Some people came to the altar at your church last Sunday to give their lives to Jesus. While it was happening, as the worship team was singing "Moving Forward", and the spirit of God was just blowing into the place, you ignored it all for a moment and turned to your friend next to you and said, "Wanna go to Panera after church today or Chili's?"
Keith Ablow, one of America's leading psychiatrists says, "it's hard to maintain passion in an arena of familiarity."
Some of you reading this have amazing things that you are used to...
Things like people coming to Jesus in your church. Did you know some churches didn't have anybody come to Christ ALL YEAR LONG LAST YEAR...MAYBE IN THE LAST TEN YEARS?! That's a tragedy in itself, of the worst kind.
Some of you have an amazing worship leader and worship team at your church. They pray, fast, practice, and prepare. They are in tune with God and flow in the spirit in an amazing way. They are servants who lead you right into His presence each and every week. Yet it's really no big deal to you anymore because you experience it all the time. It's just the presence of God and you've felt it and experienced it countless times. If you walk in late, who cares? If you text while it's going on, who cares? If you leave early, who cares? The same worship leader and team will be here next week. The same presence of God that you felt last week will come down in your church again next week. When you're ready to give it your attention if that occurs at some point, you'll check in.
Some of you have an amazing pastor who invests in your life personally. You actually talk to this pastor. Wait, don't think that's so odd. Some people would like to talk to their pastor but they can't, because a team of bodyguards is in the way. The armor bearers will swoop down and see to it that they cannot touch their pastor with a ten foot pole. These people can't call their pastor either. Unlisted number. They can e-mail their pastor although it will not be their pastor who responds. They will get a reply from the assistant or maybe even the assistant to their assistant, or in some cases where they are really anointed you will get an e-mail from the executive assistant to the assistant's assistant, or their e-mail assimilation pastor or somebody like that. You really don't care about any of that because you would never choose a pastor or church like that in the first place, and second, Pastor ____________________ is always there when you call. (Fill in the blank with any number of the thousands of pastors out there who are doing an amazing job and investing in people's lives as spiritual fathers and mothers...)
Some of you have an amazing spouse. You forgot they were amazing. This is because you've been living with them for so many years, waking up beside them everyday. When you married your husband he had a full head of hair, and drove a hot car. Today his hairline is receding, and he drives a mini-van or SUV because you have three kids and need to cart them and all their stuff around town. When you married your wife she could still shop in the juniors section of the department store and she didn't even know what cellulite was nor did she care. Today your wife is a member at Weight Watchers and is trying desperately to get back in shape after having your three kids. Your marriage has lulled into such a rhythm that you don't really feel butterflies when they walk into a room anymore and you don't think anybody else would feel them either. You are so used to your spouse, it's hard to feel the same passion you once did especially since you are paying the bills together and raising kids together and all of that other hard work. But here's the truth...plenty of people would love an opportunity to be with your spouse if given the chance. Life always looks rosy with somebody you aren't doing a bunch of hard work with. If you don't guard your relationship and treasure it, they might unfortunately have that chance to do it with someone else.
Familiarity with things can lead to a lack of passion, and ultimately to a life of ungratefulness, thanklessness and at times......tragedy.
Let's be careful out there! Careful to feed the passion.
What you feed grows and what you starve dies.