Summary: Seeking a passion for God in our everyday life.

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Dare to Pursue

“Pursuing Passion”

September 17, 2006

Introduction: Passion is an interesting topic for a Sunday morning. One of the reasons it is so interesting is that we sometimes aren’t really sure how to define it. Right now on your listening guide, write down a two or three word definition of passion. While you do that, let me tell you about one of my passions.

One of my passions is the University of Tennessee. Man, last night was an incredible night. It is one of the highlight games of the football season when Florida goes into Knoxville to play the Vols. But I love UT football. I have a bunch of little things in my office that have been given to me by people over the years as gifts.

** Show UT stuff. Have Smokey play Rocky Top.

Tennessee football is great. I love it. Now other people are passionate about other teams. Some of you in here actually like Florida. Shane is all about LSU. I mean, people are passionate about all kinds of things.

Some people here are passionate about cars. They aren’t really crazy about just any car, it has to be a certain type car.

Show picture of Dave Vealey’s GTO.

Some people here are really into their animals.

Show picture of Mary Vealey’s Llama’s

Show picture of Lee Libardoni’s puppies.

Really quick, write down on your listening guide what you are passionate about.

Now, have you ever thought, “There must be more to life than this?”

I mean as much as I love Tennessee football, there has to be a bigger purpose and a bigger plan for my life. There has to be something that I can be passionate about that has more value and more significance than football.

Now, let me give you a definition of passion.

Passion is defined as a powerful emotion.

That is only one definition, and we are going to look at some others aspects of it, but in our common everyday view of life we see passion as a powerful emotion evoking either a pleasurable or painful response.

Passion is what causes us to yell at the TV during a game. It is what causes us to sacrifice what could be our own time to care for an animal. It is what consumes a lot of life and energy.

What if we could take our passion and turn it toward our relationship with God? I don’t mean just emotion or some experience, but what if we redefined passion to fit what God has in mind in for our relationship with him?

A God-view definition of passion is a continual pursuing.

For the sake of our conversation today, what if we defined passion as our continual pursuing of God in order to help us understand the deeper spiritual life God has called us to live?

Today we want to look at a scripture passage that helps us to see passion for God lived out in the life of David.

“O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you, my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water.” Psalm 63:1 (NIV)

David is writing this psalm literally in the Judean wilderness. He is there when he is running at one of two times in his life. It is either when he is a relatively young man who is escaping the tyrant King Saul who is trying to kill him; or it is when he is an older man who has been king and is escaping form his son Absalom who is trying to kill him. Either way, David is in a barren wilderness trying to stay alive.

It is at this point that David realizes that his only source of nourishment or comfort is not going to come form some temporary supply of food or water. It is at this point in his life that David is realizing that what his soul needs is to connect with God.

David is longing for God because he knows there has to be more in his life than just surviving. David is at a point where he just desperately needs to know that God is still God.

Circumstances help us to put life in its proper context.

There are times when the essentials in life overpower the things that I am passionate about. I have never taken my child to an emergency room and been concerned about Tennessee football. The wilderness places have a way of re-focusing our passions.

Let me give you a couple of quick facts about this passage that may help you get what David is really saying.

1) David uses the proper name for God.

This is not just some cry of, “If there is a god would you please answer me?” David calls God, by two names actually, Elohim which signifies the bigness and the totality of God. And he uses the term Yahweh which means LORD. David is calling out to the specific God of the Hebrews.

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