Our goal is to build a life in Christ that is not determined by the culture but the Scriptures. The culture “infects” us with ideas, goals, and paradigms that create a form of “Christianity” that is actually contrary to what the Holy Spirit builds within us. It may come as a shock to many but God seeks more from our lives than kindness, politeness, and friendliness. We can find these characteristics in the community which does not know Christ.
What does it mean to live a life that is set apart from the world?
That doesn’t mean we move to a monastery and live in an environment that is safe from infection by the world. It means that our goals, our beliefs, and our love produce a life that is noticeably different from the average people who live around us. To further elaborate, it means that we become obsessed with Jesus. I know that sounds radical, but everyone around you is obsessed by “something” so don’t think that what I’m speaking of is otherworldly.
The question is simply: what is their “something”?
Ours is Jesus Christ and if we are obsessed then it will show in the way that we live.
Obsessed: To have the mind excessively preoccupied with a single emotion or topic.
Everyone around you has their obsession. It may be something as simple as personal safety, personal comfort, and personal satisfaction. Even those who appear “laid back” have things that cause the “wheels” of their lives to spin. People who have been “saved” by Jesus are obsessed by what they have experienced. I know some religious people say that radical faith is a turn off but the idea of holding back may come from somewhere but it doesn’t come from Scripture.
Let’s look at what is being called The Profile of the Obsessed.
People who are obsessed with Jesus give freely and openly, without censure. Obsessed people love those who hate them and who can never love them back.
The Magnificent Defeat by Frederick Buechner:
The love for equals is a human thing—of friend for friend, brother for brother. It is to love what is loving and lovely. The world smiles. The love for the less fortunate is a beautiful thing—the love for those who suffer, for those who are poor, the sick, the failures, the unlovely. This is compassion, and it touches the heart of the world. The love for the more fortunate is a rare thing—to love those who succeed where we fail, to rejoice without envy with those who rejoice, the love for the rich, of the black man for the white man. The world is always bewildered by its saints. And then there is the love for the enemy—love for the one who does not love you but mocks, threatens, and inflicts pain. The tortured’s love for the torturer. This is God’s love. It conquers the world.
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.
These people boldly pray, “Lord, bring me closer to you, whatever it takes.”
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.
Who is a good neighbor to him who is suffering? The one who was moved to action by his plight.
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 success or wealth on this earth.
What is the definition of success according to the Scriptures?
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, and so they seek to make themselves less known and Christ more known.
I must decrease and He must increase. Pride comes before a fall.
People who are obsessed with Jesus do not consider service a burden. Obsessed people take joy in loving God by loving His people.
To do it to others is to do it for Christ.
People who are obsessed with God are known as givers, not takers. They genuinely think that others matter as much as they do.
These people don’t give because they must but because they love others as much as they love themselves.
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.
These folks order their lives around what will be important 100 years from now.
A person who is obsessed is characterized by committed, settled, passionate love for God, above and before every other thing and every other being.
Loving anyone or anything more than Jesus makes us unworthy of His love to us.
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 it on for God; He is their safe place, where they can be at peace.
These know that their greatest safety is in being honest.
People who are obsessed with God have an intimate relationship with Him. They are nourished by God’s Word throughout the day because they know that forty minutes on Sunday is not enough to sustain them for a whole week, especially when they will encounter so many distractions and alternative messages.
The average Christian spends ten minutes with God per day.
A person who is obsessed with Jesus is more concerned with his or her character than comfort. Obsessed people know that true joy doesn’t depend on circumstances or environment; it is a gift that must be chosen and cultivated, a gift that ultimately comes from God.
An obsessed person knows that to truly know Jesus will require the power of resurrection and the fellowship of sufferings.
A person who is obsessed with Jesus knows that the best thing he can do is be faithful to his Savior in every aspect of his life, continually saying “Thank You!” to God. An obsessed person knows there can never be intimacy if he is always trying to pay God back or work hard enough to be worthy. He revels in his role as child and friend of God.
What is your obsession? Take an active role in becoming obsessed with Jesus!