My name is Janelle Keith and I’m addicted to coffee. I live in Oklahoma with two cats (don’t judge), and my loving husband, Terry. I have a big story of losing 132 lbs. and am wholly devoted to Jesus, my Savior instead of my sweet savior of chocolate. God uses my passion for writing, speaking life and encouragement, plus positive eating habits as He punches through your heart barriers. We are all under His grace and drawn in by His giant love of each one of us. You can connect with me more here: http://www.thejanellekeith.com.
“If the size of the vision and dream you have for your life isn’t intimidating to you, there’s a good chance it’s insulting to God.” ~ Steven Furtick.
We’ve discussed the “ins” and “outs” of purpose and passion, and the merging of the two ideas. In addition, the above quote by Steven Furtick confirms there is a connection between the two. But FIRST, before you discover what your passion truly is, there’s a question to consider. This process is important yet intuitive.
One day my husband asked me, “If not you, then who?” This essential question spurred my mind and I had avoided it for years. We know hindsight is better than foresight. But where does insight fall into your dreams? It’s time to know what your passion is. If it seems you’re uncertain about what your purpose/passion/calling, it’s okay! Discovery isn’t revolutionary but rather evolutionary.
I want you to sit tight for a few questions. Go ahead and grab your pencil and pad. You will want to write them down:
There are many dreamers out here in the world. Moreover, history records numerous examples of inventors who have both accomplished and failed. What you need to know about your dream is it will cost you. Like any athlete, it’s essential to count the costs before you start training for a race.
Had I known the cost would I have changed my dream? Would I go back and redo? Yeah, but overall, I’m glad my dreams didn’t happen immediately. Even though it has been challenging and costly, I’ve learned patience in this process. In addition, I needed to learn patience. Learning appreciation helped me find the strength to sustain my journey. It’s also a slow process which results in a devoted discipline which morphs into a passionate lifestyle.
Grammar usage is one hurdle towards my purpose. Even though I won the 3th-grade spelling championship in my little private school, good grammar didn’t stick! Here’s a funny moment, once, on live radio I announced, “Ratt Medman” instead of Matt Redman, a well-known Christian worship artist. (I mix up words to twist them naturally.) Fortunately, there were only 20 people listening at the time, but you get the picture. Those twisted words come back to haunt my passion and make me think I’m one fry short of a Happy Meal. Therefore, most times I don’t feel qualified to do what I do. That’s why you need the one essential question to run this race towards your purpose!
Do you think you are unqualified? This is where I interject you need faith to fulfill the purpose and passions God put inside your heart. There was a season in my past where I argued with God about what I wanted to do. I finally submitted to the Lord. I admitted I didn’t have what it takes to start and I asked Him to show me.
Where did God start? With my “why”. This is THE essential you NEED to fuel your race! It drives you to choose between what you want now for what you want later. This race is costly. Your “why” will butt heads your will. This essential is intuitive. Your “why” helps you over the hurdles and excuses that block your purpose.
The essential question driving every purpose begs the “why” question. Once you know it, you either feed it or let it die. So here goes with my purpose in life:
My mission statement: Compassionately communicate freedom in Christ with relevant truth to equip, empower, and engage the body of Christ.
Ephesians 4:1-2 connects to my passion to the calling I have received. “As a prisoner of the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle. Be patient, bearing with one another in love.” This process involves running with patience to withstand the long-term pursuit of purpose in life. You gain momentum in purpose when it’s something you are impassioned over.
How do you do something big then? You start small. You only need the faith to start and then take the next step. Then another step. Then another.
“Start doing what’s necessary, then what’s possible, then suddenly you are doing the impossible.” St. Francis of Assisi
The calling I received is irrevocable and it drives me to do the hard work in the middle of the night, write the 13th chapter, or follow-through on the hours upon hours of self-editing. I will do this with excellence. Not because I have what it takes, but moreover, I’m willing to do what it takes. God has brought me to a place of willingness to tell His glory story through me.
I am passionate about telling a good story.
Did I know what all this would involve? Was I qualified in the beginning? I answer “NO” to these questions but I had the faith to start small.
So what story does God want to tell through your life? Is the story you are living now worth telling? Believe me, I know this is scary, intimidating, there’s all kinds of reasons and excuses reverberating through your brain right now. I regret I didn’t start this earlier. Instead, I listened to the voice of fear and submitted to it. I caved to man’s opinion and shook myself silly with disapproval.
In addition, I thought too small about God.
Did you get that? I thought too small about God in what looked impossible to me. Now go back up and read the Steven Furtick quote again and then you decide for yourself. Will you choose discipline or regret? It’s your choice, so choose well! So ask, obey, wait, and watch God work.
What are your dreams or purpose and what are you doing about it?
How Passion Unites Purpose and Joy
On the blog, we’ve been discussing purpose, passion, and calling. It wasn’t until I took a weekend class at my church, did I discover my Chazown. It was in class, where I put an end to my life’s “purpose” confusion and God laid His plan upon my heart. I then took action to set in motion a plan that helped me stay disciplined.
Chazown (pronounced know-ZONE) is a Hebrew word that means dream or vision. Discovering your dreams and the vision for your life will help unpack your passion.
Let’s look at passion. My health nut friend, Tina, is passionate about making healthy choices. She recently gave a cooking demonstration of some Vegan recipes. I attended the class expectant for new ways to make skinny sauces, but what happened was something deeper that moved me to action. God did a deep stirring in my passion once again and gave me a new, fresh zeal. If you haven’t noticed or are new here, I’m passionate about writing, blogging, and sharing what I learn.
Passion is important
I have a friend at church who says, “I could never do what you do.” Shocked, I responded with, “You mean not everyone exposes their heart, and then freely shares as if my life is an open book?” She simply looked at me like I was an alien. Passion helps you do the hard work of discipline. Passion unified with purpose brings peace. My husband said, (about writing full-time), “You won’t find peace until you do it.” I asked my pastor (who writes books too) for any encouragement he had for someone who was wanting to get into writing. He said, “Don’t start!” He was joking at the time, but do I understand what he meant.
Guess, which advice I acted on? My choice is to daily feed my discipline to do this in the quiet moments of my life.
The problem I see in a lot of Americans today are many go to a 9 to 5 job; a job which only pays the bills. Once I was in a place that left me discouraged and unfulfilled. I learned how to feed my passion in the off hours, or weekend when I wasn’t punching the time clock.
Passion is what pushes the athlete to run one more lap, to crunch through one more set of reps. It silences those screaming thigh and stomach muscles. It makes them do what their owner demands of them, no matter how loudly they complain. Passion is what keeps a piano player anchored to the practice bench; it’s what inspires the eager young employee to outperform expectations…when no one is looking!
It’s the “want-to” of discipline that keeps you going in the right direction. And guarding passion is one of your most important jobs. Because if you don’t feed your passion, it fades, dispels, and dies. Distraction can come against your resistance to tempt and discourage you. It will chip away at your zeal and chisel down your faith to a whimper. It will make you want to give up.
Believe me, I know.
Last fall I suffered a loss of zeal. So I asked God to relight the fires He once started. Passion can dull your cutting edge. If you are feeling utterly discouraged right now, frustrated and disappointed then you might be in a season where you need to ask God for help to find your passion, stir it deeply and reset your desire. Then ask God to send someone to encourage you.
Protection for passion is important because the Enemy is a full-time accuser and loves to sit in your opportunities and speak discouragement to you. Satan is keenly aware of the power of God in your potential. The Enemy loves to condemn you for spending time convincing you that you’re selfish for investing time by honing your craft. He also loves to steal your zeal. Once discouraged you will soon be on a speedway that gets you to a dead-end purpose.
God didn’t intend for his children to be miserable, just exist or miss the joy in this life. He wants us to experience a full life! He put dreams and visions inside of our lives for His pleasure and to give Him glory through your passion. Accept the gift of passion, dreams, and visions. God put them inside of you for specific reasons! You must realize there will be some people you do not understand your intelligence, your gifting nor accept your anointing. Not everyone will appreciate your ministry, nor glean from your gift, or understand you. You don’t need appreciation, understanding, significance or gifts for your acceptance in life.
These facts do not negate your purpose.
God has put a spark of passion in you. When you walk in your greatness, use your intellect and use your God-gifts you are walking with passion! It’s okay that your passion looks different than the next person. God doesn’t compare His children so neither should we. God created you like you are for a purpose with a passion, now you be you!
It’s been an exciting adventure to talk about purpose and how to follow God in this leap of faith. In my previous posts, I admitted to being weak with fear. I’m not the bravest soul. None the less, I dared to take a step outside of my comfortable radio bubble. I believe God stretches us to a place of faith to look to Him for each step.
There are a lot of things that can get in the way, however. Emily Freeman listed some problems regarding a “stuck” feeling towards your purpose. Check these four ideas to see if you find yourself in one of them:
These “same-isms” prevent you from creating or moving in your purpose. We are image bearers of God Himself, who has planned a fruitful life for each of us. Your purpose is so special and unique that it has a path all it’s own. And it’s God’s design that sets you ablaze with passion. The good news is there are God-given talents inside of you! And God has prepared things for you!
Romans 11:29 states, “For God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable.” The New Living Translation refers to God’s gifts as something that can never be “withdrawn.” The word irrevocable means permanent. A constant, changeless, or predetermined, predisposed, even inevitable, or irreversible, and final. So there you have it! God wasn’t kidding when He put His purpose, gifts, and abilities inside of you. You can believe the gifts are from God because He is the One who put them there.
Once you commit to Him, then all He desires is our simple devotion. That’s where each purpose looks different but as the Lord directs He will make your purpose known to you too! God has plans to prosper and grow us; to bear His fruit in our lives so that we can replicate His nature as He originally intended. A lot of this work is done in the secret places of our soul and heart.
Therefore, I encourage you to seek God in your purpose. Proverbs 16:9 “In their hearts, humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps.” The New Living Translation says the Lord “determines”; as in sets our course directs our path, and establishes the way for us. We must have faith because God sees the big picture of our lives. He sees the entire course, including all the hurdles, obstacles, and distractions. And He loves us so much he doesn’t leave us alone to figure it all out ourselves. He helps us every step of the way, even strengthens and lengthens our days, and empowers each of us.
The Holy Spirit works in us to bring about even “greater works” than Christ did. God talks about purpose in Ephesians 2:10 “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
And finally, God is the rewarder of faith. He sees everything and takes such delight in you. Remember when it gets challenging…and it will…God sees you! He’s cheering for you in the hard times and in the failures. In my experience, when you go all in and surrender unto His purpose, then He set’s ablaze the passion and marries purpose to passion.
Instead of a map, God offers His hand – Emily Freeman. Tell me how you have married your purpose to passion?