Have you ever taken the time to really read about Jesus’ life? I mean, REALLY read about His life and how He lived, what He did, and how He spent His time? Jesus did not conform to the ways of this world. He only did the will of His Father. He didn’t bow to the political pressure or religious pressure of His day. In fact, Jesus spent much of His time on earth speaking against the Religious Leaders of that day. He consistently challenged their beliefs and their hearts. He was a Rule Breaker – and I want to be one too!
Jesus broke the rules, He made wine from water drawn from foot cleansing jars (gasp!). He spoke to a Samaritan woman (double gasp!). He ate with sinners and thieves and hung out with the poor and broken (triple gasp!). He also walked in Awesome Power and touched many hearts, healed every diseased/sick person brought to Him and spent time one on one with His Father, which is the not-so-secret-secret of His Peace and Power. In all of these things He was a Rule Breaker that stood against the bondage of religion in His day.
In one story, Jesus healed a man who had been lame for 38 years, what a wonderful miracle! (John 5) But, did the Religious Leaders see that and rejoice? Nope, they saw the lame man walking and accosted him for carrying his mat on the Sabbath. They missed the miracle because they were lost in the law. Not only that, but they were upset because the man had been healed on the Sabbath. How dare someone “work” on the Sabbath!! What they could not see was that it’s not work for Jesus to heal, it is love. They missed the message of love because all they could see was their religious rules being broken.
In another instance, Jesus healed a man who had been blind from birth. (John 9) He spat on the ground, made a clay paste, applied it to the blind man’s eyes, then told him to wash in the pool of Siloam and he would be healed. His healing occurred just as Jesus promised, what a wonderful miracle! Surely the Pharisees would rejoice with this man, right? Wrong, dead wrong. Again, they did not rejoice, but were angered by the fact that Jesus “worked” on the Sabbath by making clay and anointing the man’s eyes with it. Instead of rejoicing with the healed man, they didn’t believe him and brought his parents as witnesses to prove he had ever been blind. Even upon this proof, they snarled in disbelief, asking the healed man again how he was healed. When he answered them that surely Jesus was from God and this miracle was proof, they called him a filthy sinner and pitched his newly seeing self out into the streets.
Wow, talk about missing the point, so totally and completely! It’s easy for us to say we’d never do such a thing, but upon pausing and reflecting can we honestly say we are not doing that right now?
Jesus died to not only give us salvation but ultimately to give us full healing of our hearts, minds and bodies. Today, we often stop at the gift of salvation. We walk away from the gifts of healing that He offers. We don’t dig into the fullness of His death and resurrection to recognize the victory and power He has given us to live and walk in total freedom, this side of Heaven.
When Jesus died He defeated ALL powers of the enemy. He sent the forces of evil running scared and forced them to turn to defensive mode. This means, when we choose to believe in Jesus and accept Him as our Lord and Savior, we too have access to defeat ALL powers of the enemy. If that is the case, you ask, then why are so many Christians walking around defeated, deflated, discouraged and depressed? They are walking around in defeat, waiting to die for their day of salvation to come because they don’t know the power available to them. Religion doesn’t point them to power, it points them to duty, striving and self-sufficiency.
In addition, they don’t walk in Freedom because healing takes work, focus and a stopping of all driven-ness. We have been taught a false gospel and we have walked in and been slaves to that gospel so long that we can no longer discern the truth from the lies.
The truth is that stopping is starting. The truth is that pausing is pursuing. The truth is that the more we draw near to the heart of God, the less we will strive to please Him in our own strength. The truth is God does not desire us to follow Religion and all its rules, He desires us to walk in Relationship with Him. That relationship will bring healing. It will bring freedom and most of all it will bring overwhelming love that we cannot help but share with the world. That is the Truth and anything less than that is a diet-plan gospel. This diet-plan gospel will feed us just enough to keep us going but never provide the sustenance needed to Stand Firm and Fight for our Freedom through Faith.
Today the Spirit of Religion runs deep and strong throughout our churches and it is giving us but a crumb of the cake of salvation. Yes, we are saved and will be taken to Heaven when we die, but just sitting and waiting for that final blessing while continuing to live in the bondage and pain this world offers is like accepting a little crumb of cake and throwing the rest away.
Jesus died so that we could have life and have it to the full. Full Healing, Full Restoration and Full Power over Darkness.
John 10:10b I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
Stop eating your diet-plan gospel and turn your eyes to Jesus as the Author and Perfecter of your Faith. When you do so, you will be opened to new levels of healing in your heart, mind and spirit. That healing will free you from all the lies the enemy has ever planted. Then, you will shine in such a way that others will be drawn to you and need to know how you’ve attained your freedom. Then, you can share that freedom with them and they can learn to know Jesus, in turn experiencing freedom and attracting others, etc, etc, etc. Gee, it seems almost like a strategic plan to draw people to Jesus…hmmm…wonder who thought of that?
Please don’t hear what I’m not saying. I’m not saying you should quit your church and walk away from what you’ve been taught. I am saying you should drop the weights that Religion has put on you and focus on your Relationship with God. Read His Word for yourself. Hear how He loves you from His mouth. Quiet your spirit daily to sit with Him and let Him help you grasp His love for you. Sorry, there is no shortcut to that Relationship. Sure you can go on a weekend retreat to be refreshed and renewed but unless you maintain a daily walk, your refreshing will soon fade and you’ll be back to duty instead of diving into His heart.
That “Daily Walk” can seem Religious at first glance but look a little closer. You don’t have a God who keeps score. You don’t have a God that shames you when you miss a day, or two, or three. Rather, you have a God who delights in you and when you delight in Him, He smiles upon you and showers blessings on you.
Your daily walk can be something different every day. It shouldn’t be so routine that you get lost in the monotony of it, rather it should be an exercise of experience. Each day, different than the last. Each day, drawing nearer to God whether you are sitting in stillness, climbing a mountain, reading His Word or Worshiping as you shower. That’s the thing about relationships, they are different every day. Give yourself the gift of getting to know God on this level, deeply and personally. You will be forever changed and begin, through that Relationship, to walk in Freedom you have never known.
How can I say that? Because this is my life, this is my experience. I’m not writing from theology, I’m writing from personal experience. I once walked the Religious Road and it left me depleted, defeated and depressed. However, once I began to draw near to God in my own personal relationship, I began to experience freedom and healing to a level I would have never previously thought possible.
It is because of this freedom and healing that I can’t keep quiet. I HAVE to tell others what is possible. I HAVE to share the truth to set the captives free. (Isaiah 61) If you had been a captive your whole life and suddenly had the keys to free every captive, wouldn’t you share those keys too?
Romans 1:16 (TPT) I refuse to be ashamed of sharing the wonderful message of God’s liberating power unleashed in us through Christ! For I am thrilled to preach that everyone who believes is saved.
Jesus was a Rule Breaker, He said we would do greater things than He did!
John 14:12 Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.
Are you doing Greater Things, dear one? Are you walking in the way of your ABBA Father? If your spirit just said “No”, Lean Into God! No condemnation whatsoever, rather opportunity that abounds! God wants your heart next to His. He designed you to live in that special place in His Heart, full of Comfort, Peace and Power. If you are trying to fill that emptiness within you with religious duty or anything else this world offers, Stop and Seek God. He is faithful and will be faithful forever and always.
I pray you see and experience what God has for you and you become a Rule Breaker, just like Jesus!
Blessings and Love to you, Dear One!