Restoring Your Spiritual Passion

About the Author: Gordon MacDonald

Gordon MacDonald has been a pastor and author for over forty years For many years he pastored Grace Chapel in Lexington, Massacusetts and continues to serve as Pastor Emertius He has also provided leadership to influential ministries such as Intervarsity Christian Fellowship, which he served as President for three years, and World Relief, which he currently serves as Chairman Gordon s best sell

[Epub] ↠ Restoring Your Spiritual Passion Author Gordon MacDonald –
  • Hardcover
  • 223 pages
  • Restoring Your Spiritual Passion
  • Gordon MacDonald
  • English
  • 06 June 2019
  • 9780840790699

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10 thoughts on “Restoring Your Spiritual Passion

  1. Andy Hickman says:

    GORDON MACDONALD, RESTORING YOUR SPIRITUAL PASSION Quotes John Wesley, Though I am always in haste, I am never in a hurry because I never undertake work than I can go through with calmness of spirit P 35Seven Conditions That Threaten Spiritual Passion Passion Threatening Conditions 1 The Drained ConditionAny person who is heavily involved with people in highly stressful encounters of problem solving, conflict, or sales will understand what it means to be drained pp 39 40 You can t do work of a spiritual nature without energy going out of you p 432 The Dried Out ConditionIf the one who is drained has reached the state by exhausting resources, one who is dried out has reached that state by not taking anything into the inner chambers of life for quite some time The two conditions are often closely associated pp 47 48Those with natural talents, like musicians, are quite vulnerable here They can mistake the applause of the admiring crowds for God s blessing Thinking that their ability to raise the emotions of people in an artistic setting is the same as being a tool in the hand of God, they begin to abandon any sense of need for spiritual passion or energy and move ahead on their own instincts More often, what power they appear to have is sheer theatrics, not spiritual passion Often the system seems to work for a long time, and then disaster p 48W E Sangster describes the realities in this world when he concludes that he is spiritually dried out I am a minister of God, and yet my private life is a failure in these ways.a I am irritable and easily put out.b I am impatient with my wife and children.c I am deceitful in that I often express private annoyance when a caller is announced and simulate pleasure when I actually greet them.d From an examination of my heart, I conclude that most of my study has been crudely ambitious that I wanted degrees than knowledge and praise rather than equipment for service.e Even in my preaching I fear that I am often wondering what the people think of me, than what they think about my Lord and His word.f I have long felt in a vague way, that something was hindering the effectiveness of my ministry and I must conclude that the something is my failure in living the truly Christian life.g I am driven in pain to conclude that the girl who has lived as a maid in my house for than three years has not felt drawn to the Christian life because of me.h I find slight envies in my heart at the greater success of other young ministers I seem to match myself with them in thought and am vaguely jealous when they attract notice than I do pp 49 503 The Distorted ConditionSpiritual passion is constantly under attack by the distortions of truth that pervade our times We pass through a world in which there are, I am told, than two thousand persuasion messages pressed at us each day They come to us, for example, in advertising, direct human encounters, signs all about us STOP HERE NO FOOD OR DRINK ALLOWED KEEP OFF GRASS , and endorsements by impressive people pp 52 53 William Blake s poem with emphasis This life s dim windows of the soulDistort the heavens from pole to poleAnd lead you to believe a lieWhen you see with, not through, the eye p 55 4 The Devastated ConditionThe devastated condition is the fatigue that originates with people and events vigorously opposed to what one stands for pp 595 The Disillusioned ConditionSpiritual passion can also be neutralized in disillusionment the deflation of great dreams P 62The moments of dream deflation leave large marks upon the soul It would not take me long to list most of the occasions when I thought I had had given birth to a great idea only to have it torn apart by those who were interested in status quo, or proper procedures, or politics, or their own positions of security or recognition Of course there were not a few moments when my dreams were just plain ridiculous, and someone had to tell me so P 636 The Defeated ConditionThere is a weariness that comes from total personal defeat Perhaps this is the most common of all the varieties of weariness Who does not know the taste of failure One suddenly feels utterly impotent, unable to live up to the set standards of faith Or promises or commitments have been made, but then broken Or disciplines and goals have been enthusiastically determined, and then abandoned pp 647 The Disheartened ConditionAnother good word might be intimidated We fall into the intimidated, or disheartened, condition when we begin to gain a view of people, events, or institutions that causes them to appear to be far powerful than the God of our faith p 66 Some folk bring joy wherever they go others bring joy when they go p 71Five Kinds of People that Affect Spiritual Passion1 The Very Resourceful People They Ignite Our PassionWilliam Wilberforce writes These wise men never endeavored to mold our uninformed opinions into any particular mold Indeed it was needless for them to preach to us Their lives spoke far plainly and convincingly than any words We saw their patience, cheerfulness, generosity, wisdom and activity daily before us, and we knew and felt that all this was only a natural expression of hears given to the service of God Lean, God s Politician, p 100 This is a brilliant description of VRP s and their effect upon those around them pp 73 762 The Very Important People They Share Our PassionVIP s, the very important people who share our passion p 76What a blessing an inestimable blessing is it to have a faithful friend Satan is ready enough to point out whatever good we have but it is only a faithful friend that will screen that from your sight, and show you your deficiencies Our great apostasy seems to consist primarily in making a god of self and he is the most valuable friend who will draw us from self seeking self pleasing and self dependence, and help us to restore to God the authority we have robbed him of Carus, Memories of the Life of Rev Charles Simeon, p 32 pp 76 773 The Very Trainable People They Catch Our PassionThird kind of person catches our passion p 78And although VTP s tax our strength, we are usually glad to cooperate because we sense the possibilities in them p 78Paul is urging on Timothy when he wrote What you have heard from me VRP before many witnesses entrust to faithful men VTP who will be able to teach others also VTP 2 Timothy 2 2 RSV p 794 The Very Nice People They Enjoy Our PassionThey do not add to our passion nor do they seriously diminish it They simply enjoy it Being around people who exude spiritual energy can be a pleasurable experience if one professes Christianity p 81Jesus never turned His back upon the VNP s in His world He saw them as sheep without a shepherd, and he treated them with dignity and possibility That s important to note, for from the midst of the VNP s there came certain folk who eventually became VTP s there came certain folk who eventually became VTP s each of the twelve was probably a VNP at first and perhaps even later VIP s p 81It is startling to realize that in church life most of our heavy expenditures are for the very nice people VNP s fill the pews, the parking lots, and the classrooms and sop up the milk We build and expand all too often for the convenience of the VNP s p 825 The Very Draining People They Sap Our PassionThe good news is that this serving often pays off, and those who were draining actually become useful and trainable Then again, one can conceivably be a VDP to one person but not to another For example, Paul considered John Mark a VDP who could not be trusted for a second missionary journey, but fortunately, Barnabas saw John Mark s potential for a VTP or VIP and didn t agree with Paul s assessment p 86First, VDP s will be drawn like mosquitoes to blood to any healthy group of people, and they will remain until they become self sustaining or until they are pushed away Second, a healthy cluster of people will lose its vitality its group passion mysteriously and unpredictably because there are simply too many VDP s to sustain p 87Friendly fire comes in the form of several poisoned spirits1 The Competitive SpiritEither they can become our partners, our confidence builders, or they become our competitors The former help build our spiritual passion the latter, when we see them as competitors, drain it p 962 The Critical SpiritWhen tired or unguarded, I found it easy to find a flaw in every person in my world I found something to carp about in reading of every magazine or in the watching of or listening to a Christian presentation on television or radio pp 100 1013 The Vain SpiritA third poisoned spirit that destroys spiritual passion makes its presences known when we harbor an insatiable need to impress people in order to have them prefer or like us p 102The we strive to live off the applause of others, the less we will hunger for the passion that causes us to seek the approval of the heavenly Father The great theologian James Denny once wrote, No man can bear witness to Christ and to himself at the same time No man can give the impression that he is clever and that Christ is mighty to save P 1034 The Adversarial SpiritOur spiritual passion will also be affected by how we handle adversarial relationships, I m thinking of our critics those who are friendly and those who are unfriendly And I m thinking of those who have opposed or failed us and toward whom we feel vengeful p 103Two Inner Battles That War against Spiritual Passion1 The Battle of AmbitionAmbition is the urge to get ahead, to establish oneself powerfully and securely p 108Ambition is a difficult spiritual enemy to pin down It covers itself in devious ways It can sneak in through vocabulary such as the Lord has led me or I have this vision for or the door has been opened to Ambition can cloak itself in one s burdens for or concern toward It can hide behind the effort to expel or unseat rivals because they hold divergent theologies But ambition is most dangerous when it settles into the cracks of the heart and tempts a person to weigh every situation in terms of the possibilities of advancing into positions where there is fame or reward A close parallel exists between raw personal ambition and the spiritually passionate desire to advance the kingdom of Christ Sometimes it is difficult at first to tell the difference between the two p 109We pray that the honor of God will be seen in our efforts, yet we are all too conscious that the approval of the crowd is at least of equal importance p 1112 The Battle of PrideAkin to ambition is pride, the inability to handle success Our Christian world includes men and women in both the pastoral and lay sectors who started into leadership not through the energy of ambition but by sincere commitment to God s purposes But something happened along the way Their success became intoxicating p 113Four Kinds of Safe Places that Restore Spiritual Passion1 The SanctuaryIt became possible to create an imaginary sanctuary in his private world There in the desert he could walk right into a specially designed sanctuary that offered the possibility of personal restoration So I have looked upon thee in the sanctuary, beholding thy power and glory Because thy steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise thee Ps 63 2 3 RSV p 141In this sanctuary David not only perceived the greatness of the majesty and power of God, but he was also refreshed with the reassurance of the steadfast love of the Lord p 1422 The Night Room As I like in bed, I remember you all night long I think of you, because you have always been my help Ps 63 6,7 TEV p 1433 The Protective WingsSafe places in the air above the danger, in well placed nests away from the danger, and close to protective parents wings covered or lifted from the danger As David brooded upon safe places, the wings of a bird came to mind pp 145 146 In the shadow of thy wings, I sing for joy Ps 63 7 RSV p 146 He will cover you with his wings you will be safe in his care his faithfulness will protect and defend you Ps 91 4 TEV p 1474 The Strong HandsConfidence is a state of mind and heart that permits a person to act with assurance that yesterday s defeat or failure will turn into tomorrow s victory Real confidence is not merely a psychic energy created on a base of unfounded hopes It is a sense of new source of power from beyond ourselves a power, a passion if you please, which has proved itself before and which is available to us as Christians in unlimited amounts p 148A defenseless child walking beside his or her father, held by a strong hand This is the picture of one who assumes that his strength is an extension of the father s power The connection of the hands makes the difference between confidence and fear My soul clings to thee, David wrote, thy right hand upholds me Ps 63 8 RSV p 148 I will uphold you with my victorious right hand Isaiah 41 10 RSV p 151In their desperate desire to get the church into the marketplace, some have though it wise to combine the safe place of corporate worship with utilitarian areas for secular activities When necessary, this is acceptable But it is not ideal.It is highly beneficial, although not essential, to have quiet places where the secrets of the Father are shared p 153Seven Principles of Still Times that Restore Spiritual Passion1 The Role Model PrincipleGod has taught us the special principles of still time in a number of ways He taught it by modeling it in His own self revelation There is still time inferred at the conclusion of each of the days of creation And God said refers to the work God gave Himself to do And God saw refers to the still moments at the end of the work in which God stamped value and closure on what he had done And God saw that it was good Gen 18 18 RSV p 160 1612 The Rhythm PrincipleThis remarkable rhythm in the work of God ought not to be taken lightly p 1613 The Rest PrincipleI am convinced additionally that the Sabbath was a necessary discipline protecting against what we would later call workaholism, the tendency to use time flagrantly in the building of one s fortune at the expense of a balanced and spiritually oriented life p 1654 The Remembrance PrincipleWhat were the components of the legal Sabbath that God taught to Israel First, remember In the Hebrew world it was a dynamic action when one remembered The effort was that of attempting to fully experience a previous event as if it were happening all over again p 1665 The Renunciation PrincipleWhen Moses first set forth the Sabbath concept as part of the law, an important component of what he was saying had to do with the concept of renunciation, the renunciation of work not because work is a bad thing, but because if it is not contained, it gets out of control and captures the affections of the worker, causing work to lose its meaning and leaving no time for worship or rest Moses was telling the people that a good thing must be renounced because a better thing must take precedence for a short while p 1676 The Refreshment Principle And God rested and refresh himself is the literal wording of verse 17 p 1677 The Recurrence PrincipleI am also convinced that Sabbath, the recollection of the spirit, is than just a day in our time It is a recurring event throughout each of our days p 169Fran ois F nelon wrote You must learn to make good use of chance moments, when waiting for someone, when going from place to place, or when in society where to be a good listener is all that is required at such times it is easy to lift the heart to God, and thereby gain fresh strength for further duties The less time one has the carefully it should be managed If you wait for free, convenient seasons in which to fulfill real duties, you run the risk of waiting forever especially in such a life as yours No, make use of chance moments F nelon, Spiritual Letters to Women, p 16 p 170Six Special Friend Teammates That Help You Maintain Spiritual Passion1 The SponsorThe sponsor, of course, is another name for mentor or disciple p 180The sponsor is that Very Resourceful Person the VRP who ushers us into opportunity and possibility p 1802 The AffirmerThe affirmer takes up where the sponsor leaves off The affirmer takes note of what we are doing and what we are becoming and attaches value to it p 1843 The RebukerRebuke and criticism are two different things, the former a valued gift, the latter somewhat cheaper But I have been taught even to seize the truth in a criticism that may have been leveled for reasons other than for building me up There is a kernel of truth in every criticism, I am told Dawson Trotman used to say to his friends Look for it, and when you find it, rejoice in its value p 1924 The IntercessorIntercessors are those who have accepted the responsibility for holding me up to God in prayer p 1955 The PartnerThe restoration and maintenance of spiritual passion frequently depends upon the process of partnership with one or who share the load In fact, I am not sure that most of us can ever reach the full extent of our energies if we are not in partnership with someone else p 198A close friend told me that one draft horse can move two tons of weight But two draft horses in harness, working together, can move twenty three tons of weight That probably is not far from properly illustrating how men and women can work together in a common objective pp 198 1996 The PastorThis is the tender person, the person who comes alongside in the moment of exhaustion The pastor and I m not necessarily talking about ordained ministers it is the one who helps make sense out of life when all has become so confusing P 202Powerful Truths That Put the Christian Life in Perspective1 Intimacy Makes it Possible to Hear God s WishesA proactive listening seeking the wishes of the one to whom they had devoted themselves pp 211 212Only in safe places and during still times will one hear the wishes of God or of anyone else, for that matter God s wishes are not shouted often they are hidden behind the commands Anyone can hear the commandments of God unless he chooses not to But it takes a sensitive ear to hear the wishes of God, and that only comes as I ve said in safe places at still times p 2122 The Choice to Act Is Often Taken at Great RiskThe passion generated from a listening mode to an action mode Convictions generated from a genuine encounter with the living God create the passion to act and the strength to carry out the action p 214

  2. Wallace says:

    This is the first Gordon MacDonald book I ve read, but it won t be the last The analytical aspects of the work and thesis were valuable and insightful, if on occasions slightly contrived IMHO It is doctrinally light , but meets the intent of its author The most helpful part of the whole book lies in 3 paragraphs in the final chapter, and I quote, I have taken a lot of pages to say a simple thing, something I m afraid has often gotten buried beneath a host of religious procedures and processes We have over complicated our God and His ways of coming to us We have organized Him, strategized Him, and compartmentalized Him We have reduced His ways of working with us to cute little formulas, and we have stood off in our own corners critical of others who seek His face in ways that differ from our own temperaments or styles of perception But it is clear that God longs to restore a spiritual passion within us Few rules lead to this restoration, and they appear to disarmingly simple I for one am tired of those who have claimed otherwise For the man or woman at the edge of a Jordan, wearied by too many choices and burdened with too many obligations, there is a simple formula safe places, still times, and special friends I read the Highland Books version and there are too many errata for my liking

  3. Tim Mccracken says:

    when I was in college, during a hard time, I picked up a book in a rundown cornerstone for a 1 dollar I started reading it on the way to go camping, and finished it before I got back It was a very encouraging and challenging read.

  4. Tim Chavel says:

    Gordon MacDonald is an excellent author His illustrations are so good He explains in this book how to restorte your passion for serving the Lord His words are very motivating I highly recommend this book

  5. Cyndi Beane-Henry says:

    This is a fabulous book for anyone who needs to restore that spiritual passion you had when you were first saved The author explains how we sometimes get so used to hearing the same sermons that we tend to lose our passion, and we begin to forget just how marvelous our salvation is Through reasons for losing our passion, who we are spending our time or work with, through our every day busy ness, we tend to let things in our spirit get pushed back into the background The author goes on and leads us through ways to regain that passion and feeling and want to get out to tell others the Good News This book has really brought me back to my own spiritual passion and my desire to teach and reach others I think every Christian should read this We all go through this type of slump in life, even the most devout The trick is to see that s what is happening, and to begin our journey back to it as soon as possible I highly recommend this book