When the Falseness of Religion Succumbs to the Reality of Relationship

I love reading about the work God is doing in people to set them free in his life. This letter comes from a brother I stayed with on a recent trip out of state. I love what he shares here about his growing relationship with Father and his freedom in Christ. I share it to encourage others in that same process. I think everything he’s hearing here is from the heart of the Father. God’s been speaking this way to him for a long time, but now he is recognizing that it is God, and the old tapes playing in his head of performance and condemnation were never him. That’s the beginning of some really incredible things.

This journey that I am on is really something else. I thought you might be interested to hear what he Lord is doing. First I want to tell you that I can’t remember any conference I’ve attended having the same lasting affect on me that your weekend visit has so far. It’s the gift that keeps on giving.

I suppose I hear at least a hundred times a day, “relax..”. I never realized just how much of my life has been based on performance, or how deeply engrained has been the idea that somehow I must produce the things that Jesus wants to see in me. You can well imagine the sense of relief and freedom I am feeling. Your CDs are a big help, but more importantly I am hearing more clearly than ever before directly from Father Himself. How wonderful!

All the things I used to do that were spiritual (more religious, actually) are being overhauled into a new dynamic. Now, I find that my days are filled more with fellowship with Him and that the things I used to do to get close to Him are woven into our relationship as I walk through each day. And in that I am discovering how desperately I have always needed a Father, one that I never had. And He is revealing Himself as my Father! Man, oh man!!!

The other day I was struggling through some setbacks and disappointments when I just lost it and threw a mini-tantrum. After I calmed down, I went back to Father to apologize. Same old perspective – You are Holy God and who am I to challenge you like that, etc. What he said stunned me. He said, David, you never had a father to whom you could express yourself like that. And when you did it would have been better if you hadn’t. Then he immediately showed me a picture of how I have been with my sons when they did the same thing, reminding me that I didn’t punish them but let them vent, encouraged them and came along side of them to work through the issues with them.

Wayne, I have never made the connection until now – honestly. God showed me that that’s how he is! Matter of fact he said – “You are my son! I understand and here I am to work through it with you. We are partners in this.” Isn’t that amazing? He actually said that to me.

Then a little while later I was thinking about Scripture and pondering something I had read. Father said, “you know, the problem is that all along you’ve viewed the Scripture from the perspective of ‘must do’, ‘must perform’, ‘must make happen’. All along the Scripture has been intended to be viewed from the perspective of discovery of who I am and who you are and all that I have for you and intend to work in you but only in the context of relationship with me.” This is amazing—probably elementary to you but a real revelation to me.

So, this is how my journey is starting out, Wayne. I understand now what you meant about Father’s “tangible” love. I think I’m experiencing it. It’s not an emotion but something a lot deeper. There’s a connection that’s never been there before and the reason I know it’s true is because it is there day after day, all day, – not fleeting like emotions. I am beginning to have a sense of sonship with my Father. And He is answering the literally lifelong cry of my heart – to know Him and know His love.
I can’t get my mind around the freedom and peace I am experiencing. I can’t get my mind around this sense of being a son and having a father. It’s amazing.

Isn’t this incredible? It’s a great record of what it looks like when religious thinking gives way to relational life in Christ!

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8 Comments
  1. Loren October 3, 2005 at 8:33 pm

    It is amazing seeing men freed up to live the way we were created to live! We are all on this journey together even if we are in different geographical locations. Blessings to you brother as you travel along. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Loren October 3, 2005 at 11:33 pm

    It is amazing seeing men freed up to live the way we were created to live! We are all on this journey together even if we are in different geographical locations. Blessings to you brother as you travel along. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Dave Aldrich October 4, 2005 at 8:54 am

    Beautiful! I loved what that brother shared. And I love how you put it, Loren… freed up to live the way we were created to live.

    At 52, and thinking that I "knew" the Lord for more than 20 years, I have just begun to take hold of this. I guess there is "knowing" Him and then there is really knowing Him. The religious way of "knowing" the Lord just sucks the Life out us and blinds us to the reality of us having our very being in Christ.

    I love hearing these real stories of how God is making Himself known!

  4. Dave Aldrich October 4, 2005 at 11:54 am

    Beautiful! I loved what that brother shared. And I love how you put it, Loren… freed up to live the way we were created to live.

    At 52, and thinking that I "knew" the Lord for more than 20 years, I have just begun to take hold of this. I guess there is "knowing" Him and then there is really knowing Him. The religious way of "knowing" the Lord just sucks the Life out us and blinds us to the reality of us having our very being in Christ.

    I love hearing these real stories of how God is making Himself known!

  5. Rahn October 5, 2005 at 7:06 am

    This is great stuff! I too am on the journey as a 56 year old, finding out what the sense of sonship with the Father is, what it feels like. I think now and then about the writer of Hebrews comment about Abraham, that when God called him, he went out to a place he was going to receive as an inheritance, "not knowing where he was going". I realize now that my inheritance is not so much a change of location (go to heaven) as it is the relationship with my Father as a son. That’s unknown territory for me but I’m going into it and after it by faith, and its good stuff.

  6. Rahn October 5, 2005 at 10:06 am

    This is great stuff! I too am on the journey as a 56 year old, finding out what the sense of sonship with the Father is, what it feels like. I think now and then about the writer of Hebrews comment about Abraham, that when God called him, he went out to a place he was going to receive as an inheritance, "not knowing where he was going". I realize now that my inheritance is not so much a change of location (go to heaven) as it is the relationship with my Father as a son. That’s unknown territory for me but I’m going into it and after it by faith, and its good stuff.

  7. J October 9, 2005 at 11:14 pm

    Father said, "you know, the problem is that all along you’ve viewed the Scripture from the perspective of ‘must do’, ‘must perform’, ‘must make happen’. All along the Scripture has been intended to be viewed from the perspective of discovery of who I am and who you are and all that I have for you and intend to work in you but only in the context of relationship with me."

    Wow, too cool! What a way to put into words what so many people imprison themselves in. This is great to hear from this brother. Praise the Lord!

    God really does do what He wants, no matter what we do to trip Him up. I have had times where I was doing all the right Christian things, and yet did not feel that God was saying or showing anything to me. Then when I was rebellious and not doing anything to nurture the relationship God wanted with me, God showed me some incredible things.

    He seems to go out of His way to show us time and again that there is nothing we could ever do to deserve His love, instead, He just is love and wants to engulf us in Himself.

    Instead of must do, must perform, must make happen, we simply need to accept who we are in God’s eyes and must allow God to be who He is, especially since there is nothing we can do to change Him.

    Peace–J

  8. J October 10, 2005 at 2:14 am

    Father said, "you know, the problem is that all along you’ve viewed the Scripture from the perspective of ‘must do’, ‘must perform’, ‘must make happen’. All along the Scripture has been intended to be viewed from the perspective of discovery of who I am and who you are and all that I have for you and intend to work in you but only in the context of relationship with me."

    Wow, too cool! What a way to put into words what so many people imprison themselves in. This is great to hear from this brother. Praise the Lord!

    God really does do what He wants, no matter what we do to trip Him up. I have had times where I was doing all the right Christian things, and yet did not feel that God was saying or showing anything to me. Then when I was rebellious and not doing anything to nurture the relationship God wanted with me, God showed me some incredible things.

    He seems to go out of His way to show us time and again that there is nothing we could ever do to deserve His love, instead, He just is love and wants to engulf us in Himself.

    Instead of must do, must perform, must make happen, we simply need to accept who we are in God’s eyes and must allow God to be who He is, especially since there is nothing we can do to change Him.

    Peace–J

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