First, an addition to your virtual library: I would like to recommend for you a source site I’ve used often — A Christian Thinktank. The author, Glenn Miller, is a computer guy like me, and also has a good education in Bible and theology, a little different from mine. Instead of setting up some kind of systematic teaching, his site is dedicated to answering peculiar questions arising from Westerners reading Scripture. He does a good job of pointing out some of the false assumptions Westerners bring to Scripture and contrasts them with what we can discern of the assumptions of folks in the Bible.
As always, follow your heart, but give some consideration to what sensible experts have to say. I find Miller pretty sensible.
Second, I wanted to raise an awareness issue: passion. What differentiates a musician with a life-time following of fans from a musician who is simply popular for a while? It’s passion. The former brings the music to life, while the latter merely performs. With genuine passion, a musician can scarcely stay off stage, no matter how they feel physically or whether it pays. It’s not the adoration of fans so much as it is the call of the music itself.
This is what we mean by a sense of conviction and calling. The heart-led way is passion of that sort. It calls to you when you are just about ready to die, telling you that the mission is never finished. You should drop in the midst of that passion.
So perhaps you can discern that my single greatest passion on this blog is Scripture. I learned long ago that preaching about what folks ought to do was far less effective and less powerful than simply exposing the Word of God to them. It’s not the precise wording, but the moral intent of the message in its own context that moves the hearts of people. If there’s one thing I would love to do, it would be to stand before any sized audience and teach the Word. And I’d much rather do that live than in writing. I’d do it for free. If it cost me something, I’d still be willing to pay for the chance to share the truth, but it only works when it involves an audience with folks who actually want to know the Word. In moments like that, Christ walks among us again.
This is something that calls to me day and night; I’d do it with my last ounce of physical energy. It drives me to very end of human existence. And yet I don’t get to do it much, haven’t taught more than a handful of people at any time in the last 15 years. Yet it’s behind everything I do, everything folks will allow me to do for them. Maybe God will open the doors for that some day…
Identify your own passion. Yours can never be precisely the same as someone else’s. When we are still learning these things, we emulate models to pull us forward into commitment. Eventually we come to the place where we cast our own shadows for others. But we don’t glory in that; we nurture and shepherd them, eager to see them step into the light. There can never be enough folks manifesting divine glory, because there’s always folks we can’t reach for ourselves.
Pray for passion.