Wait! Maybe that was supposed to be “Faith without works is dead.” You might want to check out James 2:14-26 as a background to this blog post.
We were just listening to New Life Worship performing “Great I Am” by Jared Anderson.
This is a wonderful song, full of honor and glory and praise for the King. During the video the camera pans the audience/congregation, showing a very passionate group of people pouring themselves out emotionally before their God.
As we have the opportunity to travel for work, we attend many worship gatherings and have been privileged to be a part of such worship experiences. On one occasion, we were visiting a church in the Los Angeles area whose speaking pastor had just returned from a short-term mission experience somewhere. He was changed, no doubt, as he could neither put words to what he had experienced, nor steps to what he should do now. At the end of his message he asked the 500 20-somethings gathered there how many would follow Jesus to the ends of the earth. Everyone in the place stood to their feet, raising their hands and verbally responding as one person. It was moving.
We found ourselves sitting there afterward, as everyone returned to their usual, casual selves, thinking, “What now?” Emotions had been high and passions were being poured out like water before the King… but what now?
When will our passion result in action?
When will it spill out of our hallowed halls and onto the streets outside?
Passion is so much more easily expressed in community, when emotions mesh and risk is low. Boiling passion down to “doing” in the real world becomes work, the kind of work that requires the commitment of time, energy and money. It’s not a popular topic among too many. But these are the kinds of sacrifices that are required for Kingdom growth… passion put into action.
Just how far will your passion take you?
What if God required of you what you promised him while within the four walls of a church building or while praying quietly and alone? What will your answer be when he whispers, “Who can we send? Who will go for us?” Our guess is that you will answer, “Here am I. Send me.” When you do, get ready to put action to your words of commitment.
Obedience cannot be accomplished by passion alone.