Is it hard for you to keep passion and drive alive?
If so, you’re normal; it’s sure not easy for me.
Whether it’s working out, a career, a marriage, or your relationship with God, keeping passion alive is tough.
It Doesn’t Come Naturally
I think sometimes because I am in shape and look fit, people think it’s easy for me, as if I’m a unique breed of person that’s just naturally fit and healthy and I don’t have to work hard for it. The same applies for my spiritual life- as if I’m someone who just naturally loves God and flows in the Spirit – Wrong!
Both areas take discipline, protection, perseverance, and LOVE.
But people don’t see the work and sacrifice behind the scenes. It’s an almost constant physical and mental battle; an ongoing effort to proactively make good choices in order to live at my best.
In the past few weeks, I’ve had trouble focusing in my time with God, and my hunger for his Kingdom has dwindled a bit. I still care, I still get excited about seeing him do miracles, but the passionate pursuit is more of a spark than a fire.
Physically, it’s the same. I still go to the gym every morning, but the “get it!” attitude is lacking. I’m there, I enjoy it, I look forward to it, but once I’m there the drive is just a tiny ember.
Because I know that actions often lead to motivation, my actions have not changed. But the heart behind them is just not what I want and have been enjoying for many months.
Set Yourself Up for Success
I just got back from vacation, where I relaxed with food and didn’t work out, and assumed upon returning, I’d be back into the groove. Nope. It’s still an ember…and now I’m just thinking more about relaxing, frozen yogurt and donuts, and wine with a big burger.
So what do you do in these situations? You fight.
You position yourself for success. When I want to walk over to Pinkberry, I blend up some frozen bananas to make my own “ice cream”. When I really wanted to go out for a big, yummy dinner last night with a friend, I suggested we stay at home and watch a movie. I watch other fitness girls on YouTube to remind myself of my goals and spur me on.
If I put myself in front of the temptation, I know I’ll cave and regret it later. So I actively have to pursue the right choices against everything I want.
Stand Strong and Fight
Spiritually I must do the same. I’m reading Revelation right now, which is all about Christians standing and remaining firm through trials – even death – and rejoicing at the end. It is a reminder that we have to fight to remain strong in Christ; it’s not something that we naturally pursue, and falling away is incredibly easy.
Whenever I can, I should choose to worship, watch a sermon, or pray. I’ve been actively fighting the desire to throw on a movie and instead read a book about prayer that stirs up excitement every time I read it.
Growing apathetic and losing motivation is normal; the good news is, we can overcome.
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but…against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
Therefore put on the full armor of God,so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place,15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.
16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.With this in mind, be alert…”
We can expect struggle, temptation, and attack to come against that which we know we’re supposed to walk in. “Stand” is repeated multiple times, because we actively have to chase after passion and work to be strong when it’s hard.
When you’re struggling, actively “protect” yourself so you can stand. Watch, listen to, read, or spend time with influences which spur you on. Even when the passion doesn’t come right away, it sets you up for the right choices. Do the actions until the motivation comes – don’t wait for motivation to find you.
If you’re struggling with healthy eating or working out, I encourage you to use that as a way to make hard choices with discipline, so that the learning can be transferred over into other areas of life (or vice versa).
Walking with God is always going to be a fight, because we have an active enemy trying to take us down. Passion for what he’s created us to do is always going to face hard challenges because Satan doesn’t want us to succeed. Expect it, prepare for it, and put on every piece of armor you can find to fight. Feelings of passion come and go – so keep fighting until the passion returns.