Dena Johnson Martin Christian Blog and Commentary

Stir a Passion in My Heart

The words flowed smoothly from my daughter’s phone and through the Bluetooth on the car:

Stir a passion in my heart, God
Let it overflow, Let it overflow

Cassie mentioned how much she loved this song and how much it has come to mean to her. As the words wafted through the air, I felt them penetrating my heart and my mind.

Jesus, You are where it all begins,
Your beauty calls me deeper in

Yes, the words were exactly what my weary and exhausted heart needed. They were the words that echoed my heart’s longing, my heart’s desire for this new year. I so long to have God stir a passion deep within my heart, to make my heart so filled with Him, with a desire for Him, that it overflows in every word, in every breath, in every moment of my life.

And in that moment as we drove to church listening to the soothing melody with the words echoing the cry of my heart, I knew the theme of my life for this new year.

Lord, stir a passion in my heart and let it overflow

The last few years have been an incredible mixture of pain and redemption, loss and gain. We have seen God’s hand in our circumstances, wrapped ourselves in His redemption. We have reveled in the beauty of promises fulfilled. We have watched our children wrestle with their faith—sometimes winning the battle and sometimes losing it. We have worked to understand God’s goodness in spite of the loss of parents and relationships and so much more. It has been a roller coaster of a journey, but one we have walked through together, in the newness of a relationship that could only be created by our Father.

But in the midst of it all, it is so easy to become distracted by the busyness of this life, to let the cares of this world pull our hearts and minds away from a steadfast focus on the Savior. It’s easy to get so caught up in the everyday busyness of this life that we lose our first love.

It is all too easy to let this world steal the passion in our hearts.

The past few months, God has been working on my heart. I’ve heard Him call me to a renewed passion, a renewed focus on Him. Sometimes it is a daunting task in the midst of a full-time job, completing a Masters degree, walking my children through the last years of high school and life in our home, and enjoying the beautiful marriage God has given me.

But He whispers my name, calling me back to a deeper walk with Him.

And as the words to this poignant song ring through my ears, it has become my cry. Here I sit, crying out to the Savior, the One who calls me back to Himself…

Father, I need you. I need you to stir a passion in my heart, to renew your Spirit deep within me. I need you to remove my heart of stone and replace it with a heart of flesh. I need you to renew my weary and worn heart and give me the energy and passion I once had, to help me return to my first love.

You know me. You know every square inch of my heart. I don’t want to withhold anything from you. I want you to have free reign, to search every part of my heart and reveal anything that would block me from knowing you better. I don’t want anything to come between you and me.

I need you. You are my everything, even if I don’t always act like it. The cares of this life are often so heavy, so burdensome, that I lose sight of you, of your goodness and grace. I certainly don’t mean to let this world come between us, but I know the many “good” activities in our lives often become the enemy of what is best. The busyness of this life constantly fights for my time and attention, distracting me from you.

I know I am where you want me, slowly but consistently plugging along this journey you laid out for me before time began. I know the days of completing my degree are near. I know when it is complete, I will have the blessing of having persevered. I will have the knowledge I need to move forward in the call you have on my life. Give me the strength to keep going. Give me the renewal I need to complete the task. Give me the passion as I continue this journey.

But Lord, there is so much more than just a degree at stake. Even more importantly is my passion for you, my passion for using the journey you have taken me on to help point the world back to you. There are days I want to just give up, to wave the white flag of surrender and settle into an easy and mediocre life. But you have given me so much! I don’t want to waste any of this journey, any of what you have poured into me. I want to be faithful to share the story of your faithfulness until my dying breath! Give me the passion I need to keep moving forward, to persevere on this journey. I don’t know the final picture, but I know the vision you have given me. Help me to keep it clearly in view as I cling tightly to you.

Father, renew me. You promise your yoke is easy and your burden is light. You promise those who wait on you will have their strength renewed, will mount up on wings like eagles, to run and not grow weary. I need to see that strength, that energy. I need to see the refreshing that comes from basking in your presence.

Clear my heart and schedule enough to have time to be still and know you are God. Lord, this world clamors for our attention. There is so little time to be still, to be silent. Show me how to carve out the time to enjoy your presence, to listen for your voice. I know it is you that is the renewal my heart seeks.

I don’t know what 2020 holds for me, but I know you hold 2020 in your hands. You hold me safely in your hands. Hear my plea. Know my heart longs to have a passion that overflows. Let 2020 be the year of passion.

Stir a passion in my heart, God, and let it overflow.

This is our heart’s desire.

*Words by Josh Gauton, Nick Herbert, Anna Hellebronth, Willie Weeks