May 7, 2011

Living Life to the Full...What doesn't work

“If you must work to be something you prove yourself not to be the thing at all.” Andrew Murray

Knowing what does work can be helpful, but often knowing what doesn't work gives us more of an idea about how something really does work. It is more information on the road to discovery. I am still reading and jounraling through a book I  love called Side Tracked in the Wilderness by Michael Wells. The following is a story from Chapter 3.

“One night a man lost his key to his house and, finding himself locked out, began to look for it under the streetlight. As the neighbors noticed the man they would ask what he was doing, and one by one they joined him in his search. Finally one of the neighbors asked the man, “Exactly where did you lose the key?”

The man replied, “over there by the house.”

The neighbor responded, “If you lost the key by your house, why are we looking under the light?”

The man answered, “I couldn’t see well enough where I lost it; I can only see under the light.”

The believer who has lost his joy and victory often looks where things appear to be clearest, not at the source of the defeat. Looking and Looking in the wrong places never yields the key to success, and just because there is a measure of light, this is no reason to continue.” Pg 28

Looking in the wrong place can be very frustrating. In this post I want to list a few things (there are much more) that don't work when you are longing and looking for a way  to live your life to the full. These are places that may look clear, they seem like they should work, but they don't. They are the lamp post in the story. So without much ado here is a list of thing that don't work.

What doesn't work!

  • Having correct doctrine
“The defeated can be found among the those who were baptized in the “proper” manner at the “proper” time, who are submitting to spiritual authorities, who lead shepherding groups, who have whole books of the bible memorized, who promote devotional and quiet times, who are tireless evangelists, who maintain levels of separation from the world, who make positive confessions, who read only the King James Version , who will not own a piano, and who have read all the good Christian books on parenting. We believe the words of Jesus, “You shall know the truth and, and the truth shall set you free” (John 8:32) Obviously, those things which we are mentioning are not the Truth, for those who practice them are not free.” pg 24

  • Getting rid of the demons
“Some have been told that the source of their problem is demonic. Hours have been spent casting the demon(s) out, and yet within a few short weeks these people are experiencing the same condition of bondage to a particular sin or behavior as before.” Pg 25

  • Having lots of knowledge
“Considerable time is spent in research, and no doubt the most brilliant scholars were utilized. But why? Are these the things that concern the defeated who are in bondage? Do they carry significance for the oppressed Christians in China, the brother imprisoned in Nepal for baptizing a man, the Indian sister who does not have a meal this night, or even you?

The church is cluttered with shipwrecked scholars who thought the Bible was written for understanding and did not recognize it was written to give life.” Pg 25

  • Counseling
“Many Christians hold vehemently that self-knowledge gained through psychological counseling is a concrete aid to helping the defeated enter into victory. However, one disturbing thing about some Christian counseling is that the Lord Jesus and his supernatural activity in our lives is often left out; the advice given to the Christian would suit the unbeliever just as well. True Christian counseling leaves a person looking to Christ not to himself. I have always found puzzling the measure of hostility that can be raised among Christians when they hear Jesus is all you need. We are commanded to cast our anxiety on the Lord, not on psychology.” Pg 26

  • Programs and methods
“Concerning our examination of what Christians try that does not work, we hardly need to mention all the methods and programs that have been thrust upon us by those in the churches who have developed one campaign after another to enlarge the numerical size of the congregation.”

What have you found doesn't work?

“To the same degree that man loses his God consciousness, he increases the rules by which he lives.” Pg 23

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a good book! Studying the Enlightment period of history shows how sinful man is by trying to "master" their faith by attaining more and more knowledge and proper behavior. As you said, it doesn't work like that! As a result there are Christians trying to live out this lie that leads to despair and anxiety. By grace alone are we saved, and having faith in that is what works.