Here are 4 signs that often mean God is saying, “It’s time to pursue your passion.”
1. If You Have Been Given a Godly Passion That You Would Do Even If You Didn’t Have to, This Is a Good Sign God Is Saying It’s Time to Pursue that Passion
An obligation is something you have to do. A passion is something you would do even if didn’t have to. An obligation is something that demands for you to take action. A passion is a desire that causes you to demand yourself to take action. Obligations put pressure on us from the outside. Passions put pressure on us from the inside. Both will drive you to take action, but a passion is pursued because your heart can’t not pursue it.
There are different types of passions too. There are hobby passions, like playing a sport, creating art, or reading a book. But then there are godly passions that are focused on loving God and loving people. Sometimes these two passions can intersect in life and you can find ways to express your godly passion through your hobby passion. But overall, I’m talking about godly passions in this article.
A godly passion comes from the Lord himself. As 2 Corinthians 8:16 states, “But thanks be to God, who put into the heart of Titus the same earnest care I have for you.” Or as 1 Corinthians 9:16 states, “For if I preach the gospel, that gives me no ground for boasting. For necessity is laid upon me. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!”
A godly passion creates an inner necessity for you to follow this passion because God himself has laid this burden on your heart.
2. If You Are Ready to Do What You Have to Do So You Can Also Do What You Want to Do, This Is a Good Sign God Is Telling You It’s Time to Pursue Your Passion
I had a friend years ago who was really involved at his church and wanted to be a pastor there. This church wanted to hire him as a pastor too, but they were at a phase in their journey where their staff needed to wear multiple hats. So if they hired my friend, they also wanted him to lead the youth ministry in addition to some other adult ministries. He was passionate about these adult ministries but he really did not want to be involved in youth ministry, so he declined their offer.
A year or so went by where he kept working at his other job and volunteering at the church. Eventually his experience at his current job was getting so bad and his longing to work at the church was getting so strong, he decided he was now willing to also lead the youth ministry if he was able to also lead those adult ministries.
My point in sharing this story is that most times in life we aren’t going to be able to just do the few things we really want to do. Most times in life there will be other things we have to do that will enable us to pursue our passions.
I absolutely love writing articles, making videos, and writing books, but for years I had to work a full-time job as I worked on AGW stuff on the side. I have a family to take care so I couldn’t just quit my job and only do what I wanted to. But if I never did both for a while, AGW would never have grown enough for me to go fulltime with it. It’s all by God’s grace but his grace empowers us to do what we have to do in order for us to do what we want to do.
I don’t think making tents was Paul’s passion. But sometimes he did this because it provided him the means to follow his passion to preach. Acts 18:3-4 states, “And he went to see them, and because he was of the same trade he stayed with them and worked, for they were tentmakers by trade. And he reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath, and tried to persuade Jews and Greeks.”
You may not want to go back to school, but you might have to in order to follow your passion. You might not want to work under an expert for a while, but you might have to in order to learn the skills you need to learn to be the owner of the company one day. You might not want to work a full-time job while you do ministry on the side, but you might have to until your ministry becomes stable enough for you to go full-time there.
You may be waiting for a time where you can just do the one passion that you want. But in all likelihood, that time will never come unless you do the other practical things you have to do that will enable you to do the thing you want to do.
3. If God Is Bringing You Out of a Wilderness Experience that Needed to Happen Before You Could Pursue Your Passion, This Is a Good Sign It’s Now Time to Pursue It
Before Jesus began his public ministry on earth, the Holy Spirit led him into the wilderness for 40 days where he was tempted by the devil (Luke 4:1-2). Unlike the Israelites who gave into temptation during their 40 years of wandering in the wilderness, Jesus was tempted and was without sin (Hebrews 4:14-16). Jesus accomplishes the perfection that we are unable to accomplish, and through the gospel God transfers the perfections of Christ onto us by grace and through faith (Ephesians 2:8-9, Romans 8:3-4).
In addition to Jesus being our righteousness, he is also our example to follow (1 Peter 2:21). Just as God put Jesus through a season in the wilderness to prepare him for his coming public ministry (Hebrews 5:8), so too will God put us through seasons in the wilderness to prepare us to fulfill the godly passions the Lord has called us to accomplish.
As Ephesians 2:10 explains, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”
4. If a Need Has Arisen that You Can Fulfill Through Your Godly Passion Even Though the Timing Isn’t Perfect, This Is a Good Sign God Is Telling You to Pursue This Passion
One major difference between a hobby and a calling is that a hobby is something you enjoy even if it doesn’t benefit other people. One difference between a job and calling is that a job can be something that does benefit other people even if you don’t enjoy it. But a calling is something that you enjoy and it is something that will benefit other people. Your calling will be found when your gifting and a need in the world intersect.
The timing is rarely perfect. Notice how this played out in the life of Jesus at the wedding in Cana. John 2:3-5 states:
When the wine ran out, the mother of Jesus said to him, ‘They have no wine.’ And Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, what does this have to do with me? My hour has not yet come.’ His mother said to the servants, ‘Do whatever he tells you.’”
A need was present and Jesus had the power to solve that need. The timing, however, was not perfect. In kindness, God grants us grace to deal with the imperfections this complicated life presents us with. Jesus chose to perform this miracle even though it wasn’t the perfect time, and John 2:11 then says, “This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory. And his disciples believed in him.” There was no turning back now. Jesus’ public ministry started under imperfect timing.
Likewise, if you have a passion and a skill that is being required because a need is arising in the lives of others, this is usually a sign God is releasing you to pursue this godly passion even if the timing isn’t ideal.