One of the most read books about Christianity of the past 60 years has been The Normal Christian Life by Watchman Nee. It is a powerful and challenging book. Every believer should read it.Former megachurch pastor Francis Chan wrote a similar best-selling book in 2008, entitled Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God. Both authors write about the Christian life with unbridled passion.
Now, Chan has raised a critical question about the Christian life.
Is it normal? Or is it crazy?
Just a few days ago, on February 8th, Chan was a featured speaker at the annual Moody Bible Institute Founder’s Week. During his message, he shared his story about a recent ministry trip to Myanmar.
Preaching in a remote and notably dangerous village, Chan experienced something he had neither expected nor ever seen before. He witnessed the Lord heal villagers who asked him to pray for them.
He was stunned. Every person he touched was healed.
He told those at Founder’s Week that “This is out of my comfort zone. This is stuff I read about!”
He used his story to explain, “When I meet sick (people, I) pray for them and believe for healing. I’m so shocked, because every time I pray, nothing would happen.” He noted, as we all do, that that gets discouraging. This, he said, was “craziness.”
“My theology says I don’t think it will happen everywhere … but best I understand Scripture, He wants me to believe in my unity with Him, this power that I have because He and I are one. He wants to believe that you and I can become perfectly one.”
What strikes this writer as most profound was Chan’s statement that he believes that “God was honored by this pursuit of the unreached, and obeying the Great Commission, we saw power.”
He witnessed the power of God at work as he became “the first one to layout the Gospel and explain that they had a Creator and explain that He had a son and explain what He did on the cross and the resurrection.”
He explained to the crowd that it is “crazy” to think that believers in America believe that we are living a “perfectly normal” Christian life.
“I thought I had faith, but my faith (that day) was at another level, and I think there are some things that contributed — some of it was just faith in His Word, that when Jesus says, ‘I am in you, and you are in Me,’ to take that literally.”
Chan and his family are planning to move to Hong Kong next month from where he plans to preach in places where it is not “perfectly normal” to be a Christian and where to be one is most likely to suffer persecution.
From a Biblical perspective, nothing about the Christian life should be normal. God has called us away from normal to be holy. Christian life in America may, in fact, be suffering, not from persecution, but from comfortable living. In our comfort, we may have lost our compulsion to serve and our compassion for the lost. If so, this has rendered us powerless.
Perhaps it’s time for Christians in America to get crazy enough to live the normal Christian life the Lord has called us to live.
Watch the following video (52:07) to view and hear Chan’s entire Founder’s Week message.
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- Wikipedia, Watchman Nee
- The Christian Post, Francis Chan says he healed deaf boy, girl in rural Myanmar village: ‘My faith was at another level’
- Relevant Magazine, Francis Chan: ‘Every Person I Touched Was Healed. I Have Never Experienced This in 52 Years’
- CBN News, MIRACLES: Francis Chan Saw Villagers Healed, Including Two Deaf Children, in Myanmar
Image Source: Screenshot from YouTube
Video Source: Founder’s Week 2020 – Francis Chan, Moody Bible Institute, YouTube