Seeing Into the New Creation (#465)

Looking beyond the religious systems of this world to a greater reality isn't always easy. Wayne works through some recent correspondence first from a woman who argues that our congregational systems are the only valid expression of Jesus' church in the world and deeply misunderstands the freedom that many are finding to connect as his church beyond them. Does Jesus build his church on commitment, accountability, and hierarchical systems, or is she built on the love and affection of the cross? The second email wonders if I'm overselling the reality of the new creation this side of the final resurrection. In all of this we get to talk about church views, church discipline, how real the new creation is in this age, and what does it mean to listen to Father.

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  1. “The Kingdom has infiltrated us” YEA! Love it!

    I think if you are in an environment (church) and are used to it and even like it, why would you leave, especially when you are taught that leaving is BAD.

    I NEVER thought I’d be in this place where I look at most churches as bondage. I look at it now like the place where the bride of Christ becomes Stepford wives.

  2. The God journey is such a wonderful word for what we used to refer to as the “spiritual life”. A moments thought will reveal that this God journey is not about God taking an afternoon walk by Himself to stretch His legs! It’s about two friends wanting to be together because they care for each other. The journey then is very personal, even intimate, between Jesus and me.

    When two friends walk together this way, sometimes we speak but sometimes we’re content just being together. Our “heart-focus” is on each other. This is what makes the God journey precious for us both.

    When two are together, is it not common courtesy to pay attention to each other as you walk? And when two or three are gathered together with the Lord wouldn’t that same courtesy have us make Him the focus of our conversation? Yes, He’s invisible. That’s where faith comes in.

    When two or three hundred are gathered together – it’s been my experience that the service is carried on as though Jesus is absent. The belief that God is absent and uninvolved is what makes “religion” so hard. It’s also what makes clergy necessary…or so it seems to me.

  3. I am a big fan of C.S.Lewis, especially Narnia. I guess his choice of “Emperor beyond the Sea” as a name for father might have something to do with his experience with his human father who after his wife’s death sent his son from his native Ireland “beyond the sea” to bording school in England… While listening to the podcast and thinking about it I realized that Narnia has a creation story, the fall (a dying mother – who is healed by Aslan, different from what C.S. Lewis experienced as a boy) and then of course Aslan’s death and resurrection – but no Pentecost, if I remember it correctly…
    The coming of the Spirit at Pentecost changed everything, transformed the disciples from the inside out, made them courageous witnesses and created a fellowship marked by love and caring – not just for “the insiders” but for everyone around them… They were free to worship in the temple but did not have to, they were free to adhere to the Jewish law but did not have to and did not expect “pagan” believers to do it… Freedom, caring, community, love and affection for one another… those are the “ingredients” for church – the fire of the Holy Spirit which warms and illuminates, the wind of the Holy Spirit that sometimes “disturbs the human peace and order” and sometimes “blows” us to places we never dreamed we’d end up…

    • Hi Ana,
      Thanks for clarifying something for me. I haven’t read any of the Naira books before, so when the phrase “emperor over the sea” appeared in the podcast, I pictured God as this vast presence with His authority over the all the sea (and everything else). Reading what you wrote about C.S. Lewis experience growing up, it makes sense why Wayne used this phrase and started talking about that sense of separation from God, like there is a big gulf in between us and Him.
      It reminded me of a passage in Romans 10: the righteousness that is by faith says “do not say in your heart, ‘who will ascend into heaven?’ (to bring Christ down) or ‘Who will descend to the deep?’ (to bring Christ up from the dead)” But what does it say? “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart”.

  4. I have often wondered why some can see what is so obvious to me yet others can’t. Each of us have lenses through which we evaluate life, and these lenses (paradigms), although hidden from one’s awareness of their influence, filter all information into one’s truth/reality. For instance, if one believes that God is physically affecting the circumstances that occur in life, then he sees God’s hand in all events (or at least the “good” ones). Yet, someone else, who believes that God is active only from a spiritual aspect within one’s life, will look at the same events and conclude that God is not responsible for those same incidents. These lenses are molded by many factors (society/education/sin/etc…), and seem to evolve throughout one’s lifetime thus changing one’s “truth” depending on shape of the lens at any one time. So, I wonder, “Is there any hope in agreement?,” and my heart has come to conclusion,”agreement is not God’s goal for us . . . love is.” Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy being with those who see things the way I do, but even then, agreement only goes so deep. Maybe there’s a way of “seeing” that is not affected by (or less affected by) one’s paradigm. Maybe the eternal life Jesus talks about is the quality of life that starts now in which the heart, instead of the head, determines what we see. Maybe this is the narrow gate Jesus talked about . . . life with God and life with others in which compassion and mercy become the lens that filters one’s reality; not information. The more I think I understand life in God, the more I realize I am seeing through a mirror dimly, but when maturity/completeness (love) comes, then I will see reality as it truly is . . . I will be looking with my heart.

    • Kent I don’t know where you live on this earth but I wish you was my next door neighbor. I do know from your post and hearts speech we are listening to Papa through windows that are very close.

  5. Personally , I have walked through being called away from the mega church into the organic church movement in looking for more real relationships , but that turned out to be meeting focused also and left me disappointed. Then I just walked with the Lord trusting Him to bring friendships into my life as I just kept loving and reaching out. Guess what, not working out too well.i think that some people will make lots of good friends living the way Wayne talks about but others due to their personality or whatever it is , will experience loneliness and rejection. Once being unplugged from the mind control in the IC , I can go back just to be around people on a more regular basis who have the Spirit in them. I am going to try to just enjoy it , be friendly and hope the Lord helps us connect naturally with some brothers n sisters . Don’t know what else to do feel a need for more regular being with believers and plan on going back to our old favorite church. If this doesn’t work , then maybe my hopes for a real caring family are just a fantasy and I need to let it go

    • Hey Jim,
      My husband makes friends really easily anywhere he goes, but It is harder for me. I found that when I got involved with ministry or home groups that is where I made some friends. But personally I think the more legalistic the church the harder it is to develop a real friendship. There are sooo many different churches and it seems every one has a different atmosphere. Plus it takes a lot of time to develop a good friendship. Anytime someone wants to be real close right away it is an alarm for me because I haven’t seen it turn out so well when that happens. Seems like they can walk away just as easily as they snatched you up as a friend. I wish you the best with that.

      Also, something that I am learning outside the church is to be my own best friend. The church I was in was focused on selflessness. Now I ask myself what do I feel and what do I need and if it is a real need then I meet it somehow. So I make sure to take care of me like I would a little child. I also make sure to stand up for myself by setting boundaries for disrespectful people. Somehow, that way I feel more confident and worthy of making good friends and receiving love and kindness from them. All this after a few very painful friendship losses. It has taken several years to get to a place where I am feeling happy whether I have friends around me or not.

      Hope you have a Merry Christmas.

    • Jim I found 2 people today who are speaking of some of the places where I am at. Three years I have been out of church but have meant no one with who I could share this heart’s journey, save my best friend who lives 1200 miles away. I have just started back to church with the same thought as yours. See if Papa has someone of like mind there. I must say the Pastor’s messages have all been about our walk with the Lord and not church life. I have meet with him and kind of told him where I am coming from and that I am somewhat anti church system. I assured him I have not come to the church looking for disciples or to start some movement in the church but if someone ask my thoughts on our life in Christ I would speak my heart. God hates discord amount the brethren and I sure am not looking to cause any split in a church. I guess for the lack of any other leading from the Lord I
      have put myself in this place to see what he perhaps has for me there. It has been great this last 3 years and I have no desire to leave my current walk with the Lord but when you see so many new things you just want to share them with others and see what Jesus has showed them. So I am just writing to say perhaps Papa is moving us this way, but I am not looking to cause trouble and I will be gone if it appears I am and for sure with any signs of bondage trying to be laid on me I will be backing away. You know if we step out the Lord can’ move us. A ship in motion is much raiser to steer than one siting still.

  6. I can’t stop with the quotes:

    “Love will go further than accountability ever can.” – WJ

  7. And how I wish we’d been able to do something with all those quotes, David! Maybe we still will. I used to walk the accountable road, which always led me to do the minimum I HAD to do to sate my conscience, or think I was pleasing God or others “above” me. I have found that love doesn’t worry about what it has to do, but goes long and far… A second mile, the cloak also and does it with joy.

  8. To that first letter that you read, it’s always interesting those who have been hurt or become disenchanted are first urged to “overlook a multitude of sins”. I’ve rarely seen anyone on the inside call the Church to accountability. And it’s also interesting that the disenchanted/disenfranchised are called to practice grace towards the Church, but what about the church bullies and power brokers being asked to search their heart? All the grace is to given to the Church, but very little is asked to be had towards the hurting. That right there, sets the Church up (unconsciously) as an untouchable entity.

    I really think what’s at the bottom of all the pushback is a stubborn disbelief that something in which someone has staked so much of their life and identity could possibly NOT be the way. I think there is fear in some as to the implications of finding out that there is another way than the one they’ve invested so much of themselves in. All I can say to those of us out here is, persevere. Don’t allow anyone to deter you from what you feel in your heart and soul to be right. They will either get it or not. But don’t live to try to bring them on board to your way of thinking or practicing faith. Maybe our journey is not for them. I don’t know. But let’s not make the same mistakes by trying to arm twist or diminish others’ practice. There’s enough of that out there already.

  9. I just wanted to make a comment about Wayne’s “New Creation” language because I absolutely love it. I really believe that language is exactly what Jesus body and bride should be seeking as it is a beautiful way of describing our relationship with Father, Jesus, Ourselves and others. I grew up Baptist and was always taught all the “New Creation” describes is that when we are saved we are made new. I no longer see it as small as that. I now see that the New Creation is more than just an identity, I think it is a lifestyle we are called to live in here and now. I suppose in my baptist background we made the error of an under-realised eschatology. Wayne’s recent podcast on the supernatural and some of the excesses people in those movements pursue, as Wayne alluded too, would be good examples of an over-realised eschatology.

    What I have really connected with Wayne over the last 18-24 months is his balanced emphasis on the New Creation. A theologian and friend of mine has coined the phrase Enacted Inaugurated Eschatology (apologies for all the terminology), to refer to the kind of life Jesus was living on this earth. For me in my conservative Baptist days. My salvation would have worked out fine if Jesus had been killed by Herod when he killed off all the boys 2 years old and younger. I didn’t actually need him to live a life here on earth. I just needed him to be innocent, and shed his blood for me in death.

    What I now see is that Jesus lived a life that shows me how to participate in the New Creation. Jesus in his coming brought the Kingdom with him, he inaugurated it. I missed this point in the old days because I thought that all his talk about the Kindgdom of God/heaven was the same thing as Heaven, and so I saw that as”if you are a good boy and eat all your veggies now, you can have some pudding after supper” kind of thing. By delaying this till a point after we die, robs us of the blessing and pleasure of living in the Father’s love here on earth.

    I would like to offer two phrases to this conversation, namely 1)Participating in the New Creation and 2)Practising the New Creation lifestyle. I believe this is what Jesus life on earth was all about, enacting this Eschatology he had inaugurated through his coming.

    I like these phrases because to me they help me to not over or under realise the New Creation, as these are real dangers. Rather it as Waynes says “invites me into a space” where God who is always at work bring His New Creation, and I can join together in experiences it. Though never complete or perfect it is a pleasure to join God in what he is doing in the world in our everyday lives and relationships. This often tends to be the more spontaneous stuff like chatting to someone over a braai (the South African version of a BBQ) etc.

    The second phrase I find offers a bit more intentionality as I get to practise New Creation, to be honest I see the most practical way of doing this through my relationships, and another way for me at least seems to be through art. I like the idea of practising instead of performance. Once again in my old baptist days I felt I needed to do certain things and do them perfectly to get God on my side, or to manage my relationship with him. Now I just practise the New Creation by loving my wife and being her champion, loving my sons, loving a work colleague who is struggling with an issue, lifting shame or condemnation off another and show friends, family members and strangers that Jesus does really love them as they are.

    I hope that encourages someone or makes a positive contribution to the conversation going ahead. I do think that the life that is spoken about here on the God journey is of the enacted kind.

    Blessings in Jesus

  10. Thank you Justin!
    My heart resonates with what you are saying about life in the New creation! I Don’t understand all the terminology you use But trust that you do:). So Far I find one common denominator in all Journeys Which I believe makes This new Creation way of living possible. And That is The incredible Love of a Father, an affection So Deep and complete That it consumes our being in ways humanly imposible!! As someone Close to me said this week in the middle of experiencing The reality of this Love outside of performance….”Nothing else Matters anymore”! And I Must agree! Once you Have Been given a taste of this affection it all seems so impossibly simple!!! From the very little I have seen The new creation life is impossible to live or understand or even seen as possible… Outside of this affection We get to experience with Father! Try telling someone experiencing this love That The Father or Jesus, are up in heaven and we must wait to talk and commune with them till we die! They will most likely look at you as if you are nuts!!!! I liked What Wayne Said…What did Jesus mean when He Said “I in You, You in Me, and also He and the Father are One” . I think The real danger is limiting What He Is capable of doing in us Through His love inside This shell of the old creation! Yes it is but the Tip of the iceberg we experience here but I don’t think our problem is Having too much faith in what He can accomplish in us. Why is it so hard to except That This is a journey into His fullness and we don’t yet know what that looks like? Can we at least consider The idea that Jesus meant what He said …”Greater things will they do than I because I go to the Father”. I don’t know what he meant by that !!!! But if we want a standard for what is possible in Him Why not let Him decide ! 🙂 It’s not like He is dead … Is He Not The Good shepherd That leads us?

  11. Hey Jim, your last sentence Jolted me a bit.
    Here’s something I found in a book:



    Everyone has something good in them. Now when I meet someone, I look for a good quality in them and when its time, tell them what I see. This seems like a simple way of “Loving one another”.

  12. Jim,

    I’m sort of where you are as far as relationships go. As I said here after listening to a past podcast, virtually all my relationships were based around ‘something’, whether it be church, school, employment or the like. And when that ‘something’ went away, the relationships went along with it. It has left me at a pretty lonely place these days, but in saying that, an often peaceful place as God’s spirit does fill me in most circumstances.

    A particular relationship pains me in that I see ‘a long, cold winter’ developing which I am slowly surrendering to, though with much difficulty. The relationship may go away completely, may return somewhere down the line but I realize it is not on my timetable, it is God’s.

    A phrase I picked up as I was taking inventory of this particular relationship is ‘rejection is God’s protection.’ Don’t know if anyone here has heard that phrase before, but I have taken comfort in it, knowing that God has my best interest in hand at all times, even the lonely times, And this too shall pass.

    What I see through my little corner of the world, God sees the whole world, without bias, without formed prejudices, without error. Now why wouldn’t I trust that although circumstances around me, especially to others, may look unfavorable, God has a different plan for me that is still unfolding. And the sooner I trust that plan, the closer I get to that plan being revealed in my life.

    Trying to relate this to the current podcast, why among religious circles must we have an ‘us versus them’ mentality, especially when it comes to how we view the church building. Sure the only way to God is through the Son, but why can’t there be many ways to the Son? Sometimes we have detours we have to navigate around, dead-ends, sometimes we are going the wrong way. But why does that have to mean that these travails are not part of God’s plan for us? Maybe they are. Why, instead of saying ‘my way is the right way’, can’t we love someone through what they are going through without it threatening us at some level ?.

    I happen to have friends and colleagues of different races and sexual orientations, as I’m sure many of us here do as well. But I try hard not to define them by those things. And I can even celebrate with them in significant events in their journey, even if I can’t relate to them completely on their level. And its not even about, ‘someday I’ll get them to follow Jesus.’ Treat the relationships as ends in themselves, and trust the rest to God.

  13. Ron and Bob C,
    Thanks so much for your kind words . I am wired for real heart to heart sharing and love the true fellowship of the Holy Spirit amongst Gods people. When we go to a traditional church and just sit and listen to the message , but don’t participate or connect with anyone on a more than superficial level, then go back again n again hoping and praying to connect but it doesn’t happen probably because that type of meeting isn’t structured for that, it gets to a point where I don’t know if I can do it again. House church was something I was really into for awhile until I realized it seemed like I was the only obe interested in making friends and I kept reaching out and was almost always the initiator of contact with the others in the group. Once I realized that the others weren’t that interested in me I pulled back n stopped trying to make it happen. Then I stopped all organized gatherings completey n just walked w God n hoped to show love and let Him connect me to people, but again it seems I am always initiating contact n I get tired of it. If we go back to our old church and it seems too phony , I will leave again and just keep walking with The Lord. I Do have 3 people I consider real friends but I never thought it would be so hard to make new ones.Most church going people can’t relate to me because I question a lot of the things the traditional church does but I do still have a longing to experience a loving Family of God.

    • I was reading your email and Ron’s email and could relate to what you were saying. In a previous podcast I had written the very same thing that Ron did about building relationship around “something” – programs or activities. Places where we have to “do” things rather than simply having the ability to “be”.
      It sounds like you are discouraged by the lack of response to your efforts in making friendships. And then I noticed you have 3 people I consider real friends. I presume that means friends that accept you and want to be with you and even call you. In the world of men, that is very rare. Very rare. And in fact you are one of the blessed few to have that many…
      I have one close friend, and several I am cultivating. The way I cultivate them is to be transparent, and wait for them to open up. It may or may not happen. Some of these friendships will last a long time, and many will be for a season.
      Perhaps our “demand” for friendship is actually a codependent behaviour – a subtle: you have to be my friend so that I feel better and more loved. I am learning through some pretty hard lessons, that I cannot force someone to like me or befriend me. I simply choose to be their friend and wait to see if something comes of it. And it will have disappointment – in the same way that other will experience disappointment because of your limitations. But it is my friendship with Jesus that sustains me and allows me to not demand of others.
      Be encouraged my friend, continue to give freely and transparently with no expectation of return, and if anything comes of it, consider it a gift. The Lord is your only permanent friend.

  14. Thanks John ,
    That makes a lot of sense and I agree with you. I feel pretty secure in my friendship with Jesus and am thankful for my true friends that God gave me. I wouldn’t say I am demanding people be my friend and I know you can’t make people like you so I guess I just have to keep an open heart and trust God for connections without trying too hard, but it does wear on me , the hope of developing good friends and then after people get to know one another they decide they don’t want to get any closer. Tempted to think something is wrong with me at times yet I lnow I can be a good friend and have a lot to offer. Thanks for the encouragement.

  15. We all have a tendency sometimes to keep one foot in the old creation and one foot in the new. Man has had a loooong time to organize the things of God since the first century. I’m reading an excellent book, AD 381, which is about the development of organized religion (it’s creeds,rules and politics). It is amazing how saturated this world is in man’s way of doing God. It is no wonder why we have so much to shed so that we can fly.

  16. I have started this journey again – after having left the IC and gone back the past two years. I can relate to many here who have remarked about the loneliness etc. I can’t help but wonder – is this loneliness something that is particular to a) our culture and b) our particular location in history? My thoughts – heavily influenced by the authors of “Joy Starts Here” is that we are living at a time in history where people – for various reasons – technology, migration etc have actually lost relational skills. Since we have lost many of these skills – in effect, we don’t know what we don’t know. Most of us have not grown up in *functional* communities – there are people (in developing countries for example) who have not lost these skills (which is why I believe short term mission trips always leave people wanting more – b/c for the first time they see what *community* looks like – they learn it from their impoverished hosts!)…anyway – these relational skills can only be taught *in relationship*! that’s a catch! and take practice. I see an unrealized synergy between these skills and the journey away from church and hope to find like-minded people who are interested in learning and practicing. That’s my prayer for now – Jesus might have different plans. I encourage you all to look at the book “Joy Starts Here” and would love to hear what others have to say about the loss of relational skills in our communities. Blessings!

  17. I have had a longing all my life to experience more of God. More of his presence, closeness, to understand him better, to be transformed by him, to “get it” at least more and more. It’s always been a challenge to find my way, to keep believing, keep seeking. Maybe because I’m on the depressed side. There have been several times when I went to a person I thought was spiritually more mature than I and amazingly, they each told me “not to expect too much from my relationship with God in this life.” The God Journey has reignited my desires and helped me to see that they are actually God planted. These days I am starting to get it, just barely. Starting to really believe God loves me and I think his love is eating into the depression I’ve had. I’m three years into listening to the podcast. I was at a point where I wasn’t sure anymore that God even existed. I’m 58 and I though I wish I’d started sooner, at least I have started. And I am not going back! Why would anyone want to decrease the expectations humans would have of God? We have plenty of struggles with unbelief, hope and trust and breaking out of our human system as it is. Anyway, thank you Wayne and Brad and all the other participants for increasing my expectations and enticing me to seek God again. By the way, C.S.Lewis wasn’t saying that our relationship with the father is distant like the Emperor Over the Sea. The Narnians had a different relationship to God than the humans. Those differences appear throughout the books.

  18. Here is a piece of the new creation that I see in me. I am slower to see the faults in others and quicker to receive grace, healing, light, and love from God in my own life. I do not know how one can understand the freedom of life in Jesus without experiencing it. When I was younger, they were just words to “motivate” me to work harder. But 99% of my growth has come from letting go of my desire to control and letting God live through me. He has freed me in so many ways from myself and revealed to me who I am really. Thank you Wayne for this podcast.

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