These days Christians paint no unified picture regarding the appropriate level of devotion to God. I don’t doubt that nearly all unsaved people I know (and many Christians) would call me a fanatic. When I was younger I considered my parents fanatics. I bet you look at certain Christians you know and think they take it too far, that they’re crazy, that they’re way too serious about their religion. Today I would like to examine this situation and attempt to justify, and spread, my fanaticism.
Who is a Christian fanatic? If you grew up in church and call yourself a Christian then maybe you think those people who constantly pray, constantly talk about God, and constantly go to church are fanatics. If you grew up outside the church then you might consider anyone who calls himself Christian to be a diehard nutcase. So let’s just talk about me, an admitted fanatic, a fanatic of the fanatics, and hopefully I can represent all fanatics well.
Let me describe my fanaticism. [Now spare me, I’m not tooting my own horn. I’m writing for the point of illustration and edification.] When I wake up I head to the computer for 1-2 hours in prayer and Bible study. When I drive to work I listen to worship music and sing aloud. On the job I’m constantly giving God praise and asking for His help. I usually give God at least another hour each night. I go to church every Wednesday and Sunday. I attend other meetings, conferences, and concerts. I think about God constantly. I involve Him in practically every decision. I read virtually only Christian books and magazines. I only listen to Christian music. And really I could list many other aspects of my life that further evidence this crazed devotion to my religion, but I’m sure you get the idea.
So, the non-fanatic would say, “Why are you so nuts about it?” What is it that drives you to do all of that? Is that necessary? Do you have some crazy inferiority complex mixed with some servant mentality topped off with some serious daddy issues? Well I’m not sure what Mr. Freud would say but I don’t think about any of that.
In reality, I’ve decided to take my Christian beliefs seriously. If you call yourself Christian then think about some sentences you should say and believe. Really think about these statements. “I literally believe that this Being I can’t see created everything I can.” I literally believe that this Being (God) created me and loves me and has a jealous desire for my affection on a level I can’t fathom. I literally believe God created all wisdom, beauty, fun, excitement, and good things.
I literally believe that God is awesome and loving and fun and funny and cool and wonderful. I literally believe that my relationship with this wonderful God enables me to experience this life at its best and grants me access to a spiritual life most people don’t even perceive. I literally believe that in God’s presence is fullness of joy, God’s Word is life and health, God’s judgments are sweet and true, and God has an eternity planned for me.”
Maybe you don’t believe all that, but I would venture to say most Christians do. Now we must transition those beliefs from our minds to our hearts, and we must decide how those beliefs should shape our lives.
Let’s talk about God’s rules. People think that God has many problematic and archaic regulations we must follow for no good reason. I say that God’s rules actually hold the keys to your best possible existence. No, you can’t understand that now, but that’s because you are deceived by the world’s sinful schemes. But on the other hand, if God doesn’t want me to steal, who cares why? I believe all those wonderful things about God and if He doesn’t want me to steal then that’s fine with me. I’m sure He has his reasons and I trust Him. Whatever His reasons, I don’t need to know them and they are fine for me. I’m not going to twist His Word to escape His rules. I’m going to happily and excitedly obey them.
What about God’s service? People don’t want to go to church or read God’s Word or put something in God’s offering plate. People then want to limit these and say you only need to do so much of these. But I’m not looking for guidelines or minimums. I love God’s House and God’s Word and God’s programs. I want to be with Him and study Him and give to Him. You don’t need to drag me there. Because I know how awesome God is I want to serve Him in any way I can. I want to witness, build, help, minister, deliver, and do everything else God wants me to do so that He can show His love to the world.
You see, I’m not a fanatic because of need or compulsion or psychological disorder. I’m all in for Jesus Christ and God because I have a personal relationship with them and a deep revelation of how wonderful They are. I’m not telling you to stop what do for God if you don’t feel this way, but that you should work on getting to know God better and renewing your mind to His reality. When you know God you want to fellowship with Him always and give Him your all. The Christian life, with the appropriate relationship with Christ, will fulfill and energize and strength and enliven and excite you to your very core. Ungodly toil, struggle, temptations, infightings, fears, and desires gradually vanish away. God will fill you. You won’t want anything but Him and what He has for you.
Remember that God loves a cheerful giver. God wants us joyfully to serve Him joyfully. God wants a loving parent-child relationship with you. If Christians would focus first on drawing closer to God then God would draw closer to them, and the entire emotional state of the Christian Body would change. I am not a suffering servant. Yes we do suffer in some ways, but that ultimately leads to more joy. I’m filled with an ever increasing passion for God. You will be too if you focus on Him and develop that relationship.
When you know God you’ll never judge another Christian to be fanatical again. You’ll respect their love and devotion to God. In fact, you’ll want what they have. You’ll increase your own Christian experience. You’ll cry out to God for more of Him. You’ll be glad you did. Then you’ll be the fanatic. And do you know what we fanatics all have in common? We don’t care what the others think, because we know the Truth.