The following is derived from chapter 7 of my new book, Discovering Your Destiny.
We may not realize it, but our passions and desires play a key role in the walking out of our destiny. They are a part of our wiring, and can be an indication of our calling.
Jesus displayed some tremendous passion throughout His ministry. He was not simply going through motions out of robotic obedience; He was consumed with His call. Obedience to His Father was utmost, but His whole heart was involved in what He did.
One primary example of this is when He cleared the temple in John chapter two. Jesus was infuriated that His Father’s house was being turned into a marketplace. He became so zealous that He turned over tables and made a whip to drive the people and animals out! The disciples were reminded of a Scripture that explained the passion that Jesus showed: “Then His disciples remembered that it was written, ‘Zeal for Your house has eaten Me up’” (John 2:17).
Jesus was driven by passion for His Father and compassion for people. His heart was fully invested in what He did.
David was certainly a man of great passion. He was a passionate worshipper of God and a passionate warrior for God. It was his zeal for God that prompted his desire to build Him a house to dwell in. Though it would ultimately be his son, Solomon, who would fulfill this desire, it was out of David’s passion that the temple was born (see 2 Samuel 7:1-17).
It was David who penned the often quoted words of Psalm 37:4: “Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.” As you delight yourself in the Lord—pursuing your relationship with Him above all else—you can begin to trust the desires of your heart.
“He shall give you the desires of your heart” can be interpreted in two ways. One way to look at it is that God will grant you the things that you desire. Another way to look at it is that God will place desires in your heart that He wants you to have. I believe that both interpretations have validity to them. But the point is that as we pursue God first and truly delight in Him above all else, our desires become an important clue to discovering our destiny.
Some believers have the mindset that God’s calling for our lives will be in opposition to our desires; that He would never call us to do something that we actually want to do. It is true that selfish ambitions, fleshly desires, and impure motives must be done away with. It is also true that we will have times when we lay down our will to take on the Father’s, like when Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane. But rather than walking in our destiny out of compulsion, I believe that God would have us walk it out from the place of passion.
As we delight ourselves in the Lord, seek first His kingdom, and pursue our relationship with the Father, the desires of our heart come into alignment with His. When our passions are sanctified by the Lord, they become trustworthy indicators that help guide us into areas of our calling. God places desires in our heart for a reason. They are a part of our unique identity and internal wiring.
In chapter four I shared about how God led me into deliverance ministry by speaking to me through dreams and a prophetic word. But another indication of my calling to this area of ministry was my passion to see people walking in freedom. When I encountered God and gave my life to Him at age nineteen, I experienced a powerful release from bondage to sin. Although I knew nothing about deliverance ministry, I became passionate about the topic of freedom and had a strong desire to see others receive the same liberty that I had experienced. This passion is still a driving force in my continuing in the ministry of deliverance, which is not always a fun or easy ministry.
What we are passionate about is a clue for discovering our destiny. But passion is also a key part of sustaining us along the journey. Anybody can get excited about something momentarily, but when difficulties or obstacles come along, many people back down. There will be numerous hurdles that come our way in the pursuit of our purpose and without true passion it will be tempting to give up. But when we are passionate about something, we will persevere and overcome the difficulties and barriers in order to accomplish the things we desire.
Passion is more than a fleeting emotion. It is a compelling force deep inside of us that causes us to do whatever it takes to fulfill the hunger. If what we are passionate about is in line with God’s purposes, our deep desires will sustain us in the process of walking out our purpose. Because the fulfilling of destiny includes bumps, failures, and trials along the way, it is important that we have the passion to keep us going. Passion is the fuel that carries us forward on the path of our destiny.