True discernment is the ability to distinguish between more life and less life. Athanasius wrote “Evil, then consists essentially in the choice of what is lower in preference to what is higher.” This alerts us to the fact that it is not good enough to believe and practice something because we ‘own’ this belief. Any distorted truth is a lie, and any lie makes people less than they are.
People make a thing these days of hoarding foolish ideas. The result may not be seen immediately but what is inevitable is chaos and death.
We need never fear the truth – not if we have anything illegitimate to lose. Truth liberates. It sets us free from self-imposed prison cells, and if we persist in it, truth will liberate us from penitentiaries we have lived in all our lives. It is this latter style of prison from which Jesus sets us free – if we are willing to exchange our prison for Him and His Freedom. This is what Christ our life is better than a form of evangelicism as our life.
With Christ, His good news is always better than self-effort and imagined entitlement. As a minister of the new covenant you will be motivated to liberate people from half-truths and ‘other gospels.’
‘The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free’ Luke 4.18 NIV.
THE BEGINNING AND END OF PRISONS
We know that the original lie pertained to the nature of our Father. It slighted Father as untrustworthy and defined Adam and Eve as less than they were. This is still the intent and major thrust of the father of lies and hence of all false doctrine. Today the plan is to distort our vision of Jesus as was the plan regarding Father. Our most subtle prison can be our personally distorted view of Jesus – or a denominational version. We are referring to conceptualisations of Jesus that pervert who He is and who we are as a result. J Baxter Kruger alerts us to this deceit in his excellent novel, Patmos.
He writes of the freedom of ‘seeing beyond our own seeing.’ “I heard the voice of Jesus, the Word, quiet as a clear whisper: “Take sides with me, against the way you see.”
“Lord Jesus . . . this fortress is me, isn’t it? I have built it, piece by miserable piece, but I cannot tear it down.” [The fortress of distorted vision]
“I Am,” I heard. I heard at last, and all that was within me declared, Amen! I let go, of what I did not know. The fortress burst and vanished in a blast of purest light. In the light I could see, see beyond my own seeing. Two great eyes appeared, wide open and warm, clear as crystal, deep as a mountain lake and unclouded by any hint of shadow, and trained with affection upon me. In the eyes I saw myself reflected.”
IN THE LIGHT
A corrected vision – called walking in the light – entails the need to be born again and a willingness to join the adventure of multiply re-births – known also as proceeding from glory to glory. Here we mean beholding and living in the ever expanding revelation of the beauty of our Father as well as enjoying the continual advance our ourselves into the glory of who we are as sons and daughters of God. We can do this if we do not fear, fear and when our trust in God is greater than our fear. Some live in dread of ‘being deceived.’ This is a largely unconscious, yet deep insecurity arising from the fact that one is embedded in a deception – a stronghold utilised by the Enemy to suffocate our sonship. It is fixed in place by arguments and rationalisations shed abroad by the spirit of anti-christ. Speaking to this fear Richard Rohr writes,
A COMFORTABLE TUNNEL
“Many of us were religiously trained to be comfortable with fear. Most of you reading this were given the quote, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Ps. 111:10 and Prov. 1:7). We were taught “fear of God” as a virtue when we were small children. In fact, the word “fear” in both Psalms and Proverbs means the awe that small children have for someone they honour and respect. It is not the fear of being harmed, but the awe of reverence and honour for someone we look up to and are devoted to. That’s a very different concept, and the English word “fear” doesn’t do it justice. To live in awe before God’s wonder is a virtue. “Anxiety about many things” is what Jesus says we needn’t have (Luke 12:22–32). Anxiety and faith seem to be opposites for Jesus.” (1)
Jesus put the issue bluntly to a friend in a dream. He said, ‘Ok. Do you plan to worship your fear. Or will you worship me?
(1) Rohr, Richard. Everything Belongs: The Gift of Contemplative Prayer (pp. 101-102). The Crossroad Publishing Company. Kindle Edition.