There is a thin line between these two words—Passion and Ambition. Ambition is a personal strong drive to achieve something, often for self-fulfillment and self-glory. Passion, on the other hand, is also a strong drive to achieve, but the difference is that passion is not usually focused on self. Often, the object of your passion can take you over so much that you care less about yourself. In fact, for a person to be said to be PASSIONATE about something, it means that thing means more to them than anything else in the world, including themselves.

What Does This Have to Do with a Christian or a Preacher?

The Gospel has been around for many centuries, and 2000 years later, the world is still awed by the person of one man—Jesus Christ, who was born in the lowest of ways. There is no way the world could or will recover from the impact of that show of passion to finish his Father’s work, expressed in the greatest Love ever shown! Regardless of how “woke” the world becomes, the show of Love expressed in Christ remains unmatched and will continue to be the greatest Love as no greater Love than this exists—that a man will lay down his life for his friends. As John 15:13 (NIV) says, “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”

Passion was expressed in that Love! One thing, though, that was not expressed in that Love/work/sacrifice is Ambition. Christ showed no ounce of ambition in his 3.5 years on earth. These are not the words of an ambitious man: “I can of myself do nothing” (John 5:30, NIV), “the works that I do, it is my father who does the work” (John 14:10, NIV). “My kingdom is not of this world” (John 18:36).

But his Passion was unmistakable: “The zeal of his Father’s house hath eaten him up” (John 2:17, KJV), “I have meat to eat that ye know not of, my meat is to do the works of Him that sent me and to finish his work” (John 4:32-34, KJV). All of these say one thing: he was PASSIONATE about representing his father and fulfilling his Father’s cause more than he was about achieving a personal ambition.

Passion Over Ambition

There is no ambition that will be rewarded. Since it is for self-glory, it is not built upon the example of Christ, which is Passion. Christ, our example, was not ambitious. As it is written, “But emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men” (Philippians 2:7, ESV).

Ambition is a show of self. Passion is a show of Christ. A ministry that is not drawing people closer to Christ, a ministry that is not showcasing Christ and lifting him up in the minds of the people, is an ambition. It is totally IMPOSSIBLE that a Man and Christ can be glorified at the same time. God is not glorifying a living man. Even our Lord was not glorified until he died. He essentially was glorified by his death: “And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself” (John 12:32, NIV). And Peter glorified God by his death: “This he said to show by what kind of death he was to glorify God” (John 21:19, ESV). Only dead men can glorify God because God is glorified through the death of the flesh!

If you are still looking for likes and acknowledgment (not acceptance because Paul asked for prayers that his ministration be acceptable to the saints), but if the central goal of ALL your ministerial or service work is not to Glorify Jesus Christ—so that his cause on earth should flourish—if it is anything short of that, if the motive is to become something, to achieve the status of so and so person, Brothers! Make a U-turn, you are on an ambitious voyage that will not be rewarded!

Ministers Should Be Passionate

Ministers should be absolutely PASSIONATE individuals who bear the burden of Jesus Christ upon their hearts and want nothing more than that his kingdom be birthed in the hearts of the people so badly they can’t help but talk about it. IF a venture into ministry is done based on anything short of this, it is sacrilegious! If it is ventured into for financial gratification or to become part of an elite or belong to a class, that is profaning divine things and nicolaitanism!
We are nothing, every one of us. We have individually received grace (unmerited choice) from the Lord, and that grace is to achieve one singular goal—Build a kingdom for Christ, not for ourselves.

The Danger of Shifting from Passion to Ambition

It is possible that an initial passion can become overshadowed by ambition. In fact, that is
exactly what the human mind is prone to become. Demas was an example. He was no doubt passionate at the beginning, sticking with Paul as a co-worker as mentioned in Philemon 24 (KJV) and Colossians 4:14 (KJV). But we quickly see how his seeming love was clouded by his ambitious love for the world: “For Demas, in love with this present world, has deserted me” (2 Timothy 4:10, ESV). Do not for one second think Demas went into fornication or some low down lifestyle (WMB said so—”The Present Stage of My Ministry, Para 55); his focus only shifted. Christ wasn’t the object of his service anymore, even though he might yet be a preacher, he now has self-actualization and other self-gratification ambitions as a goal. No, he is not saying that to everyone, but what motivates him shows that clearly. You may study Balaam the prophet, a gifted prophet, he can teach us one or two things about how ambitious men end.

Ambition is dead! Passion is alive! Passion is fire; it lights up others! Ambition is water; it
quenches others and lords itself over them! It achieves nothing genuine. You cannot light a fire with no fire.

I have read about some of the major revivals through which God witnessed to this world of his certainty. From the Welsh revival to Azusa Street to William Branham, none of them has ever been sparked by an ambitious individual who has said, “I just wanted to be able to speak to millions of people” or “be the center of attraction for thousands of people,” or “I just wanted to be able to travel the world,” or any such things! One thing I have found common with them all is: they wanted to see Christ reborn and glorified in the hearts of men. They wanted it so badly that it took sleep from their eyes in some cases.

Check yourselves watchman, check yourself brother, sister and friend, and ask if your attention may have shifted within rather than above. Check if your personal interest is overriding the singular objective of “Go tell the world about ME” (Mark 16:15, NIV), not “YOURSELF.”
Always Check!

He that lifts himself up, regardless of how subtle, may draw men to the church, but never to Christ!