Francis Chan is a frequent speaker at the Passion events and a pastor who serves a church in Southern California. He has an infectious joy in Jesus and is willing to challenge emerging generations to live a no-holds-barred commitment to Jesus.
His new book, Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God (David C. Cook, 2008), calls Christians to gain a true vision of God’s awesome greatness – including the unimaginable largeness of His mercy displayed and communicated in Jesus. Then, he asserts that the normal Christian life is an accurate response to what we have seen of that love. Crazy Love (from God, in grace, forgiveness, hope, etc) calls forth crazy love (from us, in passion, risk, sacrifice, etc).
In Crazy Love, Chan includes what he calls a “Profile of the Obsessed”. I was drawn to this after our recent walking through Paul’s words: “I count all things a loss compared to the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord… one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal of the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 3:8, 13-14) Praying through it is a fascinating, sobering, convicting, encouraging, stirring exercise. (The one on lukewarm faith is even tougher!) Read Francis Chan’s challenge slowly and consider.
People who are obsessed with Jesus are…
+ lovers, who give freely and openly, without censure. Obsessed people love those who hate them and who can never love them back.
+ risk-takers, who 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.
+ friends of all, who live lives that connect them with the poor in some way or another. Obsessed people believe that Jesus talked about money and the poor because it was really important to him.
+ crazy ones , who 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.
+ the humble, who know 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.
+ servers, who do not consider service a burden. Obsessed people take joy in loving God by loving His people
+ givers, who are known as givers not takers. Obsessed people genuinely think that others matter as much as they do, and they particularly aware of those who are poor around the world.
+ sojourners, who think about heaven frequently. Obsessed people orient their lives around eternity; they are not fixed only on what is here in front of them.
+ the engrossed, characterized by committed, settled, passionate love for God, above and before every other thing, and every other being.
+ unguarded ones, who 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.
+ the rooted, who 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 distraction and alternative messages.
+ the dedicated, 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.
+ sacrificers, who know 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.