Accept no Substitutes!
Why would we ever think we're safer following the crowd, or following another human being, when the King of Kings wants to be our shepherd and lead us into the true freedom of God's life? He alone is the way, the truth and the life. Learning to live dependent on him rather than our own performance or the false security of so-called experts, will allow him to unravel our religious ways of thinking and free us to go on the journey with him that opens the door to the real thing—life in his kingdom!
Wayne and Brad,
I just finished the latest podcast about Accepting No Substitutes. I really
wanted to write last week, because I’m a former Simon. I led the Simon Says
game worship for 15 years, playing piano and singing. (I loved that analogy…
so true!) I appreciated hearing Sara and Kelly’s insight more than I have time
to explain here. The Holy Spirit spoke to me about many things as I listened.
It caused me to reflect on the changes in me over the past four years, since
we ventured out on this journey.
At the time we left that old system, we knew God was calling us to something
different. Geesh, we’d already known that for years before, and trying to find
that elusive something was a lot of what got us into trouble along the way,
and evenutally kicked out. I don’t think we would have been brave enough to
ever step out on our own… we depended too heavily on that porch light shining
a safe beam around us. But circumstances evolved to remove us as the whole thing
imploded around us.
We’ve gone through various phases over the past four years – trying house church
for a while, being quite alone for many months, developing some friendships
lately, but still not really finding what it is we’re seeing in our hearts.
There’s a lifestyle of community that I can envision as clear as anything, but
it’s as if God intentionally hasn’t put people around us. I’m certain it is
to keep us from depending on them instead of Him, but as I posted to the LifestreamJourneys
list, I’ve been very lonely.
Tonight Wayne said, "The problem is not that [the system, or whatever
thing we’re depending on] exists. The problem is that people don’t know Jesus
real enough so that [the system, or whatever] isn’t needed." And you know,
I had no problem walking away from the church system. I was ready to give it
up four years ago, and I see its shortcomings without anger or bitterness anymore.
My problem has been that I’ve still been looking for something, rather
than Someone. For the past few months, the Holy Spirit has been pressing
me with this thought, though I couldn’t quite identify it until tonight. Tonight’s
podcast was for me, if for no other listener (though I doubt that). I needed
to hear what you shared… that this is worth the effort, worth the time, worth
the death that comes as I lay down some of those old mindsets and really seek
after discovering new life in Jesus.
With four daughters at home, it’s hard for me to get out for longer than a
few hours at a time, and yet I’ve really felt the need to draw away… long
enough to sleep out the tiredness, appreciate being free from the family responsibilities,
and then to still have time to talk with Jesus without having to watch a clock
for when I have to be back home. It’ll take longer than a day or even two, so
I’ve been toying with the idea of taking a week-long retreat sometime this winter.
I may or may not actually go away, but tonight solidified in my heart some things
that the Holy Spirit has been trying to communicate to me lately.
Thank you for not sharing all the answers. Thank you for not having all the
answers! Tonight was like getting a wonderfully exciting postcard from someone
a little further down the road, and it makes me so hungry to continue on the
highway to see what’s next. You have no idea how much tonight’s podcast was
right on the mark for what I needed to hear, right when I need to hear it. Thank
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Brad, it was fascinating hearing you talk about how the Lord used to speak to you in a particular way, part of which involved him showing you the seasons you were in etc. and then he got you to a point where you began to walk in a different way, one that involved less of being able to ‘see’ in the way you did before. I would love to hear you guys talk more about this if you sense at all that it would be a good thing to talk about.
As a builders wife, I hope Wayne feels a little less confident about the electrical wiring in his house than he does about the plumbing. Please do not try this one at home…..
We would like you to be around a bit longer..
At least long enough to change your mind about having a plan.