27 July 2012

Not rules, but relationship

How we need to get the basis of our faith right. But so often we have it utterly wrong! It's not about rules, it's about relationship. Jesus was quite clear about this - 'I and the Father are one', 'Love one another as I have loved you'.

Interview with William P Young
I've been listening to a two-year-old recording of an interview with the author of 'The Shack', William P Young. Kathleen Slattery Moschkau questions him and he explains the background to the book as well as some of his own, personal history.

The entire interview is moving, informative and gripping, but it also gives us glimpses of the real Paul Young as well as glimpses of the love of the One who just is. The One who was and is and will always be. The One who longs to find me in my lostness.

There are two snippets from the interview that I need to share with you here. Not because they are better than any other part but simply because I won't be able to rest until I have shared them. I have stopped working on another post so I can get this one out there first.

First, here's the link to the interview so that you can hear it for yourself.

The two segments I feel compelled to share are around 10:43 and 19:30 minutes into the interview.

Rejection - At 10:43 Paul mentions that churches sometimes reject people who are beginning to be open.  He explains that he was once involved in a fellowship where this happened. The way he puts it is 'when their cracks showed up we just kicked them out'. If that sounds harsh it's because it is! But it happens because we are lost. Instead of loving the person we are afraid of the cracks we see. We can't handle it. We preserve our rules and structures by rejecting the 'misfits' who would cause the entire facade to collapse.

Acceptance - And at 19:30 Paul explains that 'Jesus came to destroy religion by introducing a relationship'. It's not about rules. It's about love. It's about relationship.

Those two segments are saying exactly the same thing in two different ways. We often handle those around us by rejecting whatever threatens the things that seem important. We don't want our world to crumble.

But Father (Daddy, Papa, Abba) simply pours out his love over us (and his grace, and his peace, and the fragrance of his presence, and even his glory - John 17:20-22).

He wants me to do the same. He wants me to love and pour out grace, peace, and the fragrance of his Spirit and glory. He wants me to do it freely and abundantly and with gay abandon. It's never too late to start.

Do you have stories of  times when rules took precedence over love? Can you identify good and less good experiences in you own life? How would you describe Papa's yearning for relationship with us as his children? How can we learn to better accept one another in life-giving relationship?


  1. Hi Chris,

    The Lord is revealing in my
    community that the enemy is stealing from the field of harvest because the
    bride is in a coma that is based on a lie by combining the Old and New Covenant.
    Rules plus love still equals bondage because Jesus came and fulfilled the Old
    "rules-based" Covenant. As a result of finally waking up from the
    coma myself and being immersed in the New Covenant alone, I have devoted myself
    to follow Jesus into a local bar in my community. Jesus simply asks that I
    become “a regular” so that I can forge relationships in love and let the Holy
    Spirit do the rest.

    It is amazing to see Christians
    steeped in rules cringe when they hear that my husband and I frequent a bar. We
    have prayer and accountability coverage in this field of harvest. The Lord is
    allowing paths and relationships to be forged here by giving us favor with a
    bartender who has been led out of a relationship with God (due to friends being
    "hurt" in the name of God or the church) and now embraces a spiritual
    soup of gods including operating in the paranormal. As I listened to this man's
    initial story, I had to internally pray with fervor because the battle is on
    for souls...his being one of them.

    The Lord quickened me that I not
    reply with condemnation or judgment but to love this man the way that the Lord
    loves him and just wait for the opportunities the Lord gives to speak to him
    about the real Jesus. The journey of a relationship is just beginning with this
    bartender and I look for as many opportunities to connect with him so that he
    can continue to share his story. My hope is that as time goes on, he'll want to
    hear more of mine. My prayer for this man is to regain what the enemy has
    captured while the bride is asleep in its haze of rules and behavioral sin

    Thanks, Chris, for providing a
    format to discuss this pertinent topic. I pray that more saints are freed.

  2. Thanks, Beth, for your helpful and encouraging reply. Real stories from the harvest are always good; they tear us away from theory and get us thinking about situations and people.

    I love your gentleness in dealing with your bartender friend. May I encourage you to pray a blessing over him? I'm praying right now with you for peace and joy in his life, that his business will prosper and that his home and family life will be ever more full and satisfying. We can pray this prayer out of the place of blessing in our own lives.

    This idea of the prayer of blessing comes from Ffald-y-Brenin in Wales, UK. You and I and Felicity Dale have mentioned this before - I expect you remember :-) http://jhm-old.scilla.org.uk/2011/12/we-bless-you-from-here.html

  3. Thanks, Chris, for your encouragement and reminder to pray for my friend in this manner. I appreciate you joining me in this prayer.

    I am impressed that you remember me and our previous conversation about the Wales retreat center.

    Blessings, Beth :-)



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