The journey of being liberated from fear into discovering increasing measures of the fulfillment of freedom is, I believe, what Jesus calls ‘Abundant Life’ (John 10:10). It is also known as true prosperity (3 John 2). This is the healthiest path to travel and has the potential of growing ‘brighter’ each day that passes (Proverbs 4:18). At least that has been my experience.
Our thoughts about life and the way we ‘flesh-out’ those thoughts produces fruit that is either sour or sweet. Our beliefs produce freedom or fear. As the old proverb says, “The proof of the pudding is in the eating.”
Therefore, how does your ‘pudding’ taste? What fruit do your beliefs about God produce? Which doctrines or positions encourage ‘deep-breath’ freedom and gratitude, and which ones slime your insides with negative questions about your true relationship with God?
Do I feel deeply loved?
Am I filled with hope about life?
Is my focus on my victory found in Christ?
Have I done enough?
Have I believed correctly?
Is my focus on how much I’m still missing the mark?
Wherever the fruit of a specific belief turns you inward with discouragement, it’s time to question why you believe what you believe on that subject. If just questioning that position ‘shakes your cage’, then something is not kosher in Denmark.
Wherever the fruit of your beliefs give rise to joy, peace, love, and gratitude to God, then you are tasting the fruit of the Spirit from the Tree of Life.
“But, what if my questioning takes me off into the weeds down a slippery slope to heresy?”
Let me answer that with this quote followed by a statement from the Gospel of Luke:
“If you fail to move out of fear that you’ll go too far, you’re in real danger of not going far enough.”
Luke 11: 11-13, “11 “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for[f] a fish, will give him a snake instead?12 Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13 If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
If you are a follower of Jesus, then you grow by being a disciple of the Holy Spirit. Being a disciple of the Holy Spirit is another subject for another blog post, but the idea is taken from John 14 – 16 and is God’s design should you care to venture down that enlightening road.
As a disciple of the Holy Spirit, you can count on Him to help you find the safe path. God loves questions and to be questioned. It’s the only way to come to authentically personal positions of faith and God.
God is so BIG; He can’t be accurately described or defined with doctrines, theologies, or scientific theories. He is also so CLOSE that He can’t be any more personally or intensely intimate than He already is with each of us.
It’s too late to live by somebody else’s faith convictions when God has always intended each of our relationships to be personal. Your faith is yours, or it’s an indoctrination.
True living, breathing life is available to all God’s sons and daughters in Christ. All that’s needed is the courage to question. Where the questions lead to coloring outside the lines of ‘conventional and acceptable wisdom…and church doctrines…you’ll find a path that increases with freedom.
At least that’s my experience! (I love the taste of sweet fresh air as it fills the lungs of my heart!)
His fresh fruit diet is a great weight loss plan!
Where is your system of beliefs causing you stress, or freedom?