“Rejoice in the Lord always: and again, I say, Rejoice.” Philippians 4:4 KJV
It is not uncommon for motivational speakers to use the phrase, “we live in exciting times” or something to that effect. Indeed, we do. A life without excitement is a dull life, flat and uninteresting and can be a grind. In most of our endeavours, we all need that flutter in our bellies to kickstart us, to get the juice flowing. But we need to be careful and not confuse excitement with passion, they are two different things.
Earlier in the year, we talked about Reflecting, Refuelling and Re-firing (but not retiring), remember? Nothing is ever sustained on excitement; there are no exceptions. Except you understand this, you are setting yourself up for some rude shock. You must learn to move from excitement to passion. Excitement is based on emotion and emotions are fickle. They don’t last, they are like pyrotechnics, although they generate heat, you cannot power your house, or cook your food with them. They are meant to attract, but not designed to retain or sustain. Excitement like all emotions burn the fuel, without paying cognisance to the cost.
“Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2 KJV
If we are to last, endure and produce, we must learn to convert excitement to passion. Unlike excitement, passion is a slow burner and gradually builds up. It provides the fuel that keeps things going even when there is no obvious physical reason why it should. Things that last require passion. Unlike excitement, passion is based on sound reasoning, internal convictions, and self-persuasion based on spiritual realities. It is not fickle or discouraged because it has set its eyes on the goal. Excitement produces happiness or vice versa. Joy produces Passion (the converse is also true).
“Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof: and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.” Ecclesiastes 7:8 KJV
At the beginning of most worthwhile endeavours, virtually everyone is excited, full of energy and ideas, rearing to go. The children of Israel were all excited on the night of Passover, they had seen the plagues and miracles, the Red Sea opened up before them, they were looking forward to the Promised Land. In a short space of time, they became discouraged. They made a golden bullock and wanted to return to Egypt. What went wrong? They mistook excitement for passion, they could not convert their excitement to passion. Hebrews 12:2, says Christ endured the cross to reach the Joy (Resurrection). He was not excited about the pain and shame of the cross. In fact, nobody in their right mind would be but there was something He was passionate about; to see you and I delivered from darkness and He was not going to give up.
Paul wrote the epistles to the Philippians, Ephesians and Colossians from the prison. He was encouraging those outside, not to be discouraged (what an oxymoron). He was passionate about the gospel; he was trying to help them move from Excitement to Passion
As we move into November, the end of the year should not be the end of your dreams. Twelve Captains went to spy the promised land, ten were excited and their excitement of course didn’t last (Numbers 13,14). Two (Joshua and Caleb) converted their excitement to passion and time could not discourage them. As individuals and a Tribe, we have a lot to thank God for. We are grateful, God has set the JOY (Isaiah Chapter 60) before us, we were born out of prophecy. Our story is already written in the heavenly places but we need to bring the heavenlies down. With the help of the Holy Spirit, we are converting excitement to passion.
Revd Dr. ‘Femi Bosun Idowu
Lead Pastor, NCCStrongNation