3 years ago
Sunday, July 11, 2010
Crazy Love: Chapter 8
Another great chapter. This one was titled Profile of the Obsessed. Right off the bat, Mr. Chan defines obsessed. That is, to have the mind excessively preoccupied with a single thought or topic. The Bible says to be consumed with Christ & faithfully live out His words. So hmm....it sounds to me like we (Christians) are all called to be obsessed with God.
Chan goes through one item at a time, explaining traits of a person who is obsessed with God. He says a person who is obsessed with God is: a lover, a risk taker, a friend of all, a crazy one, humble, a server & a giver, a sojourner, one who is engrossed, an unguarded one, a rooted person, a dedicated person & finally, one who is sacrificial. He makes one emphasized statement about each of these traits. Those statements & my thoughts are below.
Obsessed people love those who hate them & who can never love them back.
How often do we really do this? Do we take the time to go out of our way to do something loving for someone who either will never know we did it or will never be able to pay us back?
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.
Ouch. I don't like pain & distress. Do I worry more about avoiding discomfort (physical, emotional or mental) than whether or not I'm reaching someone for Him?
Friends of all:
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.
Another ouch. Do I really SEEK OUT people who have less than me so that I can find a way to bless them?
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 earthly success or wealth.
Well at least I can check this ONE off the list. Larry & I have been known to do things that seemed a little crazy if you went by earthly standards....but I hate to even point that out considering the very next trait on this list!
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, so they seek to make themselves less & make Christ known more.
Can I just say...go back & re-read the first sentence of this trait's description. So true. It's alwaysssssss a battle for me. Just about the time I think I've got it all figured out & want to show someone how far I've come, I realize that....uh oh...it's all about me again.
People who are obsessed with Jesus don't consider service a burden. They take joy in loving God by loving people.
I do love serving....ya know, if I'm serving people that I feel 'deserve it'. You know, ones who, by no bad choices of their own, ended up in a bad situation.
Wait...Jesus surely reached out to people who made bad choices, too. So does that mean He expects me to do the same? (another ouch)
People who are obsessed with God are known as givers, not takers. Obsessed people genuinely believe that others matter as much as they do and they are particularly aware of the poor around the world.
Again....I don't see myself SEEKING OUT someone I can give things/time/money to. I wonder how I'm seen by others...as a giver or a taker?
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.
A fabulous story comes to mind on this one.
Several years ago during a MOPS meeting, a speaker talked about orienting her children's focus on eternity. She told us how she'd made each one of her kids a Bible book mark from a hotel room key. She presented it to them in this way:
"Ok, kids...I'm giving you this hotel key book mark because we're about to take on a family project. The Holiday Inn has given us access to one room where we're going to go in & remodel & redecorate. We're going to put in a giant plasma screen TV and a side by side fridge. We'll install a grill on the balcony & buy fancy sheets and bedding for the beds. We're going to find some nice curtains & hang them in the room, too. Oh, and we'll take out the little table & chairs and go shopping for a marble-topped table and some recliners. We're going to gut the bathroom & re-do it too." By this time, her kids were all giving her weird looks, wondering WHY on earth they'd want to do all this. When they asked WHY she'd want to redecorate a room that wasn't their home, that they'd only stay in maybe once a year? Why not spend the money on something else?
With that, she said "see....this earth is NOT our home. We should not be investing all our time, money & energy into things that won't follow us to Heaven. Just like we would just be passing through the hotel room, we're only passing through this world. Heaven is our home!"
A person who is obsessed is characterized by committed, settled, passionate love for God, above & before every other thing and every other being.
Beautiful....I want to be fully engrossed.
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 on a show for God; He is their safe place where they can be at peace.
I pray that I am unguarded. Why do we try to "fancy up" our words when we're praying? We don't have to sound fancy to God. He already knows our hearts!
People who are obsessed with God have an intimate relationship with Him. They are nourished by His word throughout the day because they know that 40 minutes on Sunday is not enough to sustain them for the whole week, especially when they will encounter so many distractions & alternative messages.
People who are obsessed with Jesus are more concerned about his/her character than comfort. Obsessed people know that true joy doesn't come from circumstances or environment but is a gift that must be chosen & cultivated, a gift that ultimately comes from God.
I once heard it said that "God is more concerned with making you HOLY than making you HAPPY".
A person who is obsessed with Christ knows that the best thing he can do is be faithful to his Savior in every aspect of life. An obsessed person knows there can never be intimacy if he is always trying to pay back God or work hard enough to be worthy. He revels in his role as a child & friend of God.
Lord, let me bring a sacrifice of worship to you every day....it's the only thing I can offer you. Father, inhabit my praises & be near me every minute of every hour of every day. I love you.