Give Up 4 Freedom by Gary Ellis

Giving up just isn’t in our dna.  It seems so weak. It seems to contradict faith.

However, is there a “giving up” that leads one down the path to true freedom?  Are there kinds of “giving up” that will release one from their own prison of stress and strife?  I believe and have experienced at least two areas of “giving up” that brought me peace and opened the door to fresh wisdom.

  • Giving up the need to understand.

I think the first time I heard this “giving up” truth was from Bill Johnson, pastor of Bethel Church in Redding, CA.  I don’t know whether it’s original with him or he was repeating it, but it doesn’t matter.  The truth of the phrase is powerful.

“To have the peace that passes understanding, you have to give up your right to understand”

Somehow we think that understanding a negative issue that’s facing us will give us peace as a by-product.  There may be times when that is true.  Or, it might begin to help.  But, in my experience, it simply brings more questions that I can’t answer.

Besides that, a good dose of “I don’t know” is often just what the doctor ordered.  We seem to be so obsessed with understanding (or think we understand) why God seems to be doing what He is doing.  So much of the effort is a mind game under the guise of spirituality.  Too much of it turns into “belly button gazing” instead of trusting.

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but when something “bad” happens, the “what is God trying to say” question enters the picture.  Why doesn’t that question ever come up when good things are happening in a person’s life?

I better get to the next “give up” point.  This article will soon be too long for good internet reading, so here it is.

  • Love is found where one gives up their right to be right.

I believe Joyce Meyers said this (or something like it).  It is also extremely powerful.  Giving up our rights is at the core of both truths.  For the Kingdom of God to be manifest, we don’t have to be able to prove ourselves “right.”  We don’t have to understand everything that’s going on.  God does.  That’s sufficient.  Trusting that brings freedom and peace.

Haven’t many of us spent far too long on the “my rights” battlefield?  God is smarter than we are.  That’s where trust begins.  He’ll give you wisdom of understanding if and when you need it.  In the meantime, let’s rest in Jesus.

Gary

     

     

     

    The Repentance God Loves – by Gary Ellis

    Many Christians have come to believe that repentance is an act of sorrow over our sins.  Preferably at an altar.   But that’s not the repentance God loves unless it’s the result of something else.  Bill Johnson has a quote that hits the nail on the head.  This is the repentance that God loves:

    That which is unseen can be realized only through repentance. It was as though He said, ‘If you don’t change the way you perceive things, you’ll live your whole life thinking that what you see in the natural is the superior reality. Without changing the way you think you’ll never see the world that is right in front of you. It’s My world [says God], and it fulfills every dream you’ve ever had. – Bill Johnson

    Sorrow only means something if it’s the result of realizing how far off our perceptions have been and how much of God those perceptions have robbed us of God’s Kingdom life.

    The Quad Cities School of Supernatural Ministry founding first year class of 11 students began this week.  For the next 9 months we’ll be in the process of deep repentance.  We’ll be changing the perceptions that have blocked us from the life that God planned, and Jesus purchased for us (and the world) with a huge price.

    God loves true sorrow for sins…if it’s the result of a changed way of thinking.  Changing our perception.  That’s the repentance God loves.

    Gary

     

    Quotable Truth – Bill Johnson

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    “If you live cautiously, your friends will call you wise. You just won’t move many mountains. “ -Bill Johnson

    My wife, Karen, and I recently saw the movie, “Secretariat.”  (What a great movie!).  There are so many illustrations of faith to be seen in the actions on the screen.  I was thinking while walking to our car, “So much of the time we make our “faith decisions” based on what is more accurately called calculated risk than it would be a true Biblical response of faith.  In other words, while we determine to “take a risk” we also decide if the move we are about to make still has an acceptable “recovery plan.”

    As Bill Johnson says, “We live cautiously…”

    We like to think it’s wisdom, but it’s really something else.  And that something else has put us in places where we won’t get hurt.  We won’t loose much – if any – reputation.  But, this calculated caution will keep us from experiencing, “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth (my earth) as it is in heaven.”

    You and I are going to “make mistakes.”  Welcome to planet earth and the human frame.  But, as a man named Elbert Willis used to say (referring to Peter walking on the water), “I’d rather be a wet water walker, than a dry boat sitter!”

    Your Kingdom, Lord!  Your Kingdom!

    What Do You Think?  Help Us Grow With Your Story

    Gary