I have always been attracted to people who according to @dustinkensrue,
“… carry the fire”.
When I encounter realness in you, my respect for you grows. There is something living in every one of us that wants to be known and embraced for who we really are.
When you read about Adam & Eve being “naked and unashamed” there is likely a sense in your heart that longs for that kind of freedom.
Is there anything that you can do with that? YES!
But, it won’t come easy. In order to possess the life of boldness and adventure you were designed for you will have to fight for it. One of the key battles is over what you truly believe. The good news is that Jesus came to set you free, bring you to life and empower you to overcome toxic, false beliefs. Are you up for it?
In the last few weeks before Jesus went to the Cross, the revolution he launched was beginning to break out into public in unprecedented ways. In Matthew 21 you get a look through the portal into some of what was happening. All of this threatened the power brokers in the community. They are classified as “the chief priests and elders of the people”.
Real people who carry the fire of God are always a threat to human power brokers. On that day they confronted Jesus asking him, “What gives you the right to do these things?”. Jesus knew that these leaders were religious and wanted to “save face”. He pressed them to say whether or not this message he carried was from heaven or simply a human agenda.
They couldn’t answer because if they admitted it was from heaven, their hypocrisy would be obvious to everyone. So he told them a story and asked them a probing question that unmasked their toxic belief:
28 “But what do you think about this? A man with two sons told the older boy, ‘Son, go out and work in the vineyard today.’ 29 The son answered, ‘No, I won’t go,’ but later he changed his mind and went anyway. 30 Then the father told the other son, ‘You go,’ and he said, ‘Yes, sir, I will.’ But he didn’t go.
31 “Which of the two obeyed his father?”
They replied, “The first.”[a]
Then Jesus explained his meaning: “I tell you the truth, corrupt tax collectors and prostitutes will get into the Kingdom of God before you do. 32 For John the Baptist came and showed you the right way to live, but you didn’t believe him, while tax collectors and prostitutes did. And even when you saw this happening, you refused to believe him and repent of your sins. Matt. 21:28-32
Toxic belief is saying you will live according to what Jesus taught and not doing it.
The “chief priests and elders of the people” heard John’s message, didn’t believe or “change their minds”. Even when they witnessed the change in the “sinners” it didn’t budge them. The darkness within them was powerful & deep because they had convinced themselves that God endorsed their shallow self righteous ways.
How can you avoid toxic belief and live authentically?
Two Life Hacks for Authenticity:
1. Remind yourself every day that God has called YOU to make “AWESOME” happen.
Much like the sons in Jesus’s story your Father has come to you and said; “Go to the vineyard and work today.” So let’s camp on that a second.
The God who “fearfully and wonderfully” designed you has sent you to his vineyard today. Your Father in heaven has appointed you as his child from his heavenly family to reflect his light into earth.
It is not a small thing that Jesus has said, “You are the light of the world.”
Paul said it so beautifully in “Ephesians”:
“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
Since you are God’s masterpiece designed to make “awesome” happen today for his glory, “What are you waiting for”?
2. Change Your Mind from Religion to Revolution
If you are serious about unmasking toxic belief in your own life you need to change the way you think. Following Jesus as a child of God is not about being religious. Jesus didn’t come to start a religion but he DID launch a kingdom revolution. Authentic belief is all about faith in Jesus that results in daily engaging with “the vineyard” of our ordinary lives.
In his book, “With: Reimagining the Way You Relate to God”, Skye Jethani wrote, “Fear and control are the basis for all human religions.” @SkyeJethani Click here to watch a 5 min video for more on this idea. The hope of the world is not found in religion. According to Jesus, the life that God honours is engaging our everyday lives in His name.
Living this day WITH Jesus according to Jethani is all about: 1. Treasuring God, 2. Being united with God through knowing Jesus, 3. Experiencing God as you engage with your world in love.
Serving ALL with the love of Jesus is a revolutionary way to live. In fact we are called to love as our Father in heaven does (Matt 5:43-48). His love is perfect because he goes beyond loving his friends to even loving his enemies. It is perfect love that led Jesus Christ to lay down his life for us.
I pray that you with make AWESOME happen in “the vineyard” of your life for our Father’s glory!
Live THIS day!