Escaping the Corruption in the World (#610)

Christianity has taught many of us that salvation is jumping through the right religious hoops to acquire your get-out-of-hell-free card. Then why did Jesus and Peter talk about a different way of living that allows us to escape the corruption that is in the world and allows us live in the freedom and joy of the Father's love and light even in a broken age? Wayne's been focused on the last section of John 12 lately and invites Brad into it as well. There Jesus describes our salvation as a relationship of growing trust that disarms the power of the world and allows us to actually live differently in this age. And yet, so few Christians demonstrate the power of that kind of living?

Podcast Notes:

NY Times Column about Roy Moore and the Sorry State of Evangelical Politics
The latest news from our project in Kenya
Add your voice to our question/comment line via Skype at "TheGodJourney"

8 Comments

  1. Wayne,
    I really resonated with this statement from today’s podcast: “As you learn to trust me, the world isn’t as dark as when you don’t.” I have seen this in my own life lately. Growing up Independent Fundamental Baptist, I was taught to resist evil, abstain from all appearance of evil, etc., or I may be corrupted or fall into temptation…etc… I felt I shouldn’t hang out with the corrupted “unbelievers” or the “world” or they may some how rub off onto me. Consequently, I took on a fear of being in any environment that wasn’t “Christian.” For example, at party where alcohol was served or “sinful” music was played. It was my responsibility to follow these “godly principles’ etc…so I can live ‘right.’ Ugh.
    However, since coming into a better knowledge of his grace and love for me, I’ve grown into more freedom in Christ and I have noticed a change within myself when I am in those so called “dark” environments now.
    Recently my daughter (17) wanted to go to big music festival. To my surprise, I actually had no problem taking her. 🙂 It was a day full of “ungodly” music. The huge crown of “sinners” wearing skimpy clothing were drinking alcohol all day. (I hope you can hear the sarcasm in my tone.) Instead of being fearful all day, I experienced such a strange peace and security within myself, and utter love for those around me. I believe it was a gift from God to actually see them from his eyes of love. I didn’t even fear when my 17 year old daughter walked to other areas of the huge festival without me. I knew that God was with her. I didn’t need to fear. His perfect love had cast it out. I truly did experience what you spoke of on the podcast that “where I trust, I have life.” I simply enjoyed the day in Him. In my old way of thinking I didn’t trust him or understand his love so I would have experienced anxiety or darkness in similar situations. How strange to realize there was nothing to fear after all and that God loves “them” too.
    I have many parenting friends who choose to isolate their children from such supposed ‘evils.’ But who can isolate from everything? How much better to teach our children that they too can live out of a relationship with a Father of love. They, too, can believe in the One…

    On another note, Wayne, I feel the need to apologize too because I am the one who sent that pastor to see you in Angers, France. Yes, my family is the one he is probably concerned about. He and his wife think we are “off.” 😉 I choose to believe he is well intentioned, but I do apologize for his preaching and to the lady who was so threatened by his appearance. I simply told him to check out your get together because he lived next town over and I thought he might find it interesting because we had had conversations about your books. However, I wonder now that perhaps he wasn’t honest with me about his true thoughts on your books, not to mention my family. I had no idea he would come in with his scripture guns blazing. Nevertheless, I pray God will work good from it.

  2. No worries, Joan. It was an interesting exchange and one God used in a variety of ways, even with the woman who shared so honestly after. We all have our journeys, don’t we? I’m don’t think the pastor came in with a belligerent attitude, either, and certainly what others shared by way of introduction may have been difficult to endure when you’re working so hard to help people by more institutional means.

    So, don’t feel bad about any of that and there is certainly no need to apologize. I’m not looking for pristine settings where people don’t struggle with real stuff. Jesus seems to make himself known far easier on the raw edges of life, rather than in our conflict-free pretense.

  3. Maybe the reason that “so few Christians demonstrate the power of that kind of living” is because we don’t have it. Maybe we have something that looks, to us and others, like the Life that Jesus came to give us. Paul told Timothy that, “in the last days…men will…hold to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power.” Today’s ‘form of godliness’ is polished to a sparkling sheen, while people’s hearts are dying inside it. That might be the most difficult thing in life to admit to yourself–that you are dying inside. But dying is not Life, no matter what it looks like on the outside.

    Over and over in scripture God encouraged people to “choose Life”. In each case, they chose something that they thought was life, or looked like life, but fell dreadfully short. “You search the scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life…and you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have Life.” Maybe that’s because they opted for a someThing instead of a someOne. “Eternal Life is this: that they come to KNOW You, the One True God, and Jesus Christ, whom You have sent.” Life is getting to know a Person–not a ‘way of living’, not a state of being, not a collection of experiences. For some reason, we keep on chasing and choosing everything else but Him.

  4. One of my favorite God Journey podcasts to date. I always download and listen as I work.
    So appreciate the commonalities in the journey.
    Thanks!

  5. The realization that salvation is for this life is like being born again or born from above, right?…when love occupies the heart, this life is all that matters. Love focuses one’s attention on this life; not the next.

    • Kent: thank you for your comment, and bringing up the S word. After all my years in Christianity, I have never heard a satisfactory answer to what ‘salvation’ means. We assume we know what it means, so we just skip over it whenever it appears, like it’s a done deal. So what are we saved from, exactly? The only answer I’ve heard is: ‘from hell.’ But I am coming to know salvation as an unfolding reality in my experience.

      Now I realize I’m in the process of being saved from the corruption in the world, the knowledge of good and evil, and the tyranny of my own mind. And healed of the SHAME that adds fuel to those fires. I have discovered that the battle within me is not confined to my mind, but rather that my own mind is in opposition to my heart, my spirit.

      Jesus lived His whole life ‘saved’, or ‘free from’ whatever it is WE needed to be saved from. This was made real in the human Jesus by Jesus walking with, being present with Father, heart-to-heart, 24/7! Isn’t that the very promise God gave to Abram in Genesis 17? “Walk in My presence, and be blameless…and I will _____, I will _____, I will _____!” What we need to be freed from, then, is everything that is NOT included in “walk in My presence.” “destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against knowing God.” [being present with Father, heart-to-heart, 24/7]

      Like Wayne said, his walk with Father is causing all that other stuff to fall off! It is the heart-to-heart walk with Father that frees (saves) us from all those things! I have realized the same thing: Father has taken a firm grip on my heart, and I have taken a firm grip on His heart, which is what makes me heir to His promises (the I will’s)! I grip His Heart (and hold on for dear Life!) and HE does the transformation and everything else! This is salvation! (=eternal Life, =knowing Father, same thing) [John ch 12 – 17]

        • Wayne: I want to thank you and encourage you for the last few podcasts. Your story of the guy in France who asked God to make Himself real gave me the shivers! “What’s happening to me?” The God I know desperately wants to make Himself known before our very eyes! You are so blessed to have witnessed that.

          Please keep exploring the ‘heart-to-heart’ with Father that continues after He blows us away at first. There is nothing more valuable than getting to know God, in person. Knowing Him, alone, covers everything. [Phi 3:8] When we really get a grip on this Truth, the Person, nothing else matters.

          Your listeners need to hear your conversations about how God continues to unfold His real Self to us AFTER He introduces Himself at ‘The Shack’! Far too few of us know what ‘walking in His presence’ looks like. If we aren’t free to ‘be present with Him’ 24/7, then we are missing everything.

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