Breaking the Power of Disappointment

By Francis Frangipane
(En Español)

The Enemy's Work
One may argue, "But I know people who were good Christians who have fallen away." Yes, but in most cases you will find that prior to falling away they fell into deep disappointment about a failed spiritual expectation. Disappointment is not just a sad emotional state of mind; deep disappointment actually can sever our hearts from faith. It can "dis-appoint" us from our appointed destiny.

I have known many who were doing well, moving toward their destiny. The future God had for them seemed close enough to taste. Then they became disappointed in someone or something. By accepting a demonically manipulated dis-appointment into their spirits, and letting that event germinate and grow into a disappointment with God, a bitter cold winter overtook their souls and their destiny went dormant.

At the Appointed Time

By Francis Frangipane
(En Español)

 In spite of escalating turmoil in our world, there still remains one last, great outpouring of mercy before the time of the end (see Matt. 24:14; Acts 2:17). This supernatural season is not something for which we must beg God. No, its coming has been predetermined. It is the "appointed time" of the Lord.

As most know, an "appointed time" is an open display of the sovereignty and power of God, whether it is in calling a person or calling a nation. In it we discover with absolute certainty that nothing is impossible for God. It is a season when God fulfills the hopes and dreams of His people.

Repentance and the Way God Calls Holy

By Francis Frangipane
(En Español)

Many are calling for prayer for our nation. To that message I would like to add a call to repentance as well. Indeed, 2 Chronicles 7:14 not only calls us to pray but to follow through by humbling ourselves and aggressively turning away from evil. In that spirit, we then seek God's face. There is far too much compromise among us. We need a breakthrough into brokenness. A move of God is coming, but it will only be as deep as our repentance prepares us.

The purpose of this message is to take us beyond simply feeling sorry we sinned. God wants to bring us into an attitude of repentance that goes deep, that persistently turns to God's grace until the fruit of righteousness comes forth in our lives.

The Stronghold of Christ's Likeness

By Francis Frangipane
(En Español)

God's Highest Purpose
Most Christians only engage in spiritual warfare with a hope of either relieving present distresses or attaining a "normal" existence. However, the purpose of all aspects of spirituality, warfare included, is to bring us into the image of Christ. Nothing -- not worship or warfare, neither love nor deliverance -- is truly attainable if we miss the singular objective of our faith: Christlikeness.

Let us recall that when the Lord delivered the ancient Hebrews out of Egypt it was so He could bring them into the Promised Land. Likewise, we are delivered out of sin, not that we might live for ourselves, but so we might come into Christlikeness. What we call "salvation" is the first phase of being conformed to Christ. If we fail to see this we easily become entangled in the same sins that oppressed us in the first place.

Door of Hope

By Francis Frangipane
(En Español)

We tend to boast in the power of faith while minimizing the value of hope. Yet "faith is the substance of the things hoped for" (Heb. 11:1 KJV). Without first having a living hope in God, our faith is meaningless. Indeed, the first stage of transformation is the awakening of hope.

Yet, even after we come to Christ, we still fail. Often a downward spiral occurs when sin opens the door to condemnation, and condemnation smothers the voice of hope. Consider the story of Israel’s conquest of Canaan. The Lord was about to prosper Israel with the wealth of the Canaanites, but only if the spoils of their first battle at Jericho were completely dedicated to God. However, one man, Achan, defied the Lord's edict. He took silver, gold, and a garment from Shinar, and then he hid the spoils in his tent. As a result of his sin, thirty-six Israelites died in their next battle -- defeated and humiliated by the tiny city of Ai.

Standing Behind Our Wall

By Francis Frangipane
(En Español)

The sense of distance we often feel between Christ and ourselves is an illusion. As we enter the days prior to Christ's Second Coming, the Lord shall begin to remove that falsehood. Indeed, He promises, "In that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you" (John 14:20).

Scripture tells us that Christ is the vine; we are the branches. He is the head; we are His body; He is the Lord, and we are His temple. From start to finish, the Bible declares the Lord not only has a dwelling in Heaven, but that He also abides perpetually in redemptive union with His people. The ever-present focus of His activity is to guide us into oneness with Himself.

At an Inconvenient Time

By Francis Frangipane
(En Español)

The Lord has multitudes who believe in Him, and when I consider that fact I am blessed. At the same time I am aware that, of those numbers, it is but a minority who actually worship Him.

True worshipers find their fulfillment in adoring God. The fragrance of their worship rises, not only during the scheduled times of church services but also during inconvenient times.

A true worshiper will rise early before work or school; they're up before the household so they can be alone with God. Instead of being frustrated by delays, they transform difficulties and setbacks into opportunities to magnify God. You might see one of these worshipers sitting in the car next to you during a traffic jam, singing along with Christian music in their car.

A true worshiper has learned the secret of worshiping God at inconvenient times.

Possessing the Mind of Christ

By Francis Frangipane
(En Español)

To See as Jesus Sees
"He who is spiritual appraises all things, yet he himself is appraised by no one. For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he will instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ" (1 Cor. 2:15-16).

This is one of the most staggering statements made in the New Testament. Paul says that it is actually possible to be free of our carnal, jealous, fearful, unbelieving thought-life and, in its place, possess "the mind of Christ"!

This promise is wonderfully profound. Indeed, it is one thing to be taught edifying principles and truths about the Lord, yet quite another to actually posses the very thought-life of Christ! Listen to what Paul says:

The Transcendent Life of God

By Francis Frangipane

The Gifts and Callings
It is to our shame in the West that many of our seminaries do not focus on becoming Christlike.  Instead it seems many devote themselves primarily to theology and hermeneutics. Obviously, we need correct biblical knowledge, but even more do we need conformity to Christ. Even in our churches we labor to see people released in "their gifts," and truly may we never stop! But let us not neglect the more foundational work of seeing Christ's likeness structured and then manifest into the congregational consciousness and attitude.

He Will Make a Way

By Francis Frangipane
(En Español)

"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus" (Phil. 4:6-7).

The Lord doesn't want us to simply possess a generalized peace, based on having no particular problems; nor does He plan to give us a slightly spiritual, yet human-sized kind of peace. If we follow the sequence of obedience He presents, His intention is to shelter us in His very own peace: the imperturbable peace of God.

Legal Protection

By Francis Frangipane
(En Español)

Approximately two thousand years ago a decree was issued at the judgment seat of Almighty God. It provided "legal" protection for the church against the devil. Indeed, when Jesus died for our sins, the "ruler of this world" was judged (John 16:11). Our debts were nailed to Christ's cross and canceled; principalities and powers were disarmed. In truth, because of Jesus, we have a legal right not only to be protected from our enemy but to triumph over him (Col. 2:13-15).

Having said that, we must also acknowledge that the church has only rarely walked in such victory since the first century. Why? At least in part, the answer is this: to attain the protection of Christ, the church must embrace the intercession of Christ. We must become a house of prayer.

Even Sodom

By Francis Frangipane
(En Español)

"He then began to denounce the cities in which most of His miracles were done, because they did not repent" (Matt. 11:20).

Jesus has a word to say, not only to us as individuals, but to entire cities as well. In anger He rebuked Chorazin, Bethsaida and Capernaum (Matt. 11:21, 23). With tears He wept over Jerusalem (Luke 13:34). If He expected cities to repent in the first century, He expects cities today to repent as well.

It was in this very context of reproving cities, however, that Jesus made a statement which, to me, unveiled the scope of God's redemptive power. Listen to His rebuke, but also to its hidden promise.

A Jealous God

By Francis Frangipane
(En Español)

Have you ever sensed spiritual resistance, as though some power much greater than you was deliberately opposing your success? We often assume it is the devil who is fighting us. Allow me to suggest that, on some occasions, what is standing in your way may not be an enemy at all; it may actually be the jealousy of God.

Is the Almighty jealous for us? Yes. The Lord describes Himself often in the Bible as "a jealous God" (Ex. 20:5, 34:14; Deut. 4:24, 5:9, etc.). We should expect He would be jealous since we have actually been created for His pleasure. While His covering, nurturing love accepts us as we are, a time comes when He begins to confront the false gods, the idols, that rule in our hearts. Indeed, anything in us that denies Him full access to our souls -- anything that stands between our hearts and His -- becomes His enemy.

The Silent Harvest

By Francis Frangipane

In a dream I found myself inside the mind of a dying man. The man had been in a coma for some time; his family had been praying, but they did not know whether or not he had accepted Christ. All they were sure of is that, throughout his life, he had resisted their efforts to lead him to Christ.

As I dreamt I became so acutely aware of the man's state of mind that his thoughts, feelings and struggles almost seemed my own. Although his eyes were nearly closed and his vision clouded, he could see his loved ones at his bedside. I watched as he tried to reach toward his family, but outwardly his arm never lifted. I heard him speak their names, but no sound whispered through his lips. A loved one holding his hand asked, "If you hear me, squeeze." He heard and pressed his fingers against hers, but no movement was seen; his hand clearly remained limp. He was conscious; he could hear their prayers; he felt the warmth of their kisses on his face yet was perfectly incapable of responding.

Two Things, Two Things Only

By Francis Frangipane

There are so many things to occupy our minds: so many books, so many examples, so many good teachings that deserve our attention, that say, "Here is a truth." But as I have been serving the Lord these past years, He has led me to seek for two things and two things only: to know the heart of God in Christ and to know my own heart in Christ's light. 

Knowing the Heart of God
I have been seeking God, searching to know Him and the depth of His love toward His people. I want to know Christ's heart and the compassions that motivate Him. The Scriptures are plain: Jesus loved people. Mark's gospel tells us that after Jesus taught and healed the multitudes, they became hungry. In His compassion, Christ saw them as "sheep without a shepherd" (Mark 6:34). It was not enough for Him to heal and teach them; He personally cared for each of them. Their physical well-being, even concerning food, was important to Him.

Standing After the Storm

By Francis Frangipane

"If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?" (Ps. 11:3)

Just as there are foundations that are dug and laid for buildings, so there are spiritual foundations upon which we can build a strong and unshakeable spiritual life. But if we compromise the standards of our foundation, to that degree we compromise our ability to stand during life's storms.

I've known many people who could prophesy or pray for the sick or sing beautifully in church, but inwardly their spiritual lives were unstable. As soon as difficulties arose, they fell. Why? Something was missing from their inner spiritual life and they crumbled during the storm.

"This Time I Will Praise the Lord"

By Francis Frangipane

Have no doubt, the Lord is concerned about fulfilling our desires, but to do so He must reset our priorities in life. In our world, the quest for personal fulfillment can become a type of idolatry. Thus, part of our salvation includes having God become first in our hearts. In the Sermon on the Mount, the Lord Jesus put it this way. He said,

"Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you" (Matt. 6:33-34).

God wants to satisfy us beyond our dreams, but not before He becomes first in our hearts. A wonderful example of this can be seen in the life of Leah, Jacob's first wife. Leah was unattractive, unwanted, and unloved by her husband. Jacob had served Laban, Leah's father, seven years for Rachel, who was Leah's younger sister. On their wedding night, however, Laban put Leah in the nuptial tent instead of Rachel. Although Jacob actually did marry Rachel a week later, he had to work another seven years for her. So Jacob had two wives who were sisters.

Follow Your Hunger

By Francis Frangipane

Today too many Christians have lost their hunger for God. Instead of coming into the Lord's presence hungry for more of His fullness, our thoughts are held hostage to worldly pursuits and fleshly distractions. At best, we are merely curious about spiritual realities, but not truly hungry.

Let me tell you a story that illustrates what I mean. We had a little dog named Sophie. Sophie loved people food. To her, eating people food was the culinary equivalent of entering the Kingdom of God. She loved our food. She even had a Bible verse that she claimed in faith: "Even the dogs feed on the crumbs" (Matt. 15:27).

One Wound at a Time

 By Francis Frangipane

Wounded in Pursuit of Oneness
The Bible says, "Pursue peace with all men" (Heb. 12:14). Pursue means we aggressively take the initiative to make things right. It means we act on behalf of Heaven rather than allow another's anger to serve the purpose of hell.

However, we must be realistic. When we reach out to a deeply offended person, they will likely be repulsed by our first efforts. Scripture tells us, "A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city, and contentions are like the bars of a citadel" (Prov. 18:19). If a person has been hurt, they will need trust to be restored, and this process of initiating trust can actually be painful to both parties. A wounded person may lash out. You may feel like the price of restoring the offended person's trust is simply too great to pay.

Be Anxious for Nothing

By Francis Frangipane

Jesus warned that, in the last days, the world would face unfolding trauma. There would be wars, earthquakes and many other disasters. Yet to His disciples, He said, "Do not be terrified" (Luke 21:9). He also said that, because of world conditions, men's hearts would fail "from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth" (Luke 21:26 NKJV). Not only would actual events generate worldwide fear, but the expectation of difficulties would cause men's hearts to fail.

Today, heart failure is the number one cause of death in North America. Approximately every thirty-four seconds a heart stops beating and another person dies, usually suddenly. There may be many contributors to heart failure, but one major source is the inability to handle stress.