How His Love Frees Us (#524)

Especially in the most challenging or devastating of circumstances, knowing we are loved turns the tide from being swallowed up by our circumstances to finding the freedom to navigate them with God's wisdom and grace. Wayne and Brad read some listener responses to recent podcasts and pick up a thread about how our security in Father's affection frees us to live differently in so many circumstances. It is an awareness often hard-won in wrestling with him—and losing! One email demonstrates just how powerful the knowledge of Father's affection can be when he wins us into that space. Knowing we're not orphans but beloved children centers us in his reality and allows us to see more clearly what he offers us. To the same conclusion they revisit an earlier podcast about significance and discovering that our lives matter not by what we can do for God, but by the worth his love settles in us.

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  1. I am so wanting to rest in a very real understanding of God’s love, but can’t seem to find my way. I don’t know how to. Please pray for my deliverance.
    Thank you for this podcast.

    • Keep asking… keep seeking. But don’t try to find your way in. It isn’t ours to do. Better if we recognize how he’s making his way into us. That comes from learning to relax into his love and recognizing his fingerprints in our heart and our days… Maybe some of the Engage coaching might help if you haven’t seen it already, but this is really a work of the Spirit, not from a video or book.

  2. Great podcast again! I can identify so much with the guy who struggles to find significance without doing some good works or using some spiritual gift or something.
    Things don’t have to be disastrous in my life for me to feel a waste of space, and last year’s, last week’s or even yesterday’s revelation of God’s amazing love for me becomes a memory rather than a constant reality.
    However, I think I’m growing in this and am less overwhelmed by life’s negatives than before, although those times, it seems, are no less painful, and the hatred I feel for myself, no less severe than before.
    Then I come back to the knowledge of his love for me and feel stupid that I let myself feel like that and beat myself up like that.

    I think I was so good at religion for so long, that to allow myself to think that I’m loved, and to agree with that love (and love myself) is a truth I’ve embraced but not yet a constant reality that I live in.

    Still, it’s a journey, and I’m further down the road than I was last year, last week or yesterday. Even if it doesn’t always feel that way.

    Oddly, there’s a sense that until I allow God’s love into my life I won’t be able to love others as He loves me, so I will be a waste of space!
    Maybe that’s just my flesh trying to make a religion out of living loved.

    Thanks Tom, thanks Jerry. Great podcast.

    • ‘I can identify so much with the guy who struggles to find significance without doing some good works or using some spiritual gift or something.’ Yes, yes, yes. And while I don’t doubt for a second that some of that struggle is ego – seeking to be noticed or seen as ‘someone’ – but remove that and it is still there. This was the sense I was getting at and then this morning I was reminded of what it says in James – that “faith without works is dead”.

      Many go into all sorts of discussion about what James says but I think most of it know it for what it means – but this morning the I was given a freshness of thinking about it as I thought about in context of my new understanding and experience of faith – which is that it is a great deal about understanding that the work Jesus did is done and what that means and that the work in us is being done – not by us but by him – and so faith for me is trusting in all that and relaxing into it. Which led me with a freshness of understanding that the works of this faith will also come not by anything we do but come out of the work God is doing in us. The ‘works’ flow as he works in us and through us – it just looks different now and I am still learning to recognise the new works that flow as opposed to waiting to see the old style works start flowing again. So for those of us who are in the early days of letting go of religion and learning to live free and live loved there may be a period of time that as the past works of faith die out and the new works of faith are still being worked into us as we learn a new way to live and …as we learn, first and foremost, to live loved – which in turn produces different – and better – works of faith for they just become an outpouring of love. None of this is new, except the eyes and understanding it is seen through.

      Or as Robin put it … ‘Oddly, there’s a sense that until I allow God’s love into my life I won’t be able to love others as He loves me, so I will be a waste of space!’ … what hasn’t been changed in us by God (yet!) is a waste of space for that part of us is not yet knowing God’s love to the fullest yet, therefore, we do not do everything from that place yet. The things that come from God’s work in us are worthwhile and feel good but the things that don’t are things we perhaps need to let ourselves off the hook a little by realising we are a work in progress and that his love will slowly work in us and heal us of those spaces as well – given time and trust.

      In the podcast Brad said that feeling you matter is about input not output and that is true. The point I think Wayne makes about it – which I think most of us understand but sometimes need to be reminded of – is to make sure the input is recognising how much God loves us and getting to a place where having his love is what want most and cherish greatly – a love that grows over time – rather than getting your worth from the input of those around you. Getting to that place is not something we can do other than continue to hold onto the hope and lean into trust – scary as that can be until you start to have experiences of God’s faithfulness to hold on to and to remind you of his love for you.

      • LD, thank you for sharing this. It was very encouraging. God Bless you!

  3. Thanks again for another great podcast. I know you guys think that we should graduate at some point, but I don’t find these podcasts repetitious. Instead, I think that as both of you are growing as well, new insights and perspectives are born.

    Here are a couple of things that this week’s episode brought to mind.

    First of all, the meaning of life isn’t 42. The whole point of it is to help us grasp more and more how much God loves us. That is what the Prodigal Son story is really about. Two people (older son and younger son) in wildly differing circumstances finding out just how much they are loved by their father,. This is the whole point of their very different journeys and everything that happens to them.

    The other thing was what you were both saying about life not being about puppy dogs and rainbows. I understand what you mean, but it got me wondering about where that desire for a “perfect life” comes from. It could be pure selfishness and wishful thinking, but I think it goes back to the Garden. I think this is how original creation was supposed to be (not puppies and rainbows, but perfection), and this is why we have a yearning in our hearts for our lives to be like this also. The great thing is that the Restoration is coming where we will experience this again. We cannot go back, and cannot experience it on this earth, but we are looking forward to it when the new heaven and earth are complete.

    • Hi Stephen,
      I wish I had read your reply before I added my comment. You said exactly what I was thinking.

  4. I wonder if the reason we all think life should always be good for us is because it’s in our DNA which we got from Adam and Eve. They were perfect; life was perfect, no pain. Then sin came into the picture, but something in us knows that this isn’t how it’s supposed to be. Unfortunately, we question God instead of remembering we live in a sin-cursed world.

  5. Great parable! I am now wrestling with God over my daughter who, in my opinion, is under a bad influence. Boy, how I want to take things under control. Interfere, fix it as best I can. Something’s telling me this would only aggravate things. I have to wait and just be there. But every day I keep wrestling with God: “Why don’t you intervene!” I have to let go.

  6. So, Wayne & Brad, are you the Tom and Jerry that constantly fought with eachother, or the Tom and Jerry that got along (lol) !?!

    I was surprised and pleased when I went over to the Lifestream blog a week or so ago and saw that you, Wayne, created a blog posting based on an entry I posted here a couple of podcasts ago. I know where I had received the story originally, but had to dig a little deeper to find the ‘true’ origin of the story, which appeared in a memoir of the author of ‘Zorba the Greek’. I went solely by memory, as the book in which the story is contained, I no longer have.

    For anyone that may be interested, the book is called ‘When the Bad Times Are Over For Good’, and is available on Amazon. And no, I receive no commission on book sales (lol)! The book was published over 20 years ago, and the author has since passed away. Just glad to be of service to anyone it may help, as it helped me.

  7. There is such a simplicity in this journey, isn’t there? Because it is all about Love. A leaning into, a falling into a Love that defies any of the explanations, managings or “doings” that the overuse of the word has placed on it. Reading all the comments above, which are vulnerable and hopeful and just full of our journey into this Love, again brings me back to the bride that He is calling out and causing to stand on this earth. We are a chosen people, a holy nation, a royal priesthood, a spectacular bride without spot or wrinkle not because we have done anything to arrive at such splendour but because he has loved us, furiously loved us. And as we have turned into this love we have caught his gaze and truely begun to see ourselves as he sees us.
    It seems to me that I lived unloved because one day I would truly know what it was to be loved
    Because one day I would find this.
    Union with the God who utterly and totally loves me as he loves himself, this Godhead of union
    That we are inextricably joined with because someone made a way.
    Now there is no separation, none, nothing !

    Leaning into love
    Leaning into the vast solid presence of a beloved Father.
    Pain does not disappear, why? Because Life happens,
    but this vast solid presence of a Father who loves me?
    That makes the difference.
    I am beloved.
    Life is a journey, a walk on the wild side, from birth to death.
    Choices! Everywhere..
    You are born screaming
    and the human journey of breathing in and out through this jungle of emotions
    is a journey of screams.
    Gloriously happy to achingly sad.
    To remove one is to remove all and give a lie to freedom in those choices,
    but through it all He is our solid constant.
    He does not change, he holds us, if we let him
    He stares into the abyss with us.
    He sits in the mud of depression with us.
    He laughs with delight with us.
    And hide no longer.

    I wonder that we see a “Christian” culture of entitlement, in “church”.
    Where, as long as we think we can name it and claim it, and that God should prevent something happening because WE know best,
    he will remain an idol “enemy”, an external god of the big stick, instead of our friend and our beloved.

    When we embrace that HE is God
    That he allows in his wisdom that which he could easily prevent with his power,
    When we embrace this whole life journey filled with joy AND pain
    With him as our companion and guide and mentor and Father and friend and lover and utter beloved, embraced utterly and in union.
    Then, whether the waves are calm or stormy, he is our helmsman.
    He is our anchor, our collaborator, he is the one we scream with joy or pain with.
    Then we will be content in all circumstances…
    When we make him a foreign god, an “enemy” instead of our friend
    When we hold him at bay instead of embracing him
    When we hold life at bay instead of embracing it
    When we hide instead of running with our head thrown back and mouth wide open tasting the rain.
    We become a tiny portion of who we were called to be
    A tiny little piece of our glorious life as it was meant to be
    This glorious mess, this glorious overgrown mess
    Mostly because I did not allow him to be utterly embraced in all of it
    I tried to hide from him as they did in the garden.
    Instead of being gloriously naked and unashamed.

  8. I think sometimes the numbness that comes through pain also numbs our sense of God. No ego as such involved, it is a state of the heart that is beyond our control. I can know in my head, yes God loves me, because he has been nothing but kind towards me. And I know in my head things like death and sickness come to us all.
    I agree with some of the comments above, that we are made for joy. We were not made for grief and sorrow….I guess at the moment the presence of God seems elusive. Maybe it’s the feeling Christ had, when he said why have you forsaken me. I can even see ways God has been reaching out to me, but it’s like I’m observing from a distance. I’m like a scientist making note, but never experiencing. There are no easy answers to these things, and I’m sure I’m not alone in these feelings- and I am honestly someone who has never believed that relationship with God necessarily means peace and happiness, I’ve never ever thought that. God is not a vending machine and I’m sure his heart hurts along with us. Sorry if this seems disjointed.

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