Passion and Longing

>> April 16, 2008

Warning: this is a long one!

I read several blogs, mostly they are my friend's blogs, but there are a couple that I read because they are inspiring to me. One of those is written by Leslie. I love reading Leslie's blog. She challenges me to cling to God more and I don't even know her. She doesn't know me either, not even by my blog, because I have just been a blog stalker to her. Since the first day I read her blog I have felt that God led me there not only so I could be inspired by her, but so that I could pray for her and I have remained silent because it was just something between me and God. God has even used that secrecy to encourage me - to show me that He is bigger than our circumstances, bigger than our circle of friends, BIGGER! When I have a need, he can put me on someone's heart who doesn't even know me to be praying for me. AND I don't need to know that or understand that. We don't know the whole picture, I am convinced that we never do. God is TOO BIG for us to see the whole picture. The Bible is clear that "our fight is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." And in that fight, God is the commander in chief on the winning side. So the reason I am bringing this up and "coming out of the closet" now is that Leslie has posted an awesome challenge for us to first, consider the question "What are you passionate about?" on a deeper level than chocolate and scrapbooking, then to share it and inspire others - to get in a conversation on a deeper level in this world of blogging. I love this, because I have noticed again and again that (not only on my blog) when the post is about spiritual things, the conversation is pretty small or even non-existent compared to when we blog about our kids or American Idol. So go here to read Leslie's post and see how to join in the conversation.

So what am I passionate about?
This question is pretty timely for me and my current place in this journey.
Honestly, I have been in a strange place lately - kind of in this limbo.
I have had such a deep longing for something I haven't been able to put my finger on.
A longing for intimacy.
And I have felt, more than ever before, unsure of my place - my place in my friendships, my place in my ministry, my place in the bigger picture.
As I have drawn to God, He has been so faithful to be there in tangible ways (at least for me).
It seems as though my senses are more keen as I notice God in my day.
And as I have been praying about this place that I am in, I have tried to slow down and observe as I wait to hear God's voice.
Honestly, this is very hard for me. My tendency is to grab hold of what is going on around me and join in, or try to make it be what I want it to be.
But I want what God wants.
On Sunday, Bruce continued his series on intimacy with God teaching from Psalm 50. And one of the things he said that has stuck with me this week is that we are NOT givers. Nothing we have to give was ours to start with, so all we can really be are receivers. When we give to others, we are merely passers, passing on what God gave to us. And when we tithe, we are returners, giving back to God what he gave to us. As I have pondered this I realize that this is bigger than just material possessions or money. It relates to time, wisdom, talents, spiritual gifts, etc...
So as I wonder about my place, I realize that I only have any kind of place because God gave it to me. I need God's perspective, and I need to stop thinking those things were mine in the first place so that I can have a heart of gratitude (not just be thankful for the good things).
We sang a new song Sunday morning called I Worship You (by Steve Merkel), and one of the lines was "You alone are worthy of the longing in my heart."
As I sang that line it struck a place in me that I have been searching for. Not only is God the only one who can fill any kind of longing in us, He is the only One who is worthy to do so.
Why do I lose sight of that? Why do I try to satisfy my longing in other places when the longing is still small and graspable. Why do I feel such a need to be self-sufficient, when I REALLY DO want to be God-sufficient?
So, today, I am at this place where the cry of my heart is that I will be passionate about being intimate with God and following Him whole-heartedly. I want to be a light that shines in such a way that God gets all of the glory from this life that I am living.

There is a song I have been singing by Mark Altrogge called One Pure and Holy Passion. I know many of you know it, but for those who don't here are the lyrics...

Give me one pure and holy passion
Give me one magnificent obsession
Jesus give me one glorious ambition for my life
To know and follow hard after You
To know and follow hard after You
To grow as Your disciple in the truth
This world is empty pale and poor
Compared to knowing You my Lord
Lead me on and I will run after You
Lead me on and I will run after You

So what are YOU passionate about? Even if you don't follow this with Leslie, I would love to read about it on your blog or in the comments on mine.

9 responses:

Amanda April 16, 2008 at 1:41 PM  

i have never visited your blog before....i don't even know you....and yet, tears stream down my face as i read this. you are so right...God is so powerful to use "strangers" to pray for us even when we don't know it...and He is powerful enough to use leslie's challenge to bring me past your blog...to hear someone else put into words so beautifully something that has been rolling around in my heart. oh, thank you so much for sharing...isn't our God amazing!

Lisa April 16, 2008 at 1:48 PM  

I stumbled over here through Leslie.
This is a beautiful post and is certainly food for thought! Thank you for the inspiration. Your "passion" is inspiring and I too love this challange, although I have to think long and hard about mine...

Leslie April 16, 2008 at 1:57 PM  

loving getting to "meet" you Rhonda. You little lurker you...

Seriously touching to know that God has put people out there I don't even know to pray. I have felt that, but again he confirms things, so awesome, and trully thank you. Thank you isn't enough.

So neat also to see others posting and talking, and bringing other points to view, hope to see more.

This is such a powerful post, and love the phrase god-sufficient, a beautiful song, and sounds like an awesome message. Thank you for sharing and being real. Its interesting the phrasing of God is the only one worthy to fill us up, I think we tend to think along the lines, he is the one that "should" and worthy is so much more appropriate.

As a side note, your totally getting where Im going with this as far as time, sprititual gifts, etc.

And seriously thanks for adding me to that list of AWESOME photographers, Im honored. I so hope you keep delurking

Christy April 16, 2008 at 5:55 PM  

we sang the song you typed out in church on sunday and I wrote the words down because they said exactly what I am feeling towards God. I could invision myself sprinting after his will. Loved your post and I think I will post on what I am passionate about.

Diana April 16, 2008 at 9:51 PM  

I am so thankful that God led us to Epic and to you and Bruce. It is so wonderful learning from you as you both continue to learn and grow. Thank you for sharing your passion!

Jessica April 17, 2008 at 6:53 AM  

What a neat post, thanks for sharing your heart. I will have to think about my passion and post on it as well. One of the things you said really struck a chord with where I'm at right now:

"Nothing we have to give was ours to start with, so all we can really be are receivers. When we give to others, we are merely passers, passing on what God gave to us. And when we tithe, we are returners, giving back to God what he gave to us."

What a cool way to phrase giving...makes me think of it differently and in a less selfish light.

Fairlightday April 17, 2008 at 12:20 PM  

I came here through Leslie's blog and I'm so happy that I did. Thank you for sharing and being so honest with us. I love what you have posted and I completely understand your desire.
Blessings to you!

Brandi April 19, 2008 at 4:30 PM  

I've pondered and posted!!! Thanks my friend...

Kari Dawson April 22, 2008 at 9:59 AM  

I subscribed to Leslie's blog a short time ago and jumped at the chance to follow along with this challenge. I'm in the process of reading the blogs of the others who have joined us.

When I started my blog I had no idea what direction it was going in (thus the name "finding my place in this world"), but it soon became clear.

I have been scratching my head in my own relatinships with friends and family trying to figure out why they don't go deeper and searching for something that is deeper, human to human. The Lord is my provider in every way possible but who knew that in a worldly realm we could find deeper connecions through blogs and strangers.

I'll be back.
Kari

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