Passions leading to Progress
A Christian’s life should continue to become more Christ-centered every day and it every season; it should also become more mature as time goes on. Goals for this life should become loftier and of higher thought and selflessness. Paul talks about how he became more mature and gave up the childish things in His life for the sake of moving on to more important things (1 Corinthians 13:11). It was a deliberate step to decide to change priorities and rededicate himself to a calling that is worth following.
That’s what a natural progression should look like. John Piper, a theologian at Desiring God, explains it well in a sermon about Holy Ambitions:
“Boys, little boys. I was one of those. So I know this better. We didn’t want to play with dolls. We wanted a ball, a truck and a gun and somebody to play with. I never had a real gun except a pellet rifle. But I shot a lot of bad guys with my Matt Dillon pistol and my Lucas McCain round circle handled rifle that you could twirl around like this. I loved Lucas McCain.
I love playing football and every other kind of sport. I wasn’t good at any of them, but loved to play them and I loved digging roads for trucks. Sonny Paul, my neighbor and I, we had a whole hill we turned into roads with trucks and carried things. And we built roads for them. And it was all very good. I even believe in having kids play with guns. If they kill the right people, that is ok. That is controversial.
And it is good to play with trucks and it is good to play with balls, but then little boys begin to grow up, right? If you are pushing your truck around at age 15 or 16 or 18 — and there are guys who really do this (though they are a little more sophisticated) — then something has gone wrong. But you get a holy ambition and that means that your guns and your trucks and your balls change. You begin to fight for justice and mercy and salvation and you wield a sword of the Spirit and you drive a truck load of love to needy people and you kick Satan’s rear end in the name of Jesus. Little boys need to grow up and get a holy ambition and stop playing games.”
A holy ambition is a passion that God has placed on a Christian’s hearts, to accomplish what is on God’s. Climate change and being a good steward to the world is on God’s heart. Addressing the causes and effects of climate change, and a hurting world, will take all kinds of people; there are no hero professions that can solve it themselves. God created every person with desires and talents, and not one of the ambitions God has placed in Christian’s hearts is worthless. Each person can make if a difference if they choose to. Sometimes all it takes is some creativity to learn about how you can be effective in making an impact.
Every profession, talent, and hobby is different; each one can become a holy ambition. The world’s problems will not be solved with one big step, but a thousand small ones. Of course there are some big steps that must be taken.
Do not let distractions get in the way of pursuing something greater. Christians are called to encourage each other (Hebrews 10:24), pursue good things (Micah 6:8), devote themselves to good work (Titus 3:14), and to not give up in the face of challenges (Galatians 6:9).
Christians, pursuing holy ambitions, can bring about a great change. The world around you will see passion and fervor in the face of obstacles and be challenged to come along and help. With everyday people showing other everyday people that no challenge is too hard to overcome, sweeping changes will not be a far off possibility, but a guaranteed outcome.
To find a holy ambition for some people will take time and prayer. God will open doors and reveal it in time, but it may take research and thoughtfulness, but it will come. In the meantime, Christians can begin to take steps to continue to become more diligent in their daily lives.