It’s a Passion.
When we are born again we are filled with a passion for the Lord, for the things of the Lord— his word, his worship, his people— all people who don’t know him— “You need to meet my Jesus! Why doesn’t everyone know him? Surely they would want to if I just told them what he did for me!”
8 Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, 9 for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls. 1 Peter 1:8,9
We have a passion but we start getting discouraged, our joy starts to wane as we realize that people just think we’ve lost it— even some other Christians think we’re weird.
So we stuff down the joy, hide the exuberance so we don’t stand out. We start looking at the world that is still going on all around us just as it always has, except now we can see just how messed up it is and how everyone is hurting each other and themselves and we get discouraged, we lose our joy, we lose our passion. “Lord, just come and rapture me out of here, forget this place, forget these people.” —That’s not a good attitude either. It is certainly not the Lord’s attitude as he is holding back from coming until all have heard.
So it should be with us. We can keep our joy; we can keep our passion. The difference between us and the people of the world who don’t know our Jesus, is that we are free from the having to allow this world to shape us, to affect how we feel. The only power the world, the only power the enemy, has over how we feel− whether we are happy or sad, whether we care or not− is what we give it.
We have available to us an inexpressible and glorious joy. We need to keep releasing that and reminding ourselves of that. That’s a big part of the reason we gather together to worship, when we focus on the Lord, when we lift our voices, our hands and our hearts to God we are also raising ourselves above the cares of this world, it reminds us who is on the throne, of not just the universe, but our lives, and it frees us from despair and anger.
Boy, that’s important to remember especially in the political climate we have found ourselves in as our government gets farther and farther away from the Godly principles we were founded on and our presidential election becomes a full-fledged circus, actually that’s offensive to the circus, Barnum and Bailey and the Ringling brothers had much more class and the performers admitted that they were in it for the fame and the money.
It would be very easy to get discouraged and despair. How many people do you know that are downright depressed, or out and out angry over the presidential candidates that we the people have selected? Do you suppose that being so emotionally influenced by our national game of thrones has a positive influence or a negative influence on your state of mind, or on those around you who are witness to your despair? We are supposed to be filled with an inexpressible joy, not a loudly expressed anger.
Nothing good comes out of our despair or our anger. It only pushes people away and farther into the darkness making it less and less likely that they will ever see the light, that they will come to know our Jesus and be set free, or that our nation will truly be free again.
An election is not going to change this nation and bring it back to God— I don’t care who we elect— if our hearts are not free, if we are bound up by bitterness. If we are living like those who are dead, none of it will matter. A free people without the guidance of a sovereign God will not be free for long. A nation led by people who are living for the flesh, a nation where God is taken out of the public discourse and worships a plurality of Gods, or lives in the arrogance of godlessness, is not going to stand whether we have a Trump, a Cruz, a Sanders or another Clinton sitting in the oval office.
This nation will remain Godless unless we, the church, born again believers rediscover our passion, the passion that comes from the joy of our salvation, that comes from knowing a freedom that no government can neither grant nor take away, a joy that says; everyone needs to know about my Jesus— let me tell you what Jesus did for me! Hallelujah God is good! Even if it gets us branded a weirdo, or worse, just branded.
Being angry and telling people they or their candidates of choice are ignoramuses is not going to achieve anything good. I’m not saying you can’t have, or express, an opinion. What I am saying is be careful how you say it. You are never going to change a person’s mind by deriding or maligning them. We are not going to change this country by arguing our point of view with an attitude of condemnation. The eyes that have been blinded by the enemy will never be opened until the lights behind them come on, when they are born again.
So it is that the only way things are going to change is if we change hearts, and we can only change hearts by the power of the gospel and people are only going to hear the gospel if we are presenting it, living it, being it, with the passion that comes from the joy of knowing that we are saved, that we are free and we are His— no matter what happens in Washington or next door.
Your heart is free, keep it so. As Peter would go on to write in his chapter about what it means to be born again:
Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. 2 Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, 3 now that you have tasted that the Lord is good. 1 Pet 2:1-3
God is good, every day- even on Election Day.