When we live by religious rules and traditions we unwittingly shift into achievement mode, trying to do the best we can to live up to our standards and most days falling far short and bashing ourselves. That, however, is living by the law. The new creation offers us a new way to live, not by meeting the expectations of law (or even New Testament principles), but the joy of learning to live by his Spirit will draw us into Father’s reality and shift the way we live as the fruit of a growing relationship of love. Transformation is a journey, not an achievement. While perfection is the long-term hope, it is never a daily expectation to be disappointed.
It is such a joy when that reality sinks into a heart. I got this email the other day from a friend and it so touches me to see how this shift has happened in her and her compassion for others still lost in the world of achievement and performance:
I had to write and tell you that I loved, loved, loved reading your book, In Season. It just helped solidified so much of what is going on in my life. It’s helped me to stand strong through the trials I’ve gone through lately. However, I can actually say that I feel like I’m coming into my harvest time. I loved your book He Loves Me, but people really need to read In Season! I think, just my opinion! I’ve given away many copies of your book, He Loves Me, but, now I’m doing it with, In Season.
You know, I’m realizing there’s a lot of people out there that are hurting in institutional religion, that would probably love to walk in a journey like ours, but are just too afraid. I love my journey with the Lord and I would never go back. I’ve given my yoga instructor your book, He Loves Me. She loves it and talks about it all the time… she’s a believer! She says she can’t wait to read In Season.
I use to regret so much in my life, but I don’t any more. I’m the person that I am today, because of the things I’ve walked through. I’m stronger, steadier, and less afraid! I know that trials will continue to come, but, my responses are and will be so much different.
Isn’t that what’s great about a journey? You don’t have to waste time in regret for the past. Yes, we all have things we wish we hadn’t done, or spent more time trying to get something to work that was never meant to, but even those things become part of our journey as he draws us into himself and shows us how we can live freely in him even in the broken world that can cause so much pain.
That’s why I wrote In Season, to help people see that instead of trying to accomplish something for God by our own efforts, we can relax into the rhythm of his work in us realizing that each day holds the possibility of new discovery and greater freedom. Since I grew up on a vineyard, this is a farmer’s view of John 15 and Jesus’ encouragement to learn to live in him like a branch lives in a vine. We get to enjoy the relationship and in doing so our lives are transformed with better ways to think, live, and love in the world. Spiritual growth is organic, a response to the circumstances and challenges in our life and the joy of walking in them with him and his strength.
And I love her compassion for people still lost in the world of religious performance. Having been there ourselves, who better to realize how lost and blind you can be even as your patting yourself on the back for being a ‘radical’ disciple of Jesus? They need our love, compassion, and friendship, not our judgment and anger.
And as a reminder, most of our books are available at bulk discounts so you can share them with others affordably or start a study if you want. And individual copies of In Season is available for less than $10.00.