Sonshift study – Chapter Three (part two)

We will finish chapter three in this installment of our discussion with my book, Sonshift: Everything Changes in the Father’s Embrace.

As before, I will start with a brief overview of the section of the book, then invite you to respond to some or all of these questions, or give additional comments on the chapter that my questions don’t address. My only rules are that you’ve actually read the chapter and that your answers are brief. Okay, off we go!

Chapter Three: Disciple Shift (part two)

I define Disciple Shift as our entering into a cooperative journey of discovery and transformation with God. It’s about leaving a transactional relationship where we relate to God according to our own faulty reflection, to where we allow Him to walk right in the middle of our deepest darkness and pain and transform us so that we see Him, ourselves, and others the same way He sees us.

In this section of the chapter, we move from identifying our faulty constructs about God and narcissistic relationship with Him, to entering into the discovery phase with God where “we are the participants, and everything going on inside of us is fair game.” (p.79)

The following discussion questions cover pages 73-85 (Kindle loc. 1120-1365).

Discussion questions:

  1. Why is discovering what’s going on inside of you important to breaking free from a transactional relationship with God?
  2. The author says that the only thing that complicates our life is still having something to protect. What does that mean to you?
  3. What is the danger of coming to Christ to escape hell, tribulation, or trouble? How might this get in the way of this relational process to bring about our transformation?
  4. How would you explain living a soul-led life versus living a spirit-led life?
  5. According to this chapter, what is the process of knowing the truth? How is the truth being relational different than it being informational?
  6. How is seeing the right image (“right mirror”) of ourselves in Christ different than our self-reflected image? How does this bring real freedom in our lives?

Again, you can comment on all or just some of the questions. If these questions didn’t address something you think is important, please add it in your comments. If you would like to make any comments offline, please email me at mwild@ceuturytel.net.  Thank you!

Now, it’s your turn!

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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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8 Responses to Sonshift study – Chapter Three (part two)

  1. Okay, let me give these a shot:
    1. I think this may be the most difficult question for most people to answer. If we are in a place of blame or finger-pointing, looking inside to discern our part or responsibility in our lives will be a paradigm shift, and we truly need the Spirit’s help for a willingness and ability to do that. Perhaps the question may need to be, “What might you need to discover in order to …?”
    2. Something to protect to me means what am I still defending, what is more important for me to be right about than forming an intimate relationship with God?
    3. If I am still operating under this premise, then I am living from fear, not from love. I’m still operating in a transactional relationship, not receiving God’s unconditional love and grace.
    4. Soul-led is wearing a mask of who we think we should be and how we think we should act. Spirit-led is allowing Christ to lead us with His mind and His eyes.
    5. Understanding the difference between Old Covenant and New, remaining teachable through our relationship in Christ, and allowing the Spirit to reveal to us wisdom on an ongoing basis. It is a lifelong, heart and mind relational journey of wisdom being added to wisdom
    6. As we live in #5, we are able to see Christ in ourselves and Him in us, not simply ourselves.

    • Mel Wild says:

      Thanks Susan. So appreciate you taking the time to answer these. And I love your answers! Good suggestion on #1. That’s exactly what I’m looking for in the discussion, how to best word the questions.

  2. bullroarin says:

    1. I guess it all boils down to the quality of relationship that God is offering. Unlike us, He already knows our heart and will not sugarcoat the unsweetened areas. With a lot of people its our own image that matters because we think the world revolves around us.
    2. As long as we’re interested in our own image we will always have something to protect.
    3. If hell, tribulation, and trouble are our only motivators for coming to Christ, then once the initial need is met we may feel there is no longer (or know that there is) a need for transformation/relationship.
    4. A soul-led life is one lived from our mind, will, and emotions which are always subject to change depending on our current circumstances. Its difficult, if not impossible, to have faith when our emotions are swinging with every wind that blows. A spirit-led life is the very model that Jesus led, God is spirit and He communicated to Jesus, and also to us, Spirit to spirit. Unlike the soul, there is no swinging to and fro in the spirit…therefore the kind of faith that God is looking for can only come from something that is as solid as God Himself, and only the Spirit knows the heart of the Father and the intentions of our heart.
    5. If I was employing someone I would think that head knowledge and experience are good to have in any given situation…but if I have to choose between the two, I would say experience is better. Truth through knowledge is subjective to the filter of human understanding (which is faulty at best), whereas truth through Spirit to spirit comes from the source of truth (the Holy Spirit) without a soul-filter. Jesus said, “…I am the truth…” so we are not talking about a person who knows the truth, but who is the truth. The only way to truly know a person is to be with them, or have some type of relationship/conversation with them. Reading about them in a book is helpful, but, you will never really know them as a person.
    6. We are being changed into the image of God, we are not being changed into our image, therefore, our image is a distraction from the real image that God intended for us. As long as we’re looking at ourselves we cannot see what God wants us to see.
    What is real freedom? “…freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose…” ~ Janis Joplin (Me & Bobby McGee)
    In a sense I think Janis hit the nail on the head. When we lose all our stuff (our self image in this case) then there is freedom…to become something we could never have on our own…to have the nature of God.

    Sorry Mel, my answers may seem vague at best…wish I had more time.

    ~ Dave

  3. Mel Wild says:

    Nothing vague about your answers, Dave. I liked all your answers, but I really liked what you said in #5:
    “If I was employing someone I would think that head knowledge and experience are good to have in any given situation…but if I have to choose between the two, I would say experience is better. Truth through knowledge is subjective to the filter of human understanding (which is faulty at best), whereas truth through Spirit to spirit comes from the source of truth (the Holy Spirit) without a soul-filter. Jesus said, “…I am the truth…” so we are not talking about a person who knows the truth, but who is the truth. The only way to truly know a person is to be with them, or have some type of relationship/conversation with them. Reading about them in a book is helpful, but, you will never really know them as a person..”

    I put your whole answer here because it really sums it all up. Experience with the truth always wins out, even in the world. We know this already, why do we think differently when it comes to a relationship with Christ? But in this case, it’s experience with Spirit truth. Jesus said, “The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.” (John 6:63) Jesus isn’t giving us printed words; He’s giving us Himself! It’s His words spoken to our spirit that give life. You only get this kind of understanding in relationship.

    I also loved the Janis Joplin reference. 🙂

  4. AfroScot says:

    1. In order to break free, one must first feel bound. Being bound is restrictive. The negative feelings in me were catalysts to finding a life of freedom in Christ.
    2. I had the need to protect my feelings. The pruning process for me was not an easy one. It was like having major surgery. However, when I trustfully laid on the operating table, the Great Physician held my hands & heart through the process and made me whole.
    3. This could lead to lukewarmness. Perhaps, thinking that regularly attending church without being conformed into Christ’s image is the license to escape hell. Jesus never promised us a trouble-free life, so coming to Him for this makes one unprepared for trials and tribulations. However, He promised never to leave or forsake us. Some leave the faith when things get tough or remain but are orphan minded.
    4. A soul-led life is being led by flesh and it leads to death whilst a spirit-led life is being led by the Spirit of God and it leads to life (Romans 8:13). A soul-led life cannot understand the things of the Spirit.
    5. I am the way, the truth and life. It’s all about knowing Jesus. It’s about opening our hearts to Him so that He can tell us anything. I think what was said to the disciples in John 16:12 is quite sad and it is still true today for some. My constant prayer is that no matter how long I have held a doctrine or belief system that may be wrong, please crush or burn it under the light of truth as I am ready to handle it. Allowing the truth to transform us into the image of God makes the truth relational and if this is not the case, informational knowledge could puff one up.
    6. It is looking in the mirror and seeing ourselves as He sees us – precious. We are of so much value that Jesus came to redeem us. As if that isn’t enough, He would have chosen a large castle in live in but decided to live inside of us. This in itself is liberating!

    God bless

    • Mel Wild says:

      Thank you for your thoughtful answers, AfroScot. I really liked what you said about #1, “In order to break free, one must first feel bound.” That is SO true! And it’s the first step to finding real freedom. And “major surgery” is a great way to put the pruning process! But no one prunes like Jesus does…so kind, compassionate, and loving.
      Blessings.

  5. paulfg says:

    A little behind and catching up!!
    1.As I was re-rereading Chapter three, I was overwhelmed with a simplicity of love. It is “beyond” rational thought. And allowing that foundation stone of my living to be moved is a big thing. And with hindsight I cannot tell you why – not even rationally. Experiential I think you said …
    2.The closest I can get is my recent “extraction” from the bible as factual (as taught). Not having to “protect” the bible from attack and false teachers is so liberating! Not having to protect God (as taught as the bible) frees me to see God so much more clearly. To hear God so much better in others. And to listen without fear. I gave up “protecting” physical stuff a while ago – yet was still “complicated”.
    3.“What’s in it for me?” danger. If the arrangement does not deliver to my liking, I will withdraw my “love” until it is. And if I am a “Loving God in the hands of an angry Christian” (love that one), then I will be far from love, let alone relationship and transformation.
    4.I wouldn’t. I am not sure I distinguish between the two. And not even sure I want to distinguish between the two. Doesn’t that just become something else to argue about?
    5.Knowing the person of God Soft Hands Jesus. And I wonder what we might find “shocking” in that. I know the truth of my wife in her person, and the truth of others in their person. Truth that “is” rather than true of everyone and everything – informational truth. I think we all do it but never know the truth of “doing it” 
    6.To latch onto Q5 – our mirror is “informational”, and the right mirror is the truth of the person we see in the mirror. Once we see the truth in ourselves and our God, then the informational feedback is simply that.

  6. Mel Wild says:

    Thanks Paul! No time limit on answering these questions and I appreciate that you took the time to do so. I love your answers, as usual. 🙂

    I really like what you said in #2: “Not having to “protect” the bible from attack and false teachers is so liberating! Not having to protect God (as taught as the bible) frees me to see God so much more clearly. To hear God so much better in others. And to listen without fear.”
    That is so true. All anxiety of having to be right is dissolved in the reality of just being loved!

    Good point on #4. Rather than argue about which it is, we can just follow Christ and let the fruit do the talking. 🙂

    Thanks again, Blessings.

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