Passion only in Obedience

So, the past month has definitely been a time of learning and frustration – mostly frustration, but I am assuming there must have been some learning in there as well. I have been realizing (again) the simple fact that I simply do not really control my life. What I’m getting at here is desire/passion/vision/excitement. What are we without interests? passions? ambitions? Without exciting aspirations, life seems really pointless.

Ok, maybe I’m being a little overdramatic, but let’s retrace the events. Life has been full of joy and excitement since I decided to stop trying to run my own life. This was how I knew that God cared, was involved, and wanted the best for me. This sort of feeling had been a constant.

A month ago though, I seemingly lost most of my desires and excitement for many things. The things that I would instantly become exited about were of no interest to me. I was not enjoying being around people. I was not optimistic about the day. I wasn’t excited to meet up with people. I wasn’t excited to talk about God and his goodness. I didn’t care to meet with people, listen to them, or share truth. I had unallocated time where I didn’t want to do anything.

As I noticed my free time increasing and my reluctance to do the things that normally excite me, I began to get frustrated. I was frustrated because I was feeling that God was pulling away from me. I was feeling that my life had significant purpose and value and was now abandoned.

I was frustrated and quite angry with myself. Why would God pull away? I had to resolve this frustration with an answer in line with the nature of God. As I read through Judges and Samuel (in the Bible), I began to understand that God pulls away from the ones he loves so that his people will return to him. He passes judgment on our disobedience so that we remember our dependence on him and his goodness. He reprimands for our good.

So, where have I been disobedient? Where am I ignoring God’s direction? Where in my life am I driving something between our relationship?

It didn’t take long for me to determine my error. This realization came about the time of the Marine Corps Marathon. For some time now, God has prodded me to live out my convictions. I say I stand for integrity; I consistently talk about being ‘real’; I imagine myself to be one who is strong to do what is right and best rather than follow selfish desires. But, I find myself lacking significantly.

For quite a long time I have fostered a dating-type relationship with a girl in my life. I have known the entire time that I should not be involved in any sort of romantic relationship with her, but I neglected this rational for many good reasons (at least as I see it). I knew that my actions (and lack of action) was going to lead to hurting both of us because I knew that ultimately we could not pursue a dating relationship. But, my selfish desire for attention, romance, excitement, companionship along with my arrogance prevented me from make the right decision long ago.

Nonetheless, this life frustration was telling me very plainly that I have not been obedient to God’s consistent reminders and that he (and I) was getting tired of waiting around for me. So, I decided that I needed to take action, but what?

I brought this up with the guys in The God Lab and I just talked and talked. Somehow that seems to draw out resolution. The more I talked about where things have been, where things are, and why I see this relationship as I problem, it became evident that I needed to simply follow the direct teaching of Jesus.

Matthew 5:29-30

If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.

Jesus very plainly states that we are rid ourselves of those aspects of our life that cause us to sin. This relationship was plainly an aspect of my life that brought many other evils (which is for another discussion). So, I felt it only appropriate to completely end the relationship. Sounds harsh – and it is – but I had tried the “just bring friends” thing more than once before, only to find myself back in the place I wanted to avoid.

Letting go is hard. Sacrifice is what? Sacrifice: giving up something of value for something of greater value. Of course, she is amazing in many regards and very valuable to me, but priorities exist for a reason. Is my relationship with God more important than any other relationship – no matter how great? Yes, it is. It has to be. I know that a good relationship with God will only bring about good relationships with others. It just seems that there should be some way to resolve this conflict without letting go completely. But, God requires obedience in faith. I trust completely that I am in obedience to God’s direction. If I am, then I know that only good can result from this and I wait in excited anticipation of the future.

I also have to trust this is best for her. I know that I have brought hurt and confusion into her life and I trust that these complications will go with me gone. For some reason, it’s not too hard for me to trust God with my life, but I do have a hard time trusting God with the lives of others. It isn’t easy for me to trust that God is going to take care of her without me around. But God is good and desires good for all. I really have no control over life situations in my own life – much less in her life.

I pray that my actions and mistakes through life do not hurt others.� What do I care about pain and/or suffering of myself for my actions? But God, please do not allow others to hurt because of my many faults.� I accept the consequences for my actions. I trust that you will sustain me through those consequences and restore me – only because you redeem for no good reason.

So, as I wait for life events to move and seek to see God’s hand in coincidences I realize that God gives and takes away my passions and desires. He can fill me with excitement or bring me into a depression. He has a purpose and knows what is best at this time to bring me into his will. I don’t control anything, I can only response to his promptings.

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Jason Lund

2 thoughts on “Passion only in Obedience”

  1. What was wrong with dating her? Dating is no sin, as long as you weren’t sexually involved. But then again, every situation is different. If she was getting too attached to you and you knew the relationship had no future, maybe that was why God didn’t want you dating her. I am about to resume dating after a ‘vacation’ of almost 7 years so I’m a bit concerned myself about what I should and shouldn’t do.

    Just curious, that’s all…

  2. The issue here was very simply the fact that fostering a romantic relationship with this girl was wrong because the relationship was taking me away from the love of my life – God. Just the same as in a marriage relationship, if any sort of relationship with somebody that negatively impacted me relationship with my wife would be wrong. If I am truly committed to my wife, then I would sever the relationship as an act of love for my wife. So, this is just the same. To demonstrate my love, commitment, and dedication, I must remove those things from my life that keep me from my love.

    Again, it is wrong to hurt others or to bring strife. So, that is creating relationships that involve emotional ties without the proper level of commitment and boundaries. In regards to dating, there is significant direction from God on how to do it. But ultimately, it comes down to loving others as a children of God.

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