By Francis Frangipane
Some of you know that I've been away on a semi-sabbatical since late November. It has been an important time. Admittedly, I initially came focused on getting a book or two written; I had also purposed to finish the structure of our association of churches and ministries. Both these projects are still "front burner" realities, for which I appreciate your prayers!
However, after we arrived the Lord gave me a simple, yet profound promise. He said, "But know that the Lord has set apart the godly man for Himself" (Ps 4:3). In the truest sense, the ultimate purpose of this time away is not for me to be dedicated to writing, but to the Lord. I'm understanding a true "Sabbatical" involves a Sabbath unto God. I am set apart for Him.
A month ago, after seeking the Lord, He spoke another liberating word. Just before I fell asleep that night He reminded me that the, "one who fears is not made perfect in love" (1 Jn 4:18). Again, it was a simple word, but it spoke deeply to my heart.
Ever since I became a Christian, I have desired the perfections of Christ. While I have had both seasons of advancement and times of just trying to hold my ground, the desire to be fully mature has never left me. But with this verse, I saw that conformity to Christ cannot be attained merely by applying myself to hours of study and prayer. There is a dimension of being "made perfect" that cannot be attained apart from fearlessly abandoning myself, weaknesses and all, to the power of God's love.
He said, "The one who fears is not made perfect in love." Wherever I see fear, whether it's fear of the future or fear of inadequacy, I am replacing that fear with the knowledge of God's love. I may not always feel His love, but I am learning to embrace and trust it.
So, this is a time where the Lord has set me apart for Himself. Even as I write and work, I am also learning to relax in the embrace of His love. His promise is that love never fails.