If we were able to bring every person into a born again spiritual birth, the work of the Ecclesia wouldn’t be finished. Of course, evangels and people with a strong passion for winning souls tend to see this as the first or exclusive passion. Yet, this isn’t the premier or primary passion of Jesus but an extension and application of that primary and premier passion. His passion certainly embraces this in every possible way, and the Cross certainly testifies to His passion for bringing spiritual life to dead people. Yet, His Cross has another primary and premier passion out of which this passion emanates.
The primary and premier passion of Jesus is to get Father what He wants. He does this through kingdom. People are born anew in order to enter that kingdom so the kingdom of God can be established and function in the earth, representing Heaven on earth. This is no way diminishes His desire for people to be born anew, but people being born results from primary and premier passion.
We more easily miss the primary and premier passion when we remove kingdom from Ecclesia. We tend to think that kingdom will be a distraction from winning souls in some way when just the opposite is true. We tend to think we need to build the church when don’t. In fact, we tend to think just the opposite of what Jesus was thinking when He went to the Cross. We tend think: If we build the church, God will take care of the kingdom.
The opposite is true and gives us great insight into the primary and premier passion of Jesus: If we establish the kingdom, Jesus will take care of the church.
You see the passion of Jesus isn’t the passion of Jesus; it is the passion of the Father. The passion of the Father is for His purposes, and Jesus has a primary and premier passion to get the Father what He wants. It the will of God that people be born again, so Jesus has great passion for winning souls. It is the will of God that people be born again, however, as a means to a greater goal: the fullness of spirit that produces the fulfillment of personal purpose.
The power of the Cross, the Life of the Resurrection, the Authority of the Ascension, and the present and continuing Restoration of All guarantees that you can be everything Jesus created you to be so you can do everything Jesus called you to do.
When we reprioritize our passion, we tend to redefine our purpose. Only when we have the passion of the Father do we have “the heart” to pursue and produce His purposes. The passion of Jesus didn’t take Him to the Cross: the passion of the Father took Him to the Cross.
The deepest issue I see in modern christianism is a lack of passion. And, we tend to think of church as a place and institution where someone else can create passion in us, motivate us to be part of a community or some such redefinition of kingdom and Ecclesia. We end up with an aboriginal definition of kingdom and Ecclesia on this account.
When church produces passion, that passion is usually personal passion: “I like this place because…” When church produces passion, that passion is usually about passion for the place: “This place has got it going on…” When church produces passion that passion is usually about passion for people: “This place is where I encounter my besties…” That’s nice, but it is actually the biggest obstacle we presently have to fulfilling our assignment!
Consider the words of Jesus to the Ecclesia in Ephesus: “I have this against you: you have abandoned your primary and premier passion.” Consider that Jesus says He will remove their candlestick because of this condition. Consider that Jesus is speaking this with fire in His eyes, the prophetic expression of the Father’s passion in Jesus. He is saying in no uncertain terms that He doesn’t want a people who have abandoned His primary and premier passion to represent Him in the earth. “I will remove your candlestick.”
Jesus goes on to say that the Ephesians should do the things they were doing at the first, at the time Apostle Paul was in Ephesus and the Word of the Lord gained momentum through prevailing supernatural power to dominate that arena of spirit. During that three years of apostolic establishing, Ephesus was learning to live the culture of the kingdom, Paul was training leaders to do kingdom ministry, God was doing extraordinary miracles through Paul, and believers were cleansing their lives of the witchcraft culture of Ephesus in very public ways.
Intimacy and Passion
Now, I like to lie on the floor in the Glory as much as anyone, and this is a valid and life-changing experience. However, I have observed many people lying around on the floor during worship who were not experiencing anything more than their own emotions, emoting in the Glory, drinking in the good feeling that Father loves them. Again, an extremely valid experience like slow dancing with God. But, the process should produce something more than emotional processing, more than Glory therapy sessions that become a good time to set up the next scheduled session, more than kingdom clubbing thrills mistaking manifestations for a sort of Disney magic.
Intimacy with the Father will produce passion for living more than passion for lying about. Intimacy with Father will produce a transfer of Father’s passion adn a burning, consuming desire for what Father’s wants.
Now, I fully intend to have floor time myself! However, if your “intimacy” is always about emoting your eternal victimization and never about emerging so transformed by purpose that you live in the passion of the Father, your intimacy is dysfunctional. Bringing the Father your brokenness should produce wholeness. When it doesn’t, you simply lack maturity in your spiritual and personal life or you are improperly joined with the Body of Christ in some way.
Why do I say that? You are using Intimacy to get what you want, and falling into the prevaling pit of personal entitlement that is robbbing the modern American church of its original design and intention. Because you are using your intimacy with the primary and premier passion of getting Father to hear about yourself, your history, your life, and your present condition: in other words, your intimacy may be more an expression of your own passion than an experience of His passion. You lack “the heart of God” even while you are experiencing “the heart of the Father.”
I have watched people dominated by the spirit of the world and their own passion for some particular pursuit press into intimacy with this motivation: “If I get close enough, He will really listen and understand my heart. Finally! Someone will get me what I passionately want.” When that doesn’t happen they pout. When that doesn’t happen, they think God needs to do a better job of being God.
No! If you press close to God in intimacy, your passion will be consumed by His passion, your purpose will be consumed by His purpose, your priorities will be reset by His priorities, and you will experience a true “seek primarily the rule of God and His righteousness” as a basis for the other things being added unto you.
Consider how motivated you are to pray when you are desperately in need of money, healing, rescue, and comfort. Then, consider how this passion for stuff and need in your life is really the primary and premier passion of your heart. Then, consider how this plays into Jesus’ teaching on prayer: “Men should always pray and not lose heart.”
Passion as Consuming Fire
When the passion of the Father burns in your heart, His passionate love and desire will consume whatever else is in your heart! The passion of God will reset your passion. You will recognize this by the reset of your own passion, purpose, priorities, principles, and protocols. Changed behavior results immediately from a changed heart.
Consider how the declaration of Messiah fits here: “I delight to do Your will, O God.” Consider that Jesus, Who certainly could have done anything He wanted, only did what He saw His Father doing. Consider that Jesus, Who certainly could have said anything He wanted, only said what He heard His Father say.
Consider the baptism of Holy Spirit and fire that Jesus brings. An unquenchable fire that never goes out will consume whatever remains on the grain that is contrary to its primary purpose.
The eyes of Jesus are burning with passionate desire, that He focuses that passionate desire upon the objects of His passion to purify them for purpose. When observes anything that stand between someone and the fulfillment of personal or kingdom purpose, that fire consumes whatever we surrender to that fire. God’s passionate love is a line of fire that separates. God’s passionate love is a ring of fire that encircles. God’s passionate love is a consuming fire that purifies.
Beware the tendency that this world system embeds within you that surrendering yourself completely to anything or anybody will destroy you and your identity. The reality is that only through that surrender to God’s fire will you avoid destruction that is already working against you! The reality is that only in the fullest surrender to God’s fire will you ever be properly introduced to yourself through a transformational redemptive process.
As well, beware the tendency of this world’s religious system to embed with you the misconception that surrendering yourself at the heart level will destroy your ability to capture the genius of religion. This is just another “shape yourself in its mold” or “be shaped into its mold” distraction from the transformational redemptive process. There is no mold! But there is a model, and the model is the “you” Jesus created you to be.
That is, the consuming fire relentlessly separates, surrounds, and consumes whatever is foreign to Father’s purpose for your life. When the passion of the Father for His purposes invades your life, or to be extent His passion invades your life through surrender, His passion purifies you of motivations and intentions that are inconsistent with His purpose.
From the early 1800’s a movement reacting to Awakening arose to remove radical passion from the Ecclesia in favor of “getting your thinking right.” This was, in part, an overreaction to Roman Catholicism considered the Antichrist and False Prophet, the Whore of Babylon of that season. This was a denominational and territorial protectionism and isolationism from Awakening because of fear that church would be define by the kingdom resets of sweeping revival.
From this systematic, a way of explaining away “how the apostles did church” became acceptable, then mainstream in ways that allowed for a new norm to be established. Books flooded the market and “experts” prepared the feebleminded with commentary that “explained away” the entire “what you did at the first” that Jesus was asking the Ephesians to repent and return to. “No more apostles and prophets” became the “accepted consensus” of churchanity, and miracles were aberrations, signs and wonders were all the work of the devil tricking people who otherwise would base their faith upon doctrinal statements instead of experiencing God’s power and Presence.
The resulting spiritual atmosphere became fertile for the primary and premier passion of institutionalized religion, the very thing that motivated them to overreact to Roman Catholicism. They merely substituted their own systematic for the antichrist they said they hated.
By the 1900’s, this systematic was mainstreamed through spurious sources of commentary, like Scofield, a man most of these churches wouldn’t allow to be a member, who put into a Bible conclusions about dispensationalism that played well to the modern American mind. The theme was popularized as a way of justifying the lack of power and authority the apostles and prophets represented in the earth for millions of American believers.
Cessationism and dispensationalism removes kingdom from Ecclesia, redefines the Ecclesia to avoid the original design and intention of Jesus by simply saying that Jesus doesn’t work that way anymore because He gave the Ecclesia apostles and prophets to write the Bible. Once that was finished – and it is finished – these functions of leadership were no longer needed. Therefore, the absence of miracles, signs and wonders, apostolic and prophetic functions, even the gifts of the Spirit that operated in every believer when apostles and prophets were around, ceased, stopped, halted – poof! No more of that stuff, praise God, because we have the Bible.
The primary and premier passion of the Father, burning in Jesus, expressed through His Ecclesia would be to become experts in doctrinal statements and systems, systems that tore out the Gospels and the Old Testament to make them “history worth hearing about but not experiences to be expected,” and made the writings of Paul, after Acts, the final norms of Christianism. The only road is the Roman road and the definition of success isn’t “get Father what He wants,” but to worship the Word until Jesus comes back and does all the stuff that only He can do now that we no longer have any apostles and prophets to establish kingdom.
Revivals Reset Priorities
Immediately a move of God arrives, priorities change! As much as church leaders try to fit every revival into their own systematic and subculture of christianism, God just keeps on doing in every generation exactly what He was doing when the apostles and prophets were functioning, “doing what you did at the first” becomes the kingdom reset, and primary and premier passion begins to burn with the passion of the Father again!
Often, the reset releases the norms of the kingdom in ways that amaze the modern mind, and people fall into exaggeration and excess in the discovery of lost spiritual realities. When Glory and kingdom manifests, moderns often fall in love with the wrong things, the things removed from kingdom culture capture their attention. They tend to overreact toward the release of what was supposed to have ceased, and get carried away with these things because they appear novel and new to them. They tend to exhaust their passion in the pursuit of manifestations and demonstrations for their own sake, proving something with miracles, signs and wonders, and functions of the apostolic and prophetic that needs no proof.
What is really happening is a kingdom reset of God’s priorities, and what is restored arrives to flesh out the emaciated skeleton of cessationist christianism, to normalize the Ecclesia Jesus builds with His original design.
When the revival reset comes, the reset of passion must properly focus upon what the Father wants. That is, passion must focus upon purpose. People must burn with Father’s passion for Father’s purposes until the what-God-wants priorities of the kingdom and His righteousness consume all over pursuits.
There is not “how is revival going to grow my church” or “how will the move of God launch me into celebrated ministry” or “now God’s power will get me what I’ve always wanted” in primary and premier passion. Nothing of that. If that happens, there will still be none of that in a person whose primary and premier passion is the passion of the Father. The more success occurs, the more distractions and substitutes for the what-God-wants will arise to syphon off passion.
Take note of what you invest your emotional energy into – follow your heart and you will discover what you value, your treasure. Passion will always produce priorities; when priorities produce passion, you are working backwards because you are starting with what is important and investing emotional energy in the wrong things. When you start with passion, and that passion if Father’s passion, your primary and premier passion will produce His priorities. You will seek first God’s kingdom and His righteousness instead of seeking after stuff that non-kingdom people make priorities for their passion.