The Divine Obsession

By Francis Frangipane
(En EspaƱol)

There are three basic categories of Christians. The largest group consists of people who, though they try to avoid the darkness in the world, have no hope that the world can be redeemed. Assuming Christ's return is imminent, they retreat into what seems a shelter of apathy concerning the non-Christian world around them. Yet most are not truly apathetic. Their souls, like Lot's, are vexed by the conduct of unprincipled men (2 Pet. 2:7-8). Their compassion, though, is kindled even if it's limited. Rarely do they extend themselves beyond the needs of their immediate family and closest friends. They love the Lord, but they don't know how or what to do to change society or even to positively impact their neighborhoods.
The second group of Christians consists of those who would rather rail at the darkness than adjust to it. Though much smaller in number than the first, they are by no means apathetic; in fact, they appear exactly opposite. They rage at the depravity of the ungodly and protest the audacity of the wicked. They pound the pulpit and the pavement; they are both vocal and visible. Yet their ability to transform their culture is, for the most part, neutralized by their negativity and rage. They are dismissed as judgmental extremists. Most sinners simply cannot endure the harshness of their approach.

Both groups sincerely desire to see our culture transformed. Yet the same problem afflicts them: they are troubled that the world is unchristian without being troubled that their own hearts are un-Christlike. They do not perceive the priority of God's heart, which is the transformation of the church into the image of Christ (Rom. 8:28-29).

World Changers Needed
It is this very passion to be conformed to Christ that separates the third group from the others. Though smallest in number, its members are the most effective. Throughout history, these have been the world changers. These are the individuals who have understood the priority of God. They know that the Father's highest passion is to behold His Son revealed in a believer's soul. As much as they are moved with compassion for the lost, their primary quest is not to touch their neighbors' hearts but, foremost, to touch the heart of God. They know if they awaken the Father's pleasure, the power of His Spirit will accompany their efforts.

It stuns me to consider that if I embrace the process of personal transformation -- if Christ is manifest through me -- I will awaken the pleasure of Almighty God. Here, in my transformation, is the power to touch cities and redeem cultures, for it takes transformed people to transform nations.


Adapted from Francis Frangipane's book, The Power of One Christlike Life available at www.arrowbookstore.com.