul gave
David his armor to fight Goliath, but it didn’t fit and David was
unfamiliar with it. So David stuck with his own set-up, and chose to rely on the way God had
shaped him. We, too, we need to wear our own armor, living the way God has shaped us.

Rick Warren talks about the importance of knowing your SHAPE: Spiritual gifts, Heart, Abilities, Personality, and Experience. Just as each of our sets of DNA and fingerprints are different, so is our shape.

David takes a risk
Goliath walked toward David with his shield bearer ahead of him,
sneering at him. But David, unfazed, says, "You come to me with sword,
spear, and javelin, but I come to you in the name of the LORD
Almighty—the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. Today
the LORD will conquer you, and I will kill you and cut off your head.
And then I will give the dead bodies of your men to the birds and wild
animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel!
And everyone will know that the LORD does not need weapons to rescue
his people. It is his battle, not ours. The LORD will give you to us!"

As Goliath moved closer to attack, David ran toward Goliath! David’s
passion gave him courage, which led him to take a risk for God. There’s
a great line in the movie, "Princess Diaries 2," in which
Princess Mia is being trained to become queen as her grandmother
prepares to retire. Mia is struggling with the whole process, but the
turning point comes with words of wisdom from her father,
"Courage isn’t the absence of fear, but the judgment that there
is something more important than  fear." She makes her choice to
follow her calling rather than her fears, and so does David.

David was a catalyst
After David conquers Goliath, the whole army of Israel is filled with
courage and they charge the Philistine army in what becomes a great victory for the Israelites, but it all started when
one passionate person took a risk!

What is God calling you to do? What is God calling you to risk?
I can’t think of anywhere in Scripture where God asked someone to do
something easy. God always, it seems, calls us to do something that is
bigger than ourselves. What is God calling you to do?

Quotes & Resources

Quotes from Bishop Dan Solomon at the 2005 CPC Annual Conference …

     

  • “I’ve never seen a mission statement yet that came with the batteries included.”
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  • “God is a missionary God, and God is asking what happened to the missionary church?”
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  • “Mission is not an add-on; it’s at the very heart of who we are!”
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  • “Has anyone asked you lately about the hope you have? If not, why not?”

“The core problem is not that we are too passionate about bad things,
but that we are not passionate enough about good things.” (Larry Crabb)

“The world is full of the walking weary. Yet that is not the life that Jesus called us to live.” (A Passionate Life, Mike Breen & Walt Kallestad; lifeshapes.com)

SoulSalsa: 17 Surprising Steps for Godly Living in the 21st Century (Leonard Sweet)

     

  • “I must learn to count on one thing: life never turns out as you
    expect it will. In other words, I must learn how to play. Life is about
    playing.”
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  • “A whole-soul existence is not an ‘in-control’ life; it’s an
    out-of-control life. Disciples of Jesus don’t want the upper hand. God
    gets the upper hand. All of life is placed with God’s control.”
  •  

  • “Start each day with these words: ‘Today, in every action I take,
    in every word I say, I am going to love God with everything in my
    soul.’”

“I believe that one of life’s greatest risks is never daring to risk.” (Oprah Winfrey)

“Wherever there is fear, there is opportunity. Wherever there is great fear, there is great opportunity.” (Andy Stanley)

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