By Francis Frangipane
A new awakening is coming to the church. It will be birthed by prayer and sheltered by humility, but its power will emerge through compassion. The strength of this fresh move is the deep yearning of the Lord Himself. Yes, even in the midst of hellish conditions on earth He has promised, "I WILL HAVE MERCY ON WHOM I HAVE MERCY, AND I WILL HAVE COMPASSION ON WHOM I HAVE COMPASSION" (Rom. 9:15).
Common people, flooded and compelled by the burning compassions of God, shall be used mightily in the coming years: they shall transform multitudes. Christ's compassions shall be especially revealed where human suffering is unrelenting. Let us remember, the Lord is not aloof from the human condition; mankind's suffering exists in the thought-life of God. The book of Judges reveals an amazing quality about the relationship of God's heart to human sorrow. Scripture says, "He could bear the misery of Israel no longer" (Judges 10:16). As a result, He rescued His people from their enemies.
Today, the Holy Spirit says, "The more devastated the region, the greater My compassions shall flow." Africa and parts of Asia shall see multitudes convert from Islam and come into a powerful relationship with Christ. Indeed, during Ramadan, the Islamic holy month, many Muslims shall have visions of Jesus Christ and shall personally be converted, as Paul was converted from Judaism. Missionaries from Pakistan shall be used by God to touch many nations. The Holy Spirit says, "Pray fervently for Pakistan, for its President, General Pervez Musharraf, and for the church in Pakistan, for missionaries from Pakistan shall reveal Christ's compassion to many nations. Additionally, the Lord says, "Pray for and watch India." India's hour is drawing near. Satan would like to destroy these two countries before the great outpouring of the Holy Spirit falls upon them. Thus, the Holy Spirit commands, "Pray for Pakistan and India!"
Yet, this move of divine compassion will not be limited to poorer nations. In select cities and communities in the West, the compassions of God will also flow. Indeed, even now the Lord is preparing Christians from all backgrounds, including believing Catholics, Presbyterians and Episcopalians. Some whom God will use most mightily will come from denominations many Christians consider dead or apostate.
Many influential, but hardened businessmen and women will be touched and transformed by the compassions of God. Governors, mayors and other civic leaders will experience life changing healings; attorneys, doctors and scientists will testify to undeniable miracles. Transformed gang leaders and criminals, some of whom are currently in jail, will be used by God to start powerful churches. Yes, once seemingly hopeless criminals will be used by God to bring hope to devastated neighborhoods.
The Key to Power: Divine Compassion
Because the taproot of this revival will be compassion, it is important to isolate it from other virtues and inspired ministry gifts. For one can be a skilled teacher who functions authentically in communication skills, but not have true compassion. A leader might possess effective administrative skills, yet also be void of compassion. Simply because one is a gifted psalmist and leads many in Christian music and arts, that does not mean he or she was empowered by compassion in their ministry. Yes, even the most stirring of prophets or apostles may himself be stirred by something other than compassion. All of these gifts and ministries can be truly inspired within the parameters of their functionality, but not carry at their core the deep pulse of God's compassion.
Compassion, according to its Greek definition, is "a yearning in the bowels." It is not a function of the intellect, but a deeper reality of the spirit. Thus, it is important we do not let religious intellectualism rule us. True compassion emerges from the compassions of God; the human channel of His compassions must be united with the yearnings of God. Because most of us have been exhausted by the limits of our compassions, we must submit again to the opening of our hearts. Trust God to help, for we must learn to surrender afresh to the fire of compassion's quest.
Consider also beloved, that this "yearning in the bowels," this "the innermost being," is the very region from which Jesus said rivers of living water shall flow. This new level of compassion will not exhaust us with impotent sympathy, but will instead align our spirits with the power of Christ to heal, save and redeem.
Compassion is stronger than sympathy and more enduring than empathy: both of which are dimensions of vulnerability and identification--essential escorts that lead us to Christ's compassion. But compassion captures those feelings and transforms them into love-empowered actions.
Consider Christ as He healed the afflicted in the gospels:
"Moved with compassion, He stretched out His hand and touched him, and said to him, 'I am willing [to heal you]; be cleansed' " (Mk 1:41). Again we read, "Moved with compassion, Jesus touched their eyes; and immediately they regained their sight and followed Him (Matt 20:34). And again, "When He went ashore, He saw a great multitude, and felt compassion for them, and healed their sick" (Matt 14:14).
Jesus was moved with compassion; He felt it, and He "healed their sick." Do we feel compassion? Are we aware today of compassion's inner pushing? Can you list when you too were "moved with compassion"? Too often, instead of compassion, we are moved by ambition, self-interest and pride. We desire to be seen by men, to be admired for the size and scope of our ministries or talents. In our zeal to fulfill our passion, we miss compassion. May God deliver us! To many, the multitudes are symbols of power and success. Yet, when Jesus saw the crowds, He did not see them as a means to personal fulfillment. Rather, "He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and downcast like sheep without a shepherd" (Matt 9:36).
The people had Pharisees, but not shepherds; they endured the influence of doctrinal experts, the "lawyers," but they had no one who truly cared for them. Christ felt compassion, was moved by compassion and let compassion find its fulfillment in the healing and comfort of the sick and afflicted.
I am not speaking of others, beloved. We ourselves have locked our compassions and restrained the yearnings of God within us. In this day it is not enough for us merely to be friendly or nice; we must allow the Spirit to unlock the bowels of our compassion. The Lord has promised, not only will He have mercy on many and lead them into forgiveness and salvation, but that He will also reveal His great compassion. Let me repeat His promised, irrevocable purpose: "I will have compassion on whom I have compassion" (Rom 9:15b).
The Lord is with us to fulfill His great yearning to save and heal. He has set His heart to reveal His compassion in this hour; we must allow His compassions to move us. We have learned how to have church, to produce Sunday morning events that stir and excite. Now, however, the Lord says, "But go and learn what this means: 'I DESIRE COMPASSION , AND NOT SACRIFICE.'" He tells us to not look beyond the hardened or the hopeless. He reminds us, "for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners" (Matt 9:13). Compassion is the pathway to power.