Finalizing my latest book for publication, I ran across these two paragraphs. They express better than any other the transformation I see in people all over the world who move beyond religion and embrace a different way of living:
Following ritual and rules that others demand of you is still following law, even if we call them “New Testament principles.” God doesn’t transform us through obligation or meeting the expectations of others. The reason why many of us grew frustrated in religious settings is because they made promises they couldn’t fulfill. The harder we tried the emptier we felt. God has been inviting you to live in a new creation where his love transforms us in the deepest part of our soul.
Over this season you’ll learn to see through the manipulation of obligation, accountability, guilt, and fear and into a different rhythm that will allow you to live more at rest, aware of others, and free from the corrupting influences of this age. Instead of doing what others think you should do, you’ll be freer to discern his work in you and find yourself embracing his realities of grace, forgiveness, freedom, and generosity.
It all begins as you ask him to show you how deeply loved by God you are, then watching for how he shows you that reality. This is the trailhead that will lead you to greater freedom and fullness.
It’s a worthy journey, to be sure.
12 thoughts on “Finding a Different Rhythm and a Better Journey”
In your “classic” post yesterday, you yanked the rug out from under my entire spiritual life, tell me that what I thought was God was just me, and now you tell me to ask God to show me how much He loves me? I am lost, Wayne. I have no spiritual moorings anymore. You used to be my pastor in Visalia when you were at CVC. Talk to me Wayne. Get in touch with me.
I have no idea what you mean by that post yanking a rug out from under you, but I have reached out to you a couple of times by email.
I have learned finally after 54 years, how much I am truly loved. Jesus said, ” My Peace I leave with you.” I know that there is nothing to fear. He doesn’t want me stressed, he just wants me to depend and rely and abide in Him completely. Knowing I can do nothing of my own accord, because He is my strength. If I try to do anything without Him, and let my ego take over. It usually does not turn out well. The Journey with Christ is the most important relationship in my life. I used to feel alone and forgotten. Not anymore, He is always with me. He has healed and continues to heal me on a holistic level. It has given me greater insight into who I am, what I stand for, where I got lost and why. Guilt does not exist in the realm of the Father, so there is nothing for me to feel guilty about. Guilt is a mind construct that is man made and used to manipulate people. I refuse to buy into it. A worthy journey indeed. The only journey I want.
And it’s a positive journey toward a better life in Christ, not a negative fleeing from an institution. The journey will always require that you leave people, places and things behind as you mature, grow in Him and meet other pilgrims along the way.
I love that Wayne. Really resonates with what my friend from Israel and I where pondering together this morning about where his kids have been held captive the best part of the last two millennium and what the way forward out of that might look like……..
“Over this season you’ll learn to see through the manipulation of obligation, accountability, guilt, and fear and into a different rhythm that will allow you to live more at rest, aware of others, and free from the corrupting influences of this age. Instead of doing what others think you should do, you’ll be freer to discern his work in you and find yourself embracing his realities of grace, forgiveness, freedom, and generosity.”
And the people said, “AMEN!”
thank you very much for sharing. On this journey we need fom time to time encouragement and answers to our (unspoken) questions and insecurity and many times we experience them from our american friends who are on this journey a bit longer. Thanks!
By the way, the picture above, is it a european forest? Looks like my homeland.
Frank from Germany
No, sorry. I assume it is in northeaster Ohio. My friend Miche Spring, took that shot.
Nice Wayne, and I would also add from my experience so far, that for me this has been a journey from domesticated routine out into the only place that freedom truly exists, the wilderness. It can be exciting and it can be slow and arduous, some days there is much to eat and others when there is not; it is unpredictable, unscheduled, and dangerous as we walk where we haven’t walked before with companions who are also working their way through the wilderness. I have found myself on many occasions wondering if I have lost my mind to have gone this far from the “safety” of the walls and the “voices” that told me what I wanted to hear, to the quiet where I know I must now wait and listen for myself, and move forward accordingly. I was talking to my daughter, Cayley (the True North and Free bocci champ) here the other day, and I think I would compare my life now somewhat to the Israelites journey from Egypt in some regards, especially when I remember their complaint of how it would have been better to have stayed as slaves in Egypt rather than to have been led by God into the wilderness just to die. Even in the middle of God’s incredible provision and how he moved with them and ahead of them making a way, and removing obstacles, the uncertainty at times can feel like too much to bear. He fed and protected me before but will he continue to today, tomorrow? We long for freedom but when it comes right down to it, our faith can be weak and we are fearful. We want to live in a controlled environment where there is consistency and security but I firmly believe now that our promised land with Father is the uncalculated, unpredictable, unscheduled adventure of the best and the worst of the freedom of the wilderness.
Wayne and Kevin, each of your posts are helpful to me today and resonate deeply with my experiences. I left the IC probably 7 years ago and today mostly I experience the joy of a deeper relationship with Jesus. But sometimes – like the Israelites – I suffer doubt and wonder if I am on the right track. Being out from under the law and obligation is good and frightening at the same time. Yes, my faith is weak and I am fearful. I love your last words, Kevin, about “the best and the worst of the freedom of the wilderness”. That about sums it up. I think CS Lewis had it right too when he said of Aslan “He is not safe. But he is good.”
Yeah Nancy, just like that: “He is not safe. But he is good.” I love that.
Freedom in Christ is good, so long as we know that we are free from something – the chains of sin – and not free to our own desires.
“Where there is no law, but every man does what is right in his own eyes, there is the least of real liberty.”
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