The strongest believers are those who go through trials. – Francis Chan
Death is what we Christians are living for” – Francis Chan
If a voice could carry passion, you would feel that with a sense of urgency when Francis Chan said, “I beg you to get alone with this book…only you, God, and His Word. Don’t just believe eveything you hear out there [in the world].”
I’m all for dressing-becoming-of-an- ambassador of Christ but when he walked onstage garbed in a collarless t-shirt, jeans, and thong slippers, the phrase “Not even Solomon… was dressed in one of these” (when Jesus was talking about seeking God’s kingdom and righteousness foremost) came to mind. This unspoken message seemed to be part of his message. [I think this is fine for an audience of believers.]
Someone from backstage delivered a timer on the podium. Francis Chan then said, “If I’ll see God in thirty minutes, I don’t care what you think of me afterwards. I’ll say anything He wants me to say even if it offends you. Don’t fall for ear-tickling, getting information while nothing changes in your life. It is the Holy Spirit’s power who changes us. Radically change your life tonight or your ministry and believe it’s possible.”
His opening prayer: “God, stir something in us. Guide us. May You be honored. May You Be worshiped. May people think of the power and name of Jesus. When people pray to you, fire would literally come out of heaven, seas part, the earth shakes, armies fall, the most amazing miracles happen. Can we get taste of that tonight? Grace us with Your presence and power. Purify us by Your word. We worship You tonight. You are holy and good in Jesus’s name amen.”
Message 1: OBEY GOD
He talked about the interesting event in 1Kings Chapter 22 with the main reflection questions being:
– If four hundred prophets had a unanimous declaration, could I be like Micaiah who would tell what I know to be what God says even if it is different?
-Am I a woman of God to say I know what God had said I will not budge, I don’t care what all prophets say?
He goes on to say that he sees what scripture says in Matt 7:21 “Not everyone who says ‘Lord, Lord’ will enter heaven but only those do the will of the Father.”; Everyone who says he knows God but doesn’t obey is a liar; The person who has Holy Spirit will become righteous and won’t continue on in sin. Going to church is not always the same as obeying God; The Bible is supposed to radically alter our lives— for our actions to be aligned with God’s revealed will in His Word.
He said he heard that here in the Philippines, it’s a cultural thing to go to church, just tradition, going through the motions. [That’s a painful thing to hear but if it’s the truth, we need to hear it. We are supposed to be a Christian nation but does it show in our actions?]
Message 2: YOU AND I WERE CREATED FOR A SPECIFIC PURPOSE. THE TRAUMATIC CIRCUMSTANCES OR THINGS WE DO NOT LIKE ARE PART OF THAT PURPOSE
There was a plan ahead of time.
Jeremiah 1:5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”
God was not mistaken when He created us, when He allowed circumstances in our lives. He has a specific purpose for each one of us. God thought about how we was going to make each one of us for that purpose. Francis Chan shared that his mother died giving birth to him, his stepmom died when he was eight, and his father died when he was twelve. He [could have turned away from God with bitterness if he really wanted his own way but God gave him the grace that he] saw his situation from God’s point of view. He came to understand that God wanted him to think eternally, that we can’t take any day for granted. [He has been sharing this death-aware urgency for us to understand God’s will.] God has designed from eternity past the good works that we are supposed to do.
Message 3: ALL-KNOWING GOD WASN’T MISTAKEN WHEN HE MADE YOU AND ME.
You are not an accident. God didn’t mess up. In Exodus 4 when Moses was doubting he could do what God wanted him to do (from fear that people will not believe him, because he is slow of speech and tongue), God told Moses, “Who gave human beings their mouths?… I will help you speak and teach you what to say.” In our weakness, God’s strength is made perfect.
Message 4: THERE WILL BE TIMES GOD CALLS YOU TO STAND ALONE.
Jeremiah 1:17 “Get yourself ready! Stand up and say to them whatever I command you. Do not be terrified by them, or I will terrify you before them. 18 Today I have made you a fortified city, an iron pillar and a bronze wall to stand against the whole land—against the kings of Judah, its officials, its priests and the people of the land. 19 They will fight against you but will not overcome you, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the Lord.
There will be times when people will hate you because of God’s Truth that you share. Don’t be afraid. When you die, you will not care what other people think but you will seriously think what will God say when He sees you. Will you hear Him say, “Well done, good and faithful servant. You did what I made you for”? Francis Chan says, “Is there anything on this earth that you want more than hearing God say that?”
He prayed, “Lord, please show them what they have been afraid of. Give them the boldness to make the change they need and say ‘God is with me.'”
QUESTION AND ANSWER
1. Q: How can one be sure of God’s specific will?
Francis Chan (FC): I don’t think you can. 99.9% of things are the things I read from the Bible. I need to respond to the Word of God. If you wanna hear from heaven, you can… you have the bible. We are told to test the spirits. Apostle Paul was headed a certain direction but the Holy Spirit stopped him. David thought of building the temple but God told him that it was not his calling. It was his son, Solomon’s. Sometimes Christians get paralysed because of not being sure if it’s God’s will, so they just do nothing until they hear from heaven. But no voice from heaven says to open a Facebook account but we go ahead and do it. We do a lot of things without hearing a voice from Heaven.
2. How do you deal with lust?
FC: We are told to flee youthful lust. There was a time when I was in college when it is most difficult to fight passions. When I gave in to temptation, I fasted the whole next day. Starving reminded me that it wasn’t worth it. I ended up losing 15 lbs. Still there were times when my eyes wandered and the moment I go there, the word “worship” comes to mind. I can’t worship God and sin at the same time. It’s a continual melody of Ephesians 5 (Holy Spirit-filled person). Sometimes we can’t get rid of stuff; we need to replace it with something. For me, that’s worship and constant thanksgiving.
Francis Chan’s simple final prayer: Lord, by the power of Your Holy Spirit, make us Doers of the Word. We’ve talked enough. We’ve listened enough. Make us Doers of the Word now in Jesus’s name amen