Develop Godly Passion
The zeal of the Eternal leads to true success.

When Winston Churchill was appointed first lord of the Admiralty in October 1911, he became close to Lord Fisher, the man responsible for many improvements in the British Navy prior to Churchill’s entry. Fisher had a forceful personality, which enabled him accomplish great feats—but also made him many enemies among Britain’s leaders.

Churchill wrote in his book The World Crisis: “There’s no doubt whatever that Fisher was right in nine tenths of what he fought for.” If he was convinced something needed to be done a certain way, he would bulldoze the way to make sure it happened. He was not an easy man to be around. But when Churchill became first lord of the Admiralty, he immediately sought this man’s input.

Great men and women throughout history were people of passion, force, color—life. There is a way to have passion without alienating everyone around you, unlike Lord Fisher. God wants us to be passionate about the right things. We won’t accomplish anything significant without it.

Boiling Hot

We live in the Laodicean era. Revelation 3:15-17 reveal that most of God’s people in this era are lukewarm, complacent and self-satisfied. That is human nature. Their love has waxed cold, but God says, I wish that you were hot! That word “hot” is zestos in the Greek, meaning boiling hot.

Colossians 3:23 says, “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men.”

Ecclesiastes 9:10 says, “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.”

Isaiah 9:7 reads, “Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.” In a Key of David program, Gerald Flurry called this verse “probably the best single verse in the Bible to explain the key of David vision.” This is about leadership that gets results and is a blessing to everyone it governs. This is leadership fueled by zeal.

Mr. Flurry writes in The Last Hour, “We have to think about this the way God does. He does everything with great passion.” God’s young people need to develop the zeal of the Eternal. “Zeal” means ardor, enthusiasm or passion. We need to be fashioned after our Father by becoming passionate people.

Passion, especially for important things, is not natural. Most people in the world are passionate about the wrong things. They are governed by childish emotions and allow themselves to be led in any direction. Satan’s society is full of distractions that discourage the right kind of passion. The trending spirit in society is sterilized and afraid to offend.

Do you have passion for truth? For righteousness? For God’s Family and Work? For the plan of God? For the Kingdom? Build passion for the things in your life that God supports.

Romans 12:9 says, “Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.” Your love should be wholehearted and without hypocrisy. These are very active words! Abhor evil—summon some real hatred for it. But grab hold of and cleave to what is good in your life. “Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord” (verse 11) We all fight the tendency to give half-hearted, lazy effort. Fervent means “to boil with heat; boiling anger; love, zeal for what is good or bad” (Thayer’s Lexicon). The Ferrar-Fenton Bible reads the end of this verse, “Serving the Lord with energetic spirit.”

Taking the Kingdom by Storm

There is a lot to be said for having proper enthusiasm and excitement. When you put effort toward something worthwhile, good things will happen. The Bible is full of people whose passion was God and His Work.

Matthew 11:7 says, “And as they departed, Jesus began to say unto the multitudes concerning John, What went ye out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken with the wind?” Did you expect to see some weak, soft, effeminate man? This man was a messenger for God; he prepared for Christ’s first coming—the first-century type of the end-time Elijah.

“But what went ye out for to see? A man clothed in soft raiment? behold, they that wear soft clothing are in kings’ houses. … Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force” (verses 8, 11-12).

“Suffers violence” comes from a Greek word meaning: “forced, overpowered, taken by storm” (Vincent’s Word Studies). Christ says the Kingdom of God is taken by storm! We seize the Kingdom of God like we are conquering a city.

In ancient Israel, most of the spies who saw the Promised Land were timid and afraid. They thought the obstacles were insurmountable. But that was not how Caleb saw it: “And Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it” (Numbers 13:30). This is the attitude we need toward what God wants us to do: Be faith-filled, action-oriented. Have a can-do mentality. Think about your responsibilities. How much further can you push yourself? How much more can you invest in your homework, practice and friendships?

Here are three reasons why passion is important:

1. Passion Inspires Action.

Herbert W. Armstrong talked about emotion being an impulse toward an action. If you don’t feel passion for something, you probably won’t do it. Without motivation from within, you have to rely on outside forces that push or pull you in the right direction.

John lays out the God Family vision in 1 John 3. “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is, (verses 1-3). What a vision! That’s something to get excited about!

John then says: “And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure. Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law” (verse 4). The definition of sin revolves around the hard decisions you have to make daily to become who God wants you to be.

If you don’t have the hope of verses 1-3, you won’t purify yourself. This vision won’t be important to you. Passion inspires action.

When you’re passionate about something, you are willing to do what needs to be done. Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.”

Jesus said, “My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work” (John 4:34). Mr. Flurry writes in John’s Gospel—The Love of God: “That’s my food, Christ said. My way of life is just to do the Work of God with all of the passion I possess. That is all I’m here for! That is my main delight—to finish the Work the Father has given me to do! This is the key to having passion and high spirits!”

Build your life around the Work of God. See past the problems, obstacles, challenges and frustrations that you experience. Get your mind off yourself and onto the big picture of what God is accomplishing.

Mr. Flurry continues, “If you get your heart into God’s Work and give it everything you have, it will give you all the exuberance and joy God has to give us on Earth!” If you develop godly passion, you will drive yourself to take action!

In Jeremiah 20, Jeremiah describes the heavy weight of the challenges he faced doing God’s Work. He was so discouraged that he reached the point where he thought he couldn’t handle the pressure and persecution. It was just too much! But what happened? The truth of God was a fire burning within his bones, and he could not walk away. He had to keep doing the Work of God. Jeremiah was saved spiritually because he had a passion that inspired the right kind of action.

2. Passion Surmounts Obstacles.

You will always have problems to overcome. If your motivation is weak, nothing kills it like a few obstacles. But if you are truly passionate, you will push past those obstacles.

In the making of Star Wars, George Lucas overcame countless obstacles. No one thought this project would work, nobody except George Lucas. But he had a driving passion to finish! If at any point he had said, You all are right; this is ridiculous. It will never happen, the production would have died. Lucas’s vision compelled him to keep working.

Christ’s meat was to do His Father’s Work. It sustained and energized Him more than physical food. Mr. Flurry writes in John’s Gospel—The Love of God, “If you are like Christ and you miss some meals to do the Work of God, that’s not bad! Christ had enough passion and excitement that He didn’t mind those kinds of inconveniences. His mind was teeming with the vision of God! He was thinking about the World Tomorrow, not the world today. If you are really doing the Work, you have vision!”

3. Passion is Contagious.

James Baldwin wrote, “Fires can’t be made with dead embers, nor can enthusiasm be stirred by spiritless men.” If you are surrounded by people who couldn’t care less about what they are doing, you will not be able to sustain motivation. But if everyone is driven and passionate, motivation is contagious.

Mr. Flurry wrote a chapter in the Ezra-Nehemiah booklet titled “Nehemiah—A Man of Zeal.” Nehemiah worked in the court of the Persian king and heard that Jerusalem was destroyed. He arrived in the city by night so that no one knew he was on a reconnaissance mission. He crept through Jerusalem to see the state of the broken city.

Nehemiah gathered all the Jews. “Then said I unto them, Ye see the distress that we are in, how Jerusalem lieth waste, and the gates thereof are burned with fire: come, and let us build up the wall of Jerusalem, that we be no more a reproach. Then I told them of the hand of my God which was good upon me; as also the king’s words that he had spoken unto me. And they said, Let us rise up and build. So they strengthened their hands for this good work” (Nehemiah 2:17-18).

This was a man of action who had God behind him. He was highly motivated to do God’s Work, and his energy was contagious. Nehemiah lit a fire in these people that made them want to follow him.

Nehemiah 4:6 says, “So built we the wall; and all the wall was joined together unto the half thereof: for the people had a mind to work.” Just a short time before, these people weren’t doing anything. They had allowed their enemies to stop God’s Work. Without a strong leader directing their efforts, people won’t endure hardness. But Nehemiah’s passion inspired the people to have a mind to work.

Churchill was a man of action. Upon becoming first lord, he upended the entire admiralty. When he later became prime minister, his top priority was to evacuate thousands of soldiers from Dunkirk. He mobilized the entire nation!

This was exactly what Nehemiah did. “They which builded on the wall, and they that bare burdens, with those that laded, every one with one of his hands wrought in the work, and with the other hand held a weapon. For the builders, every one had his sword girded by his side, and so builded. … And I said unto the nobles, and to the rulers, and to the rest of the people, The work is great and large, and we are separated upon the wall, one far from another. In what place therefore ye hear the sound of the trumpet, resort ye thither unto us: our God shall fight for us. So we laboured in the work: and half of them held the spears from the rising of the morning till the stars appeared. Likewise at the same time said I unto the people, Let every one with his servant lodge within Jerusalem, that in the night they may be a guard to us, and labour on the day. So neither I, nor my brethren, nor my servants, nor the men of the guard which followed me, none of us put off our clothes, saving that every one put them off for washing” (verses 17-23). The people were willing to do whatever was required to get the job done.

Nehemiah had the same colorful, lively, driven and passionate personality as Lord Fisher. Read Nehemiah 13. That chapter, more than any other, showcases Nehemiah’s zeal. Nehemiah was excited by keeping the law and righteously indignant at the breaking of it. We need our young people to build this same passion for righteousness.

Cloaked with Zeal

Isaiah 59:15-17 say, “Yea, truth faileth; and he that departeth from evil maketh himself a prey: and the Lord saw it, and it displeased him that there was no judgment. And he saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor: … and he put on the garments of vengeance for clothing, and was clad with zeal as a cloke.” Christ wraps Himself in zeal and passion!

“According to their deeds, accordingly he will repay, fury to his adversaries, recompence to his enemies; to the islands he will repay recompence. So shall they fear the name of the Lord from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him” (verses 18-19). We need more of that zeal and passion—the zeal of the Eternal.

God is stirring us to build the zeal of the Eternal. Ask God for more passion, and He will give it to you. Passion will inspire action and help you surmount obstacles and become a more effective tool for God. You can inspire passion in other people and build a more passionate Family of God.

SIDEBAR: Points to Pursue Passion

1. Action inspires passion.

Writer Kyle Eschenroeder said, “Our fatal mistake is waiting to be motivated before we take action. Action motivates.” If you know you should do something, then do it! Don’t wait to feel inspired. Action and passion are tied in a virtuous cycle.

Joel 2:12 says, “Therefore also now, saith the Lord, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning.” Weak prayers are not effective, but fervent, effectual prayers “avail much” (James 5:16). Ask God for the right kind of passion and for the zeal that you need, and He will give it to you.

2. Think through what really makes you passionate.

In his book Talk Like Ted, Carmine Gallo writes that a presentation has to be emotional, novel and memorable. Passion is the driving force behind the emotion of a message. “Passion is the thing that will help you create the highest expression of your talent. … Passion leads to mastery and your presentation is nothing without it, but keep in mind that what fires you up might not be the obvious.” What is your ultimate goal? What do you want to accomplish? You have to dig to find what excites you.

3. Get passionate about what God is passionate about.

This is the most important point. God’s thoughts are higher than our thoughts, and we have to rise to His standard. Tap into God’s passion.

The Prophet Micah had a clear vision of the nuclear devastation to come upon Israel. Micah 1:8 says, “Therefore I will wail and howl, I will go stripped and naked: I will make a wailing like the dragons, and mourning as the owls.”

Mr. Flurry writes in Micah: God’s People Rise Up as His Enemy: “Micah reacted with extreme emotion to this prophecy in his time …. This verse illustrates the kind of extreme dedication we need to have in supporting God’s warning message. We don’t make the attention-getting howls of the jackals and shrieks of the ostriches, but we do let these expressions help build in us the very extreme dedication we must have for God’s Work! … Micah’s intense emotion was a product of God’s Holy Spirit. He was full of the Spirit (Micah 3:8). He was urgent like God. Our goal must be to have God’s emotions—God’s urgency!”

Isaiah 62:1 says, “For Zion’s sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth.” Isaiah was eager to do anything possible to proclaim God’s message. The Church’s literature is packed with quotes about the need for passion like the Father and Son have. It should be our number-one passion to declare the message of the God Family.