One of my biggest challenges as a person who thinks critically about things and ponders things is the love of Christ coming from the heart. It’s crazy. Did you know the word crazy is defined as, “characterized by weakness or feebleness, decrepit, broken, falling to decay, shaky; unsafe” (Webster’s 1913 dictionary – I love that dictionary because Webster used the Bible to define terms and saw his writing of the dictionary as a ministry)? Crazy! Isn’t that you and I? That’s us!!!
Love is a challenge to me because it doesn’t come naturally. Selfishness comes naturally. As Jesus has revealed more of Himself to me and more of His desires I think I understand love more, but it still fails to make logical sense. For example, why would a holy and righteous God (who has absolutely nothing to do with sin) become sin so that I can have a deep, intimate relationship with a holy, righteous God? He imputes righteousness. Love poured out to weak, feeble, decrepit, broken people is absolutely illogical, especially when it’s love from the true source of love, the very essence of love – Jesus Christ. The power and strength of the universe loves the weak! Simply illogical.
However, there’s something in me that connects when I see crazy stuff people do who love Jesus. It’s like they’re obsessed with Him.
Here are some behaviors people have when they are obsessed with Jesus (borrowed from Francis Chan’s book, Crazy Love):
- “A person who is obsessed with Jesus knows that the best thing he can do is be faithful to his Savior in every aspect of his life, continually saying “Thank You!” to God. An obsessed person knows there can never be intimacy if he is always trying to pay God back or work hard enough to be worthy. He revels in his role as child and friend of God.”
I mean really, do you not want more of that – to revel (to feast in a riotous manner) with God? Do you not desire that intimacy?
- “A person who is obsessed is characterized by committed, settled, passionate love for God, above and before every other thing and every other being.”
This is beyond rigid rule and law-keeping! This is love!
- “A person who is obsessed with Jesus knows that the sin of pride is always a battle. Obsessed people know that you can never be ‘humble enough,’ and so they seek to make themselves less known and Christ more known (Matt. 5:16).”
OK, this is sobering! Except where Jesus is exalted – AWESOME!
- “People who are obsessed are raw with God; they do not attempt to mask the ugliness of their sins or their failures. Obsessed people don’t put it on for God; He is their safe place, where they can be at peace.”
Imprisoned and bound by sin and addiction.
So raw, I’m ashamed of what I’ve shared with Him. But He’s BIG ENOUGH.
- “A person who is obsessed with Jesus is more concerned with his or her character than comfort. Obsessed people know that true joy doesn’t depend on circumstances or environment; it is a gift that must be chosen and cultivated, a gift that ultimately comes from God (James 1:2-4).”
Not here yet. Work in progress, waiting on Him.
- “People who are obsessed with Jesus aren’t consumed with their personal safety and comfort above all else. Obsessed people care more about God’s kingdom coming to this earth than their own lives being shielded from pain or distress.”
Really, really, really not here yet. Long way off. Pain hurts.
- “People who are obsessed with Jesus give freely and openly, without censure. Obsessed people love those who hate them and who can never love them back.”
Man, this is getting harder!
- “People who are obsessed with God have an intimate relationship with Him. They are nourished by God’s Word throughout the day because they know that forty minutes on Sunday is not enough to sustain them for a whole week, especially when they will encounter so many distractions and alternative messages.”
- “People who are obsessed with Jesus live lives that connect them with the poor in some way or another. Obsessed people believe that Jesus talked about money and the poor so often because it was really important to Him (I John 2:4-6, Matt. 16:24-26).”
- “Obsessed people are more concerned with obeying God than doing what is expected or fulfilling the status quo. A person who is obsessed with Jesus will do things that don’t always make sense in terms of success or wealth on this earth. As Martin Luther put it, ‘There are two days on my calendar: this day and that day’ (Luke 14:25-35, Matt. 7:13-23; 8:18-22; Rev. 3:1-6).”
- “People who are obsessed with Jesus do not consider service a burden. Obsessed people take joy in loving God by loving His people (Matt. 13:44; John 15:8).”
- “People who are obsessed with God are known as givers, not takers. Obsessed people genuinely think that others matter as much as they do, and they are particularly aware of those who are poor around the world. (James 2:14-26).”
- “A person who is obsessed thinks about heaven frequently. Obsessed people orient their lives around eternity; they are not fixed only on what is here in front of them.”
Bondage snapped by Jesus!
The apostle Paul prays for the Ephesians, “that you may know what is the hope of His calling” (Eph 1:18). I think if we better understood and God more intimately revealed that the hope of His calling is confident expectation in the reality of His effectual (quickening, inward and invincible) call (from AW Pink), we would by His grace and power snap all cords of bondage that binds us, shrug off every weight of sin that ensnares us and run with joy – freely, crazy fast and determinately – toward the very One who saves us (Heb 12:2); a people obsessed with a goal; a people obsessed with a Person; a people obsessed with deep, unfailing, unconditional love. It’s all about Him and He wants you and I to know we have eternal life now! God gave us an entire epistle to tell us that (1 John 5:13). Crazy!