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Prone To Wander Myth

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 What if your heart is no longer 'prone to wander?'  What if God is more interested in releasing a noble goodness He's already placed within you, rather than pressuring you to be more 'holy?'  Discover the book by Jim Robbins.

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Entries in change (3)


"I have come that you might behave?"

We were handed the wrong lens:
You will read Scripture through whatever lens you’ve been given. For decades, I mis-read the Scriptures as a way to behave better so that I could act like a good Christian. Others I know have been mislead as well. In fact, one man I know told me, “The four Gospels are about how we behave.”

Is that what Jesus came for? —“I have come that you might behave.”?

The commands of Jesus as well as Paul’s strong guidance to young churches felt heavy and wearisome to me. The commands became admonitions to avoid certain behaviors and take on other ones, lest God be displeased.

I was never told Jesus had given me a new and pure heart or the supernatural power for good that comes with it. I was left reading the New Covenant through an Old Covenant mentality [ a distorted lens]. After a while, one begins to resent God and despise the Christian life for requiring something, without providing the power to carry it out.

And that's the point:  the new heart Jesus gave you, tended by the Holy Spirit, gives you the power to change, to live well and to relate well.   As long as you believe your heart remains 'wicked' and 'prone to wander,' your healing will be sabotaged and the work of Jesus will be short-circuited.

[Excerpted from Jim's book, Recover Your Good Heart - Living free from religious guilt and the shame of not good-enough]

I will give you a new heart.  - Ezekiel 36:26


Be a Provocateur

How many Christians do you know whose presence stirs you? 

Spending time with a provocative [intriguing, remarkable, compelling] person leaves you with questions: 

"How have I [we] been drugged?"  so to speak.
"How does this new insight or revelation set me [us] free?"

And the questions will not let you seek the safety of mediocrity or the tedium of dullness. Yet, as disruptive as the provocateur's questions are, shame isn't the provocateur's goal:  Recovery and restoration are.


Provocateurs are...

"passionate change makers willing to be shunned if it is necessary for them to make a point,"

says Seth Godin in his book, Linchpin

Provocateurs are not willing to be cogs in a machine, or passive wallflowers.  They know their presence was sanctioned by God and that the effect of their life reveals something about God.  A provocateur's presence in your life is indespensible.

A provocateur's presence in a system is rarely tolerated because, like the Borg Collective in the Star Trek series, the Collective declares, "You will be assimilated.  Resistance is futile."  But the provocateur's perspective is ironically, the very thing the system needs. 


False scripts and expectations
Provocateurs are not willing to yield their God-given splendor to false scripts and expectations, nor are they willing to keep quiet simply because it's an unpopular thing to say. 

Note:  Provocateurs are not unkind.  They proceed with humility.  People are not their target: Disabling and destructive assumptions are.   If they provoke, it is to bring about a better day.  Inspiration and aliveness follows them.  They raise questions from which there is no retreat.

They do it because they love.

What is Jesus provoking through you?



Related podcast:  "THE UNIQUE GLORY YOU BEAR" [with fellow author, Gary Barkalow]



How spiritual transformation happens

What are the mechanics behind how we change; particularly how the new heart within us is strengthened, nourished and released?  How do we end up doing the things our restored hearts really want to do, while not yielding to false substitutes?

Invitation to the Jesus Life - Experiments in Christ-likeness, by Jan Johnson, is refreshing, gracious and full of well-textured thinking on the spiritual life.  The author suggests that God "loves [us] into goodness, drawing [us] with irresistable grace."   Loves us into goodness.

Isn't it true that when we feel most loved, pursued or valued, we are least likely to fall for lesser things?  So how do we access this loving-into-goodness life?

The means is through new habits of the heart, mind and body (spiritual disciplines), but the goal is not to become better Christians, the author surprisingly points out.  The goal is connecting with God.  When we connect, we receive love, and the Spirit does the transforming.  We, as Dallas Willard suggests, are then becoming the kinds of persons who naturally do and say the things Jesus did and said.  It is an outflow of experiencing love, not conjuring up good religious behavior.

Though the author of Invitation to the Jesus Life doesn't necessarily frame the process in the following way, I would suggest that as we connect with God (through redemptive habits) we experience his affection, and the Spirit nourishes and releases the goodness he seeded within our new hearts at conversion.  The point is connecting with God, not trying to become a better Christian.