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Apr 02, 2010

Ready, Set, LIVE

Last year I caught a flu bug that lasted about 7 days. It was one of the worst bouts with the flu that I ever remember having. I spent 5 solid days dry-heaving. Myflubody was so sore I couldn’t even sit up in bed. At one point I almost had to be taken to the hospital because I couldn’t hold any liquids down and my body was dehydrated. I remember feeling so terrible I was praying that God would just take me in my sleep. This was like food poisoning and the flu getting married and having babies all over me. I was a weak, blubbering mess of skin and bones by the time it was finished with me.

About a day after I finally beat this terrible virus I remember driving down the road by myself with the radio playing. I hadn’t seen the light of day or been outside for almost a week, and now I was cruising on the open road with the windows rolled down and the fresh air blowing across my face and body. It was a crystal clear day and the sun was shining. I stopped at a traffic light and just started talking out loud to God. 

I was thanking Him for life. I felt so good at that very moment it brought tears to my eyes. I don’t think there’s ever been a time from my childhood on, where I felt as spectacular and refreshed as I did this very day. I could see clearly. I could smell and hear feeling goodand taste and touch and feel with such amazing clarity and sensitivity that I just kept saying to myself over and over, “Man I feel good - MAN I feel good. I feel awesome!!!” I was literally blown away at how incredible I felt. I wanted to keep that feeling going as long as I could. I remember even contemplating what I needed to do to capture and box that delightful freshness and take it with me every day.

It hit me by the time I got home. The reason I was feeling so good was because I had been so incredibly sick for the last week. I was actually feeling normal for the first time in awhile. "Normal" had become the new “exquisite”, compared to how sick I had been. It amazed me that normal could feel so terrific. I found myself strangely grateful for the sickness because it had blown up my normal into something spectacular. Then the question hit me as to whether my normal had changed at all. It was just my perspective of normalmeasure that had changed because of the level in which it contradicted the sick feeling I had endured for the last 5 days. Then I realized that I had been fooled into thinking that normal was wonderful when in reality it wasn’t. It was only wonderful when it was on the heels of pain and suffering. Bummer.

Many of us have experienced spiritual abuse in our past that literally sucked the life out of us. We’ve been lied to, exploited, attacked, manipulated, used, pawned, threatened, embarrassed, belittled, put under fear, and worked to death like spiritual slaves. Some of us can’t bear to even look back on that time in our lives because It was so dreadful and dark. Even thinking about it makes us quiver with anxiety. 

Then something spectacular happened to each of us. We were given information that literally changed everything in an instant. The information was simple and sweet, and it came at just the right time for each of us. Our God revealed to us that the world of religious slavery that we had lived under for so long was entirely man made. It was all a terrible lie. It was like growing up with an abusive, angry father only to find out later in life fatherthat we were stolen at birth, and our real father is this loving, kind, compassionate, patient, and generous man who’s been looking for us for the last twenty years.

This deliverance happened differently for every single one of us, but when it did happen, it was like recovering from severe food poisoning or a deadly flu virus. When God sent the antidote to this poison, each of us experienced a rush of freshness that blew across our spirits and filled our lungs with the first dose of pure oxygen we’d had in years. The experience of grace brought such an instant relief from years of religious strangulation that we honestly thought we had died and gone to heaven. The simple message that God is love, has within it the power to dissolve years of upside-down thinking and restore decades of lost time that each of us spent grinding at the mill. 

This freedom I felt after coming to the knowledge of God’s love was the obvious answer to everything in my life. My entire understanding of Christianity suddenly sprang to life and made perfect sense for the first time ever. I could not escape how good I felt after coming to this knowledge. It was truly amazing. I remember talking to God out loud during that time and feeling so refreshed and free that I could barely find the words to express myself. I had NEVER felt such contentment and exhilaration. I wanted to capture and box this feeling so I could have it forever in my life.

I knew that I had to spend the rest of my life preaching this message to people all over the world. I had to. It was just a given. Kind of like pulling children from a burning building. You don’t sit around and contemplate whether or not it’s the right thing to do. You don’t pray about it and wait for God to “call you” into the saving children from a burning building ministry. You just do it. That’s how I felt and still feel about preaching the message of God’s love to the world. 

Several years after coming to this revelation, I began seeing a pattern in my behavior. When I felt spiritually under the weather or a bit depressed, I found myself purposefully going over the past bondage and comparing it to the present freedom in an effort to reignite the excitement of the message. It worked for awhile, but once another year hadpattern passed I found myself wondering if something was wrong with me. It wasn’t as though I had lost my enthusiasm for God, and I certainly wasn’t drifting back into any areas of religious slavery. It was that I began to realize that perhaps the freedom I felt after leaving the oppressive world of religion and entering the world of grace and love, was a little like how I felt the day after I conquered the flu. 

My “normal” had been escalated to spectacular because of the massive contradiction between the bondage I came from and the freedom I eventually encountered. I wasn’t questioning the authenticity of God’s love and grace, and I certainly wasn’t assuming that what I had experienced was just an emotional moment that would inevitably pass in time. What I WAS questioning was whether or not freedom from religious bondage WAS the end of the road or the final destination of Christianity. Was this feeling of absolute freedom and contentment really what Christ came to bring us, or was it just the beginning of something much bigger? Rather than go over the bondage of the past in an effort to elicit excitement for the present, I began to ponder the idea that this freedom was really only the starting line to Christianity. 

Niche mentality

I notice a pattern of thinking that I’ve found in certain circles that I believe plays into a mindset that creates stagnancy in our lives. We seem to get caught up in niches really easily. We’re almost incapable of moving forward from any revelation we receive. Rather than get something and then move on with nichelife, we tend to camp out by our last revelation and even define ourselves and our calling by it. I have noticed that in many circles there is even a constant encouragement to NOT move on. People are labeled and pressured to stay put in whatever revelation they last received. 

About twelve years ago I wrote a book on relationships. It was a book about marriage written for single people. I just got sick and tired of watching women in the dating world getting swindled, fooled, and used by men who were only after one thing. The book was a passionate perspective on relationships and love between a man and a woman. (We no longer sell it on the website so don’t ask for it:) 

Anyway, after I published this book I had a pastor ask me to preach a series on the book in his Sunday school class. I ended up doing a 12 week teaching series and by the time I was finished, his class attendance went from about 30 to nearly 250. He asked me to take the class over. I accepted and immediately started writing a new sermonbook for the following week. The title was “Potential Problems for Pentecostals.” I wanted to point out different areas where Pentecostal Christians might struggle in their walk with God. Halfway through me writing this sermon, the pastor who gave me his class walked in and saw the title of what I was preaching next Sunday and he freaked out. 

He explained to me that my “anointing” was in the area of relationships and that I needed to stick with what was working and not veer from it. If I were to start on another subject it would surely be out of God’s will. It wasn't just him who thought this way. Several years later when I began teaching on the Heart of God, many of my colleges and close friends were extremely let down and leery because “I wasn’t sticking with what God had called me to do.” 

I see this mentality all over the Christian world. It seems that people seek out niches and barricade themselves inside them. Authors do this all the time. If a guy writes a book on grace, you can be sure that his next five books will be on grace, but covered from 5 different angles. His entire ministry is expected to be about grace until he retires or dies. Very rarely do we ever see someone write on several different unrelated subjects. It’s gotten to the point where we automatically associate a particular subject with an author's name. I believe there’s a hesitancy to “move on” because the present day Christian understanding isn’t set up for ANYONE to move on. When people are expected to listen to the same gospel message over and over, week in and week out for the rest of their lives, it’s very unlikely that you'll find anyone with a “moving on” mentality.

How tempting it would be to make the rest of my life about finding freedom from religious preachbondage. It’s such a powerful subject that touches so many people. What about after we are freed? Then what? That’s the problem I was facing in my own life on about year 3 of my exodus from organized religion. I was free from religious oppression, and immediately my mind went straight to the niche mentality and I thought “I’ll preach about this for the rest of my life.” So I started preaching and amazingly thousands of people heard the truth and were set free. Like me, they were all able to ride the wave of contradiction for a few years; but also like me, they came to a point where it was time to actually START living life freely. 

The problem is that so many of us have been so far back behind the starting line of life that when we finally heard the truth and were set free, we thought we had jumped over the finish line. We were wrong. 

Sometimes when I watch Free Believers in different chat rooms and forums around the internet I am amazed at how long they can continue milking the conversation of how they were once in bondage to wrong teachings about the Heart of God and now they know the truth. I wonder sometimes if anyone is planning on moving forward from this place of retrospect. I’ll be honest with you; I’m sick of the conversation. I’m tired of going over it and over it. I’m ready to cross the starting line of life and move on. YES, I’m glad we have the new “freedom toy,” but I’m more interested in how it works and what I can do with it.

I watched this show on the Discovery Channel the other day where they were following theegg life of different animals from birth to death. I can’t remember which one it was but one of these animals actually eats their own placenta as their first meal on earth. It supposedly sustains them while their body continues to develop, and it gives them more time before they have to go out and actually hunt for food. 

In the same way I think many of us have fed on our past experience as a way to ignite energy and excitement in our lives, but the time will soon come when that spiritual placenta will be all gone and we’ll have to actually go out into the wild and start hunting. The great thing now is that we have wings!! We have livean entirely new life ahead of us that’s attached to this freedom we found. Let’s cross that starting line and live life to the fullest! Ready - Set - LIVE!

Darin Hufford

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  1. Gravatar
    Heather Sterling

    Oh yes, I hear ya! Yes indeed. I may not be doing cartwheels right now..... but I have had a few days of sunshine lately...... but they don't stick around. One has to move on to the next day with what energy they have. If I have heard anything through this struggle, it's that "you really don't know it all" (and that is not in a condescending way). Also, "you can only live one day at a time".

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    Starla Abbey

    I think the point you made about the institution giving constant encouragement to NOT move on has a direct effect on many who have walked away, but can't get past the “freedom toy”.It has been ingrained on the hearts and minds of people for years in the cult of religion, and many have no idea how to move past the new found freedom in God. I have to wonder if maybe people are afraid to move on, thinking that there can't be anything more to this revelation..afraid that if they look deeper they will find it is too good to be true, that again, they have been deceived...It is a fragile place to be when you divorce everything you have believed for years. After a year I am finally ready to move on from the "freedom toy"." Finally. ready-set-Live! Mahalo for another thought provoking read Darin.

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    Fantastic! I like what you said about the "niche mentality" ... I find myself doing that with a certain truth that I've been teaching on recently. I'm planning on teaching on it awhile because it is so powerful but now I'll also be more intentional about developing other lines of thinking I'm interested in instead of just waiting till I get burned out on this subject, or people's eyes start glazing over. Great article, Darin! I'm re-posting this. ~ julie

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    Justin Shively


    I'm so glad you wrote this. I've noticed the same thing in my life and others personally and in forums. I've been feeling the need to "move on" and not dwell on the "wrongs" taught by the institution. I too am getting bored of those conversations, they don't excite me like they used to. I'm not interested in living free and finding truth.

    Thanks again Darin!!

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    As a result of our religious enculturation, we are quadriplegics who have been sitting around discussing what it is like to walk. Nobody really knows how to do it, but we've read all the books and watched all the videos.

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    I was thinking the other day about how time has healed things for me and it's been over 2 years since I broke away after my now 20 yr marriage was almost destroyed. The longer I have been away from religion, the less painful it has become and the more glaringly obvious the rules of men and lies they promote are. I got a letter last month from someone who was concerned about my salvation and it was kind of funny maybe with religious good intention but based on fear. I told them they must not know me very well... I am in the wild by myself but I have a much better relationship with my husband now even though he isn't where I am spiritually. I made some decisions earlier this year to go forward and live. Again, Darrin I feel so affirmed by the articles and podcasts. Thank you.

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    Charlotte Rodriguez

    I totally understand and have done the niche mentality at times. I am also encouraged about moving on. You see, the realization of His Love is very fundamentally necessary and we must swim around in it for a time to experience the rest and allow others the freedom to express it as they come into the revelation. As we press on in our intimacy with Him, learning the diminsions of His Love, our ability to move in less judgement of our past and others becomes known in our living and not our statements. But please--saying one is not interested in living free and finding truth as some previous comments have done really discounts who it is that Jesus is - HE IS THE WAY, THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE. Would this really be an issue if we extended this truth in living it rather than verbalizing debates

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    Darin Hufford

    Charlotte what comments are you referring to? I don't recall anyone saying that so I'm not sure in what context you are writing this.

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    Don Every

    You said all that just in time Darin, thanks. It can be a shock to know freedom and have to understand what it has all involved, like a debrief after a difficult and sustained campaign, and that has been so helpful to so many of us. And it can be puzzling to know exactly *how* to 'move on', now we are free.

    We can't go back to the old way of thinking and doing, that would be *death* again! So what to do?

    Of course, if we go to the center of our faith, as we recently learned, Jesus Christ, from the Father and through the Holy Spirit, we *are* and can now stay, moving with and in Him, and the journey is dazzling!

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    Thanks Darin. This had to be said.
    The kiddie pool is fun now that we've discovered how good the water is. But when we're big enough to handle the full size pool it is time to go swimming.

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    Don Every

    Jesus said to Nicodemus that those 'born of the Spirit', the 'second birth', moved and lived in harmony with something that others can't see or hear. We are free now to live by and in the Spirit, not the flesh.

    Wayne put it this way, in daily focus, that when he wakes up he just says to Father, 'What have you got for me today, Father? And I think that is a great reason to quieten down after leaving the institution, to know and hear God, in fact, not just faith.
    That backs up what you said elsewhere Darin, about not being restricted to our own or others' dictates in 'limits' of ministry. Live and move in the Spirit and hold on, and if He doesn't move us, then dwell quietly with Father for as long as He wants. That is such a lovely way to live and learn. Thanks Darin

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    This is a great message and so timely. I think for myself I came out of an institutional way of thinking and continued to define myself by my antipathy to the experiences within the system. The problem is that I was still not free. Dropping a lot of unhealthy ways of thinking has been marvelous but lately I've been thinking "What now?" There are no markers out there to aim for or even examples of where to head. There is no collective vision which I can hang my hat on. So for me everything is coming down to the micro-decisions which we all make every day. How can I begin to rebuild connections where I can be a friend? The way ahead for me may not be perseverating on the my connection with God/Jesus - that is foundational stuff and I think to stay there is unhelpful. Or to spiritualise ...

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    Amy S.

    There is an artist that I have always admired for the very reason that not one of his cd's have the same flavor as the last. In an interview someone had asked him why, and he said, " I am following after the Father... and He never does anything the same way as He did before." I loved that... for the very reason that God is always doing something new, and moving forward. Man likes to camp out, and box it up, and formulate... but the Father is 10 steps up the road. Such truth, Darin! I am looking forward to hearing what is fresh and brewin' up in your heart. I love that we live with a God that is so creative that He LOVES to switch things up all the time. And the moment someone tries to can or box Him in, He moves on to something new. So cool!

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    ... the good news into something that is only concerned with sin avoidance and who gets to enter heaven. But to begin to accept that I am the physical expression of God's grace to those around me. And furthermore that this expression is more to do with the practical realities of life. So at the moment I'm looking around on how to contribute to my local community regardless of religious persuasion. Anyway, it is a bit formless at the moment but I'm glad to see that the conversation is changing focus from what came before to what is happening now and what opportunities are available for the future.

  15. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    I can't tell you how encouraging it is to see that people are understanding this and on the same page with me. We've gotten over the initial hump of standing up for ourselves and stepping aside from what everyone else was doing in order to follow our hearts. Now let's see where it takes us. The sky is the limit. Who knows what will come of this in the next ten years. Amy S. have you ever listened to Judas Priest? I know they're a devil band but they're the same in my opinion. Such uniqueness in each and every song. Amazing. I think most of Christianity reminds me of ZZ Top. They write one song that's famous ("She's got legs") and then 150 more songs that sound exactly like it but with different words:-) I Love ZZ Top don't get me wrong but I hated that phase they went through in the 80s.

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    Well said, Darin. I think we all need varying periods of detox after the institutional life, but the focus needs to change after awhile from the past to the present. I love Wayne's point of living in what God has for us today. That isn't going to look the same every day.

    While living in God's love from day to day is a constant, how that plays out will change through time. How boring if it didn't! We'd wake up knowing that today must play out just like yesterday. No thanks! I don't think boring is a word that applies to God or our life in him.

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    Amy S.

    Darin, totally true! Judas Priest IS so like that!
    I was a rocker chick too, but more into the glam stuff like Styper, Poison, Guns and Roses :)My brother listened to alot of Judas Priest and Metallica..

    The ZZ Top way is so the way that most Christians are taught tho. Like you with your "relationship" gifting. How completely crazy is it that anybody would slap a label on a person like that and box them in! It's crazy! And I think when you REALLY get to know the Father, and see how completely insanely creative He is... that whole ZZ Top way of Christianity doesn't make sense anymore. The two do not match at all.

  18. Gravatar
    DaRon Maughon

    Great job, Darin! God has freed us to something, NOT merely a "religion sucks" support group! "Life Abundantly" is so expansive, and through Jesus, we are given VIP status to swim around in the Oceans of Grace, Mercy, and Life! I love swimming!!! Whoo hoo!

  19. Gravatar
    Robert Hall


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    Good article. I can relate to what you are saying, that desire to replay the "big rescue scene" over and over again because it's the peak experience thus far ... but it's really just the beginning and He has SO MUCH more in store for us.

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    David D. Flowers

    YES! This is very refreshing, Darrin. I do hope that the FBN fb moderators will begin to echo this as they help guide others on to the next stage of growth. I give this post a standing ovation. Thank you for sharing this, brother. Let us boast only in Christ.

  22. Gravatar
    Mike Myers

    We're all at different stages, David. If you click back to Darin's posts from 1-2 years ago, you will see much of what you see people saying on fb. The beauty about being free is that you're free to let others grow with God in their time frame. I pray that when I have several years outside the institution under my belt that I will remember have patients with the newbies.

  23. Gravatar

    Wonderful. I think of the three tents Peter wanted on the Mountain and the writer of Hebrews who keeps on urging us to give up the milk and pablum and move on to the meat.
    Lin Yutang mentioned that English has a handicap because it's easier for us to speak about "freedom from" and not "freedom to..."

  24. Gravatar

    Great, I agree, but don't abandon us newbies!!! Some of us are where some of you were years ago.
    PS. Charlotte was referring to Justin Shively's comment I think.

  25. Gravatar
    sean daly

    I guess the detoxing is a vital phase for us all to go through when we are freed from the IC [out the orphanage] - but the challenge comes when we start to 'settle in' to this new life. It becomes so easy to once again embrace a rigid structure of 'certainty' to sustain this 'wild life' [a-la 'honey I shrunk the church' mode of many of the so-called home-church deals] - and we end up attempting to squeeze fresh, wild life out of a tame God. Once we decide internally that we have reached a plateau, we revert to putting God in a box. But yes, all for us grabbing hold of new life that is not limited by the maps of mere theology... but rather formed by His Voice inviting us to journey on. Viva Darin, viva!

  26. Gravatar

    Great stuff Darin! The whole blog, but especially the last 2 sentences made me think of how I feel about Lent and Easter. How many times do we have to keep going over this? is my feeling. We spend a lot of time reflecting on what Jesus had to go through. But it seems like in our out of the box, there is a place many of us get stuck on the actual getting out there and fully just LIVING the freedom instead of just talking about it. Wow. You really lay it open.

  27. Gravatar
    Justin Shively

    Oops. Take out the "not" in the second to last sentence and read it again. It should say "I'm interested in living free and finding truth."

    Sorry for the confusion guys.

  28. Gravatar
    Pascal Redfern

    Just new to this blog. Maybe my questions would be answered if I searched this blog throughly; yet I am curious what is this spiritual abuse or slavery that you are talking about. Could you be more specfic?

  29. Gravatar
    russ macfarlane

    Pascal - Just to get you started I will just make my feeble attempt at an answer. Do a google search for 'legalism (theology)'

  30. Gravatar
    Laurie P

    After tormenting myself for 20 years over a past sin, I had a similar taste of freedom once...but...Because of that once *really big* past sin, which was, in my mind, a HUGE sin, I avoided church, and feared that God would zap me with a lightning bolt or open the earth and drop me straight to hell if I ever came near a church again (Southern Baptist upbringing). Once I understood that my great sin was forgiven and paid for by Jesus, what a rush of freedom and love I experienced! Unfortunately, the same people that helped me find that freedom from my past were all too ready to lead me right back into a different form of bondage.

  31. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    Justin it's too late. You said it and it can't be taken back. You're NOT interested. That's what you said. I have proof.

  32. Gravatar
    gail parr

    Darin, Your message spoke volumes to me. I am definitely ready to move forward. "Ready-Set-LIVE" Love it !!! I just finished your book "Misunderstood God" I could hardly put it down.

  33. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    Thanks so much Gail!

  34. Gravatar

    Darin, the timing of your post seems ironic to me. I just returned to this site after an eight month hiatus. The other day I found myself reaching for our copy of “The Misunderstood God”. I don’t know why I didn’t start reading it when we first got it or why I haven’t been seeking out interaction with fellow “free believers”, but I do know what prompted me to pick up your latest book. I was kind of down and I wanted to feel God’s love more intensely. My desire for compassion, encouragement and acceptance prompted me to reach out for some sort of connection with other like minded people. Ironically, it was this same desire that brought me into bondage.

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    My motivation for adopting the legalism that ruled my world was born out of that same desire to feel compassion, encouragement and acceptance. And I would argue that the rules were established by others, for some of the very same reasons. Does anyone else remember those exercises on “Sesame Street” where the children are encouraged to pick the item that doesn’t belong? I believe the need to belong motivates people to evaluate how they are similar or different than those around them. Maybe the need to “perseverate” on how “religion sucks” was born out of a need for comfort. This opinion seems to be one thing we all share. Of course analyzing the why of it too much, will result in more time stuck in the past………So, never mind. I would much rather fly!

  36. Gravatar

    I like the mentioning of your "stay with your one and only calling" experience. If Jesus adhered to this teaching, He would remain a carpenter for the rest of his life. But fortunately, He didn't. He had all sorts of various callings, He was a divine healer, miracle maker, teacher, Saviour, friend. We are his brothers and sisters. We have many callings, too, and for all eternity we'll find out about new and new callings. We'll explore the universe, heal this planet, learn to fly, compose symphonies, become painters, write amazing stories, perform miracles, create, create, create! He has come to set us free to be able to enjoy life to the fullest.

  37. Gravatar

    Great truth here Darin. The niche mentality... or 'prison of the familiar' as I call it, can trap us as soundly as any institutional device. Oh... I've not found all my freedom yet... perhaps I never will in this realm... but, He has so much more to show us... teach us... and turn loose in us... if only we'd let go... we certainly learn from our past, but it needn't weigh us down either... see you on the road... Bob

  38. Gravatar
    David Backus

    A thought came to mind while reading this. I would offer an alternate title to this blog. "Enslaved to Freedom." We get so excited talking about our freedom and how horrible things were that we forget to actually LIVE it! It would be like the slaves that were freed still living on the plantations and talking about the freedom that Lincoln won them and then doing nothing with their lives. So we too stay put and form a freedom cult that is its own form of bondage. Loved the article Darin. :)

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    Clare Thayer

    Awesome discussion you've brought up, Darin! David, I was thinking the same thing regarding our freedom. We've been set free for freedom's sake. It's one thing to talk about being free, but, it's another living the freedom. It's the same as what Darin reiterates about living in the wild. Living in the wild is not about staying near the cage and "claiming" freedom, but in the going out & discovering & living & experiencing what the "wild" is all about! What good would it do to always talk about what it was like being caged and never talk about the freedom of living outside the cage? I think we'd have much more to talk about and share if we would simply be about the adventure of the newness of living the freedom that has been given to us. We aren't slaves anymore. Let's LIVE! Hooray!

  40. Gravatar

    Thinking more about this. I am fairly new to this myself, but from the beginning my first (and actually a quite consuming) thought was that I need to learn to live. YES

  41. Gravatar
    Linda Corey

    A 1st x poster, I've been excited and encouraged to read so many books, articles and blogs on becoming s free believer. As a result, I too've been floating free. My frustration's in relating to those not yet experiencing this freedom. I'd like to hear more of how this actually looks as it's lived out. On the side, an interesting thing I've thought about, is that upon learning someone is a Christian, the 1st question usually asked, often by me, is what church they attend.
    I determined not to respond that way any more.
    I spoke with a new friend the other day, found out she was a Christian, and after catching myself said....isn't it exciting being able to get to know our Heavenly Father because of what Jesus has done for us? She was a bit taken aback...eventually saying she guessed so.

  42. Gravatar
    Joyce West

    Once again Darin, thanks for a very thought provoking and enlightening post. Being in the wild for well over a year, I think I have finally moved out of the loneliness stage, thanks to all the books, articles, blogs and podcasts. To be able to relate to so many who are traveling on this great journey, has been, and will continue to be, an incredible help and comfort for me. I guess the main point of what I want to share though, is that Ready, Set, Live, for me, has been the process of the transformation of my heart into His heart, and living that out. It all starts with those who are closest to us, husbands, wives, children, parents, siblings, friends, neighbors, co-workers, and finally, whomever He places in our path. Living inside the hearts of others is an on going process that

  43. Gravatar

    Linda, Darin has a forum on this website where we discuss how to live as a free believer among our friends and family. We'd love for you to join us as we process these questions. Maybe you'll get some answers.

  44. Gravatar
    Joyce West

    (to finish the above sentence)... just plays out as we live life....

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    This may sound a little random, but the question just came to me. I was reading some of the earlier comments about God mixing things up & doing the unexpected - ever changing. and I thought 'right on!' Then the IC or whathaveyou popped in my head and said but God is constant, He never changes. Is that true? I it in the Bible? Or is that some catch phrase invented by the church? I'm genuinely curious... I mentioned it to someone and they said that God's 'principles' would never change.. is THAT true? If God changed his mind about certain things, 'evolved' if you will, does that mean he is inconsistent? It seems silly to ask if he is capable, since he's God, but CAN he change? loaded question!

  46. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    My opinion is that His principals never change. They are the foundation of life.

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    Hannah, I can see why you would think that, and I did for a time too. What I found out is God is bringing us back to his original plan, that is, fellowship, freedom, and love in the Garden of Eden. I have studied the Bible since I was old enough to read. One thing I noticed is that the Bible is a circle. It ends right where it begins, in the heart of God's love and grace by the Tree of Life with Him as our source. God isn't changing, He just wants to go back to plan A, while we, for centuries have been changing from plan B to C to D...etc. God never gave up on the original.

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    Hannah, I'm not even sure that verse is referring to principles. The Bible is a relational book written about a God who wants to have relationship with us. I believe that verse is saying that his nature never changes. He was love then, he's love now and he'll always be love. Because he's relational, it may appear that he's changed his mind but it really means that he's relating to us as individuals in the midst of our individual circumstances.

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    Thank you all for responding! I do believe I agree with you. Maybe I was thinking more along the lines of what some of the Bible series podcasts hit on. As in the idea that just because he told a certain person or certain people to do or not do something, it doesn't mean he'd say the same for us today. Aida, I think your last comment about him being relational pretty well dealt with that question. It takes some effort to wrap my brain around God giving each of us different advice, but it makes sense and I guess it makes our walk with him that much more exciting. it's great. Thank you guys again. Sometimes it seems truly unbelievable for God to be SO loving and personal. But I'm glad he is :)

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    I am reminded of the old hymn, “Have you felt the Father’s love? Still there’s more to follow! And His mercies have you proved? Still there’s more to follow! More and more, more and more, always more to follow. Oh His boundless, matchless love! Still there’s more to follow.“ Wherever we are on the journey is still just the doorway to so much more of his life to know. What an awesome thing to be a child of God. And it has not yet appeared what we will be.

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    You mean we might get to talk about Jesus now?

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    Darin, i agree but...this freedom is scary too. sometimes it feels lonely. Not bound to any rules or old "securites". Only to Him. To Love. Its wonderful...and terrible. Difficult. New. Everyday. Exciting, but scary. And because of that, it is preferable to keep talking about "the bondage of religion" and "this (new not so new now) freedom that i´ve found", and not move on. Well i just want to share these things about my journey now. Greetings.

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    How timely!
    I've just been travelling and teaching on 'new' (for me) revelation I've received over the past few years, and marvelling that God would teach me things that I've never even imagined or considered I would teach on. It had been head-knowledge, then it slipped down quite a few inches and changed my life!
    I usually taught on other subjects related to the ministry I've operated in over many years.

    Yes, He is always creating in us and for us: how exciting it is to learn fresh, rich, heart-filling things from Him, and then giving it out to others.
    Thanks so much Darin. You described my experience to a 't'. I want my life to continually keep moving on and moving in toward Him and His truth.

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    Alan Swanson

    Thanks Darin for all you do...I have been on the exodus for less than two years, and I feel that I am just starting to cross the starting line (freedom line), thanks for all your help along the way. I want to leave you with a quote from Frank Lloyd Wright that could just as well be applied to the "church" today...."A free America.... means just this:individual freedom for all, rich or poor, or else this system of government we call democracy is only an expedient to enslave man to the machine and make him like it."

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    First time poster here. I have been listening to the podcasts for a couple of years, but had never been to the website. Last night, I was in bed asking.....okay he is free, she is free, we are all free, but how are they and myself living it out. What does dependency on God and independence from man look like on a day to day basis. I would love to hear some practical examples and discussions of this on upcoming podcasts.The bleeding out podcast was wonderful, I would love to hear about the bandages of Grace and how they are applied.

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    Darin Hufford

    I'm so glad you posted Carol. Yes, we're going to talk about that coming up here. Great topic. I know that a bunch of people would like to hear about that as well. Thanks.

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    here's what we can do, we can organize! yes, we can get together and do fundraisers so we can build a building and all get together! then we can do community things like cleaning up the park! yah, that's what Jesus would do! if we grow big enough we can form a denomination even! then we won't be weird fringe people we will be accepted as mainstream! yes, this is obviously what we need to do to REALLY be free in Christ. (i hope my sarcasm is obvious enough)

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    Hi Darin, In a fit of "wondering". I picked up "misunerstood God" again. This led me to this blog and found many "wondering" like me.Liberty is bound up with "loneliness". "Where there is no vision, the people perish." What is te vision of the "liberated" ones? We long for fellowship and love like our Father does.Misunderstood by "institutions." I am now "free!!". I wrote my memoirs. Would like to title it "How to kill a convert" should be "try killing" a convert of course.We may be fringe people but let us be loving,hospitable and most important honest with ourselves.How much do WE love, like our Father loves?? Are we maybe secretly longing back for Egypt??

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    Connie H.

    In my life "moving on" has been an ongoing theme. I have deep compassion for those of us struggling with the transition. In my experience the issues we face in church are the same as we do in life- always was-life is "institutionial".. but we speak "christianese" as Darin so cleverly puts it & "IC" it.
    If our perceptions of our pain & our experiences are also human ones shared by all people it becomes life again & we are not "freaks" unto our free-selves.
    Everyone's life circumstances are different-we have each been dealt our own hand, some more challenging than others. To me,the abyss of the churchworld seemed to intensify life issues (i.e.chronic illness) by adding guilt, a list of works, finacial debt via tithing...a distraction from learning to deal w/ our lives and our issues

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    Hey Darin, is there any way the message can be offered to people in other religions such as Muslims, Mormons, Jehovah Witnesses, etc.? I mean, some of the concepts in Misunderstood God can be translated across the board to any religion I would think. In the meantime, I'll try to get a case of your books from a distributor in western Canada. There is a large Jehovah Witness hall just down the street from where I live...I keep thinking of them when I see car after car pass my house when their service is done. Bondage in any religion can't be fun!!! Just an idea for moving on

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    Darin Hufford

    Sounds like a great Idea Faith. Let me know how it goes. I would love to see those people get this.

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    Mason Lucas

    Great post, Darin. I have personally found that it is not my meditation on the transition from bondage to freedom (which is nice) that sustains me, but a simple focus on Dad's love for me. After all, that is what we set free INTO. It is tough, though, when we hit those low points; no one wants to stay there. We won't though; life is up and down (unfortunately). Like my old commander used to say, "Embrace the suck!".

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    Emily McLean

    Hi Darin, I have recently read your book the misunderstood God and it has liberated me in ways you wouldn't believe. I was subjected to spiritual abuse in my past and I was ready to leave God behind until I stumbled on your book. However I do have one concern with one sentence in the chapter "the Needy God". To paraphrase I think you says God'd Kingdon is not about him it's about you, and God exists to bring you happiness and fulfilment. Is it not the case that God's Kingdom is about all his people? And to individualise it goes against the bonds of community we're trying to achieve? Isn't the story of the bible much bigger than you or I? I understand that you wanted to make the point God isn't self-seeking but I feel it's inaccuate what you've written- your thoughts??

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    Darin Hufford

    Thanks Emily. I'm glad you enjoyed the book. In reference to your question I would say that to NOT individualize it goes against the very foundation of relationship and love. In the Old Testament (because of sin) God was what I refer to as a "Group God." Everything He did was too and for the entire group. He gave them the same promise, the same word, the same directions, the same discipline and the same rewards. In the New Testament He became an individual God. A great picture of this is the story of the man by the pool of Bethesda, the woman at the well and the parable of the shepherd with 100 sheep. Yes, collectively, we all are ONE in Him, but God (love) is EXTREMELY individual. It must be. Otherwise it's not personal.

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    Sergei Kuznetsov

    Thank you, Darin, 4 this article. That's something I've been thinking about 4 quite some time. To be set free is wonderful, but what will you do with your freedom. Israel was freed from Babylon captivity, but they also had to use their freedom and build the temple.

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    yes I too am tired of all the talk about what we've learned about our freedom can we just live now??
    A great article! Thanks!

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    Well ,that is very new topic to me ,very interesting . I am thinking about this topic .

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    For a long time I was stuck believing I couldn't love others because I didn't yet know God loved me. I reasoned that I could only love to the degree I'd been loved (Steve Brown). Now I'm seeing I DO know God loves me and I can't fall back on my old excuse. On Darin's podcasts when I'd hear him say that loving others was greater than seeking to be loved, it drove me anxious! Inside I'd scream that my needs must be met first. To a degree I see that, but as I try out this new way of loving others first, something good flowers inside me.

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    Janet Ross

    Once again you have put words to what is going on in my heart. I doubt myself waaaay too much. God is big enough (& responsible enough) to show me the way. I need to just go with it (live).

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