Walking into Freedom

WalkintoFreedom“I used to think that discipleship was about learning things. It was learning all about God, studying my Bible, being a faithful church attender, hearing lots of messages and taking notes, reading books and being accountable to someone.

It was learning about what I shouldn’t do anymore. It was learning how to behave like a “good Christian” and having a nice life raising nice children in a nice suburb where they would not be infected by the evil world around us. And if I did these things, and learned these things for long enough, I would learn enough “truth” and be free.

But what I’ve actually learned is that discipleship is more about discovery.

Not that study or being faithful or being well-behaved or even suburbs are bad, it’s just that none of these things will necessarily transform the soul. For it’s not found in what we learn but in becoming who we already are through an ongoing relationship with the One who lives in us. We don’t try to imitate Christ as much as we learn how to walk in the incarnated Christ. That is, Christ incarnated in us.

Here’s what Jesus said about freedom.

“If you stick with this, living out what I tell you,
you are my disciples for sure.
Then you will experience for yourselves the truth,
and the truth will free you.” (John 8:31-32 MSG)

We read verses like John 8:31-32 and all nod our heads in agreement. Yes, amen, the truth will make you free. Hallelujah!

But maybe we should be asking Him the question, free us from what?

You might be tempted to blurt out, sin….free us from sin! Yes, but sin is just a behavioral symptom of something much deeper and more hidden from us. And it is God’s good pleasure to help us see it. Of course, this may not feel like our good pleasure at the time. It may even feel like the opposite of good pleasure. Nonetheless, it is good for us if we will just “stick with this.”

God will begin to work with us like a good Father does His son, the goal being that we come to the place where we think like He thinks, love like He loves and see everyone through His eyes. Part of that process certainly does concern our sin issues, getting us to the point in our lives where sin is no longer seen as forbidden fruit but more like arsenic to our souls. But, again, this still does not touch how He transforms us. Real transformation begins when we finally allow Him to shatter the image of God we’ve made for ourselves, one that’s in our own likeness.”

“The Disciple Shift we need to make is found by leaving the information-based, principle and rule-keeping arrangement we’ve made with God by allowing Him to walk right into the middle of our deepest pain and sadness and alienation. This is how He helps us progressively muddle through this process of deconstructing the god of our imaginations and, thus, bringing us out of our darkness and into His glorious light. A light that already resides in us. That’s how we become truly free.

And when we are finally free from the mythical “arrangement” we’ve made with God for this relational and experiential process, we will begin to actually trust Him instead of trusting in ourselves and hoping He will come through for us. This is the beginning of knowing the truth.”

“Walking into freedom also means that we begin to see people as they really are, instead of how we want them to be. We can finally love like God loves because now its HIS love that fills our hearts with HIS joy.”


 

This is very rough draft excerpt from the book I’m working on. This particular chapter is titled, “Disciple Shift.” The whole book is about my personal journey of discovery into a life in the Father’s embrace and how that has radically impacted my view of Christianity in just about every area of my life.

As you leave 2014 and journey into 2015, may it be a journey of new discovery and radical upgrade as you partner with Jesus and let Him walk you into greater realms of freedom.

You are SO loved!

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About Mel Wild

God's favorite (and so are you), a son and a father, happily married to the same beautiful woman for 36 years. We have three incredible adult children. My passion is pursuing the Father's heart in Christ and giving it away to others. My favorite pastime is being iconoclastic and trailblazing the depths of God's grace. I'm also senior pastor of Cornerstone Church in Wisconsin.
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7 Responses to Walking into Freedom

  1. paulfg says:

    Mel, thank you for sharing a rough draft – so often (my) perfection sought before the (my) great reveal. Your words bring to mind a weird shift in my own thinking: the more I get to know God, the more it changes my earthly love and relationships. The more I see my earthly love and relationship differently, the more it changes how I see God. The two are intertwined. Both feeding the other.

    The bible is a great read, a good manual, a wonderful friend and a big part of Him. But not the whole, never the whole. And if we stop with just that – we will never “get it” as (I think) He desires us to “get it”.

    Here’s to radical upgrade. Let’s all travel first class!!

  2. Jodi A Woody says:

    Great! Let us know when the book is finished. This is where most of us Christians get stuck. My brother and I were just talking about this Christmas morning. He is still pretty new to faith, and is a little disappointed in the Church as a whole. Our Pastor spent months on a couple of series of teachings on “How we see God” and “Who we really are in Christ” for the very reason that we have made God in our image. The sad thing about that is that we can’t do anything on our own…so we make our own god ineffectual. Times is winding down and it’s time we truly understand what life in Christ is really supposed to be. Thanks, Mel. This kind of teaching is very much needed.

    • Mel Wild says:

      Thanks, Jodi. I’m a little over half way through the rough draft. Been working on it a lot over the holidays. I’m glad your pastor is teaching this. You’re right, it’s much needed. I actually think it’s a reformation of sorts in our understanding of God and of ourselves in Him. Blessings to you and have an amazing new year!

  3. Pingback: Walking into Freedom | authorjodiwoody

  4. Pingback: Saying yes to the process | In My Father's House

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