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Sep 28, 2010

Poor Mans Revelation

I think one of the biggest things I’ve found myself trying to strangle out of my spirit picis that dreadful, us-verses-them mentality that seems to creep to the surface of my heart when I’m in the midst of another frustrating conversation with someone who clearly hasn’t begun the “grace walk.” I’ve got a lot of Christian friends who are still in bondage to religious thinking and they all think I’m off my rocker because of the things I write about. For the most part I try not to get into any meaningful “God conversations” with these people because it’s like banging my head against a brick wall. Every now and then I’ll think I saw a twinkle of something flickering in one of their eyes like they may be about to get this, and I’ll jump up on their lap and start explaining the grace message at a hundred miles an hour. Before long I realize that, that twinkle I thought I saw, wasn’t a twinkle at all. It was just the lighting in the room coupled with wishful thinking on my part. I usually end up walking away feeling embarrassed, frustrated, unheard, judged, hopeless, and misunderstood. 

One of these people flat out told me he thought I was arrogant and that I acted like I had come to a “more significant revelation of God than he had.” He insinuated that I was picboasting in what I had received from God and was patronizing him because he didn’t see the things I saw. He thought I was purposefully trying to point out his lack of revelation and compare it to my abundance. Truthfully, that was the furthest thing from my mind. I wanted this guy to get this and I did everything I could to help him understand it, but in the process of doing so, it became increasingly obvious that his eyes were not going to open to this and in that process he became understandably insecure.  

I remember leaving that confrontation many years ago feeling like I shouldn’t be comparing my revelation to his in any way, and the very fact that I could see a difference at all was proof that I had crossed some invisible line of “spiritual correctness.” I remember trying to convince myself in some kind of politically correct sort of way that in the future I shouldn’t acknowledge anyone’s lack of revelation as a “lack of revelation.” If I were truly spiritual I would be as blind as a bat to things like that. It brought me back to the whole politically correct racism conversation where somehow we’re not supposed to notice that Asian people are smart or Irish people have red hair.  

There is clearly a powerful move of God that is taking place across the world where our understanding of who He really is, is being expanded in ways we’ve only dreamed about. This current revelation of God is so life-changing and significant that I can tell who “gets it”pic and who doesn’t from a helicopter hovering two miles above the earth. I’ve come to the conclusion that, like it or not, there is an obvious difference between people who have received this and people who appear to be blind to it. I will no longer beat myself up for being able to detect this difference. I can't help what I see and I think the difference is significant.  This isn’t to say that I think I am more spiritual than people who don’t get this message, but I will say that I am definitely more free than I was before I opened my eyes to this. 

Having said all of this, I think it raises a significant question that must be answered. Why do some people get this immediately and others can’t see it to save their lives?

What does it take to “get this” revelation? 

Is this a matter of God giving it to each of us or did our eyes open because of something we did? 

I understand that it’s become very popular for people to say things like, “God just hasn’t revealed this to them right now,” or “They just haven’t come to this in their journey yet.”
I’m not dismissing the idea that there might be a timing issue connected to this, but I think my biggest question is whether or not the “timing” has to do with “God’s timing” or ours. Is this something that God opens our eyes to, or is it something that WE open our eyes to? THAT is precisely where I want to park for a moment. 

I believe that most modern day Christians would say without hesitation that this understanding we possess concerning the heart of God is something that only God Himself can open people's eyes to. The problem with believing this way is that many people end up with that overly spiritual glassy-eyed look on their faces, bumping and tripping over things right in front of them because they’re trying to focus their eyes on the unseen realm. The “revelation from God” mentality sometimes causes people to start looking for signs on cereal boxes and produce stickers in a desperate attempt to hear from an inaudible God so they can get the divine password their friends have gotten, and be in the club. I’m not denying that God gives us revelation, but I think He does that in the course of life. When we set out to specifically GET revelation from God in the spiritual realm I think we often go spiritually overboard and do some pretty whacky stuff in the process.

Let’s face it; it’s hip to get something straight up from God Himself. When you actually get the thing that you claim you got from God, it feels TOTALLY cool because you’re the one;ic who got it. For one thing, it appears to everyone including yourself that He’s not mad at you. You feel good about yourself, confident and spiritually strong. Claiming divine revelation rocks the house when you’re the one who received it. When you’re not that person however, it sucks big time. You walk around feeling as insecure as you did in junior high, wondering if you said or did the right thing, worrying you might be in trouble with God, or if you just missed Him altogether. 

It’s not surprising that when we start talking about a new revelation and understanding of God, some people get defensive and close down. I think the reason why most people who don’t “get this” are intimidated and insecure when it’s presented to them is because they don’t think they have what it takes to get to the “spiritual level” they think they need to get to in order to receive something like this from God. I think that this “get it from God” way of thinking is the primary problem. 

Most people have tried to be that deep supernatural person they’ve dreamed about, but for stepssome reason the heavens didn’t open up to them like they seemed to for the traveling evangelist or the famous author who gave them the “three steps to reaching God.” They can’t even imagine what kind of “pressing into God” it would take to get what we have, so they just give up. The climb is just too intimidating. The fact that they don’t understand it NOW is proof to them that God has rejected them and has hidden this away on the grounds of their own spiritual incompetence.  When they see that someone clearly has something they don’t have, they automatically assume it’s because they didn’t jump through the same spiritual hoops as that person did.

I think the majority of Protestant Christians have been taught specific steps they must take in the spiritual realm in order to obtain revelation from God. They’ve been drilled with a lifetime of three-point sermons that outline step by step what supernatural calisthenics they must perform in order to hear and know His heart on the same level as their favorite evangelist or author. In addition to this, they’ve also been given a lengthy list of things they must NEVER do, and another list of personaldfd commitments they must make and master before God will open their eyes and ears to revelation of Him. Some have been taught that real revelation requires the pulling out of the supernatural “big dogs” like fasting, praying in tongues, a Greek and Hebrew dictionary and an olympic sized swimming pool of anointing oil. Amazingly, even after all that, I have found that people who diligently subscribe to all these religious practices are the least likely to get this message. Though these practices have their place in the Christian life, they are not the avenue through which this particular revelation comes.

So what does it take to get this message? 

When a person isn’t getting this, it’s not because they haven’t spent enough time in the Bible. It’s not because they haven’t prayed or fasted enough, and it’s not because they harbor some secret unconfessed sin in their life. In fact, it has nothing to do with any of these things. The revelation of the grace and love of God is plain as day to some and yet completely confounding to others. God actually  made it this way and He takes great pleasure in it being this way. The deciding factor which determines whose eyes pop open and whose remain blind forever is NOT based on spirituality; It’s based on HONESTY.  

I learned almost ten years ago when I first started preaching this message that if I could get people to a point of absolute honesty with themselves; they’d get it. Almost every sermon I preached back in the beginning, started out with about twenty minutes of me trying everything in my power to prep the people so they would willingly put their guard down and JUST BE HONEST for once in their lives. I knew then, that if someone was willing to let go of all their religious obligations and be completely sincere with themselves about what was working and what wasn’t, they would receive this.

I call this revelation, “A Poor Man’s Revelation.” I love it. I love the fact that ANYONE can get this. The playing field has been leveled. You don’t have to be a Greek or Hebrew Scholar. You don’t have to be an eloquent “prayer warrior” or a super spiritual Guru. It doesn’t take any special gifting, commitments, or theological training. All it takes is good old-fashioned honesty with yourself. I believe that this fact is what separates the “getters” from the “non-getters.” 

It absolutely rocks my world to see how rarely the “spiritually wise” people in the church get this. All their years of study and dedication to the system mean nothing because they refuse to tell the truth to their own heart. On the same note, it’s a total gas to see the number of folks who would be considered spiritual failures by today’s religious standardsfsdfd because of their fumbling prayers, their lack of bible knowledge and their shoddy attendance record, yet they get this message with almost no effort. It’s simple for them because they’ve got nothing to lose by being honest. 

I believe that this is the primary difference and reason why those who are in positions of spiritual authority in the church world are usually the least likely to get this revelation. They don’t because they won’t. They won’t because it’s offensively simple. Getting it would mean they’d have to admit that all their knowledge and accomplishments don’t mean jack. They’ve spent a lifetime climbing the religious-social ladder, memorizing, supporting and proclaiming church doctrines. They’ve put their belief in a system rather than in an actual person. Many times their entire identity is wrapped up in that system. It’s wrapped up in “being right.” I have found that most Christian leaders will stand there and lie till their dying day rather than come clean about what’s really in their heart. They’ve become so programmed to be dedicated and so dedicated to the program that being honest isn’t even an option anymore. When you spend a lifetime building a kingdom on the foundation of religion, the last thing you will ever do is be honest and risk losing everything in a moment.   

I think that in many ways, the Christian “religion” has effectively disqualified thousands of people from simple sincerity. People have been trained to not trust themselves. Over the years I have found that a staggering number of people have been evicted from their own hearts. They’ve been taught to despise themselves so much that many are afraid to even take a peek into themselves to find out what they really think. 

Modern day churches have basically evicted people from their own hearts and have taught them to follow a script instead.  Surviving in Christianity today is about memorizing the answers and reading the lines. Very little is authentic anymore.  

It always amazes me when I am confronted with the one or two people in the crowd who don’t get the message when I preach somewhere. Every one of their comebacks when they debate with me has a scripted sound to it. They literally sound like they’re reading a screenplay that was written by a pastor. I can’t get a personal opinion out of them to save their life. I think people have learned to trust the script over what’s actually on their heart.kjhj The religious script is a safety blanket for thousands of people today, and it’s astonishing to watch how quickly a person will go from speaking authentically from their heart to running back to the script the moment they feel intimidated or uncomfortable.  

I no longer suggest to people that they should pray to God and ask Him to give this revelation to them. I simply tell people who can’t see this, that they’re not being honest with themselves. They’re believing in a script that they’ve read for years and they’ve never stopped to ask themselves whether it’s working or not. Even though they know damn well it’s NOT working, they will act as if it is, because their social standing and reputation is what really matters to them. I think for many people, getting this message is about coming to the end of their rope. It’s about finally getting to the point where they’ve got nothing more to lose by just flat out being honest. I’ve never believed that this revelation is a deep spiritual one. In fact, that’s what I love so much about it. It’s obvious to little children and impossible for the wise and learned. 


Darin Hufford

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  1. Gravatar

    ... however they meant the exact opposite in the beginning. Words like "getting it", "divine revelation" were invented by simple people like us! They kept inventing all these words, cause they were so freaking amazed how simple the Gospel was! That anyone can get it, anyone. It just about being honest, and truthful, as Darin wrote. This is a very important blog, because it has the power of healing the fear of not being good enough. And I don't even accused the person who felt you were claiming you've got more spiritual revelation than he does. Because all his previous experience with "spiritual people" taught him to think this way about himself when they bring up the terms like "revelation", "getting it". Aaaahh!!! I love this blog! I love your love for the people, Darin. It's always about the people, always. That's the gospel.

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    The first half of my double-comment got lost, but it doesn't matter. It's all in the blog, already.

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    Thanks Darin.

    Well said. This has been on my license plate frame: Healing truth - God's response to honesty.

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    Daniel Venie

    This is quite possibly the best explanation of "getting it" that I've ever heard. It truly is about honesty. LOVE IT!

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    David Richardson

    Powerfully simple and beautiful. I remember reading your book, and you said something along the lines of you are already going to know this in your heart. I think the problem is and was for me was I was scared to be honest, because I was taught that you do not question. It was a "lying Spirit". We are made to become robots and are not allowed to think for ourselves. Just follow the rules and the Pastor will tell you what to do, what God has revealed to his heart that day. I think that,unfortunately, is the reason people don't get it. Maybe not so much that they don't, or didn't want to get it, they have just given up, have become literally brainwashed, or are too scared to accept it because of losing their "friends" or their good standing in the church and with the Pastor. This can be a hurtful transition. I know. Yet, I prefer to be free in the wild. Thanks Darin Hufford for telling me one day this spring to be honest, and changing and enhancing my life forever.

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    Kim Katka

    Thank you so much for putting into words what has been in my heart for so long!! God Bless ;-)

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    don hammatt

    This may add something to what has been said. This is a quote from "Jesus Manifesto": "For example, Ludwig Wittgenstein, who many believe was the greatest philosopher of the twentieth century, crowned a lifetime of thought with the discovery of the "duck-rabbit," the reversible image that faces one way as a duck and the other way as a rabbit. Wittgenstein felt that this one cartoonish image, which proved that something could not be both a duck and a rabbit at the same time (or more precisely, could not be "seen as" such), conveyed more truth that his greatest philosophical writings." (Google duck-rabbit image if you want to see it). If this is true, we cannot see a new thing, if we are confident it is something else.

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    David Richardson

    Thats good Don, I think, your heart should always be open to the fact that what you "know" about something now, might not actually be right. I like that analogy

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    This is good, Darin. When God changed WCG, the people that "got it" were the ones who were willing to let go of the system and take an honest look at their beliefs. The ones who continued in legalism wouldn't take their eyes off the system to even take an honest look at their beliefs. Their eyes were not closed because God wasn't revealing the truth to them; their eyes were closed because they would not take them off the system and so could only see things that fit in the system. Grace does not fit in the system so they could not accept it.

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    Wow! This all rings true with my. People run back to the script when they feel uncomfortable. They are afraid to let go of what they cling to. Never thought about it being afraid to be honest. Fantastic post!

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    "The “revelation from God” mentality sometimes causes people to start looking for signs on cereal boxes and produce stickers in a desperate attempt to hear from an inaudible God so they can get the divine password their friends have gotten, and be in the club."

    Sounds a lot like a situation I was in years ago with a group of people. They went off on some weird tangents from looking for divine signs in fortune cookies to believing that witches covens were in the area praying against us because of our "revelation". Of course our "revelation" was about a huge wealth transfer that never happened. They even went to look at a 4 million dollar house that they believed God was going to give them despite there inability to buy it (not that God doesn't do miracles).

    Makes me ill just thinking about my time involved in all of that.

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    I feel like I dont want to talk to those people at all...not even "Hi, how are you?". Because somehow they are able to turn things you said in a total different context against you when it comes to any grace related topics. And if in a wrong moment those comments can hurt pretty badly and what else, you can say what you want to, they wont understand it and always push it on and be right...

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    I dont think the reason why the message of grace is little understood by any individual could be put down to a single causal factor . The question of why people dont get it "as you put it" is further complicated when you consider that whole generations throughout church history has not seen the liberating truth of Gods grace . We could theorize about things like the flesh , culture religion , the world , satanic blindness , lack of revelation and a constelation of other factors , all of which individually or collectively have a part to play in forming a mindset with-in us that opposses the message of grace. Given the lack of space to eloborate i will make some sound bite statements . Revelation has a place in tearing down the strongholds in our minds . As i do believe truth is revealed and not just taught . Emphasising "revelation" though can be unhelpful as it creates an elitist us and them dynamic that alienates from truth . Honesty ,key issue ,no
    words to respond left.

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    Last night my husband & I were talking about someone who cut off a relationship with us when we left the IC. They started to interact with us again a few months ago via email, but every time I would bring up the topic of a phone relationship over the email they would shut down. I have felt that the reason they don't want to have the "phone" relationship is because of fear..they are afraid that if the conversation of our "new life" ever comes up, they won't know how to defend what they still believe. They know that there are so many wrongs in their religious world, but being honest about it is just to scary to them. So they choose to live wrapped up in the security of the lie religion tells them instead of allowing themselves to feel the insecurity that honesty brings them.

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    I've had the same experience in trying to share what my eyes have been opened to with a brother or sister in Christ. Usually their eyes are glazed over with their mouths slightly open. Last time the brother after hearing about two minutes "abruptly turned to his wife and said, "we need to go." Wow, I knew what I had been sharing was not connecting.
    Maybe "the script" is what they only hear from a pastor and they haven't asked the Father to speak to them and not through some teacher or pastor.
    Sort of like a game, where they play their parts and no more nothing less. So sad.
    There's none so blind as those who won't see."

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    Not to sound too preachy... but um, Colossians 2 anyone? Paul is in prison.... and he writes basically about the simplicity that IS Christ. The Message puts it this way (Colossians 2:6) My councel for you is simple and straightforward: Just go ahead with what you've been given. You received Jesus Christ, the Master; now LIVE in him.

    How many "Christians" are still living within those prison walls?

    Well, duh... it isn't about knowing the Bible or the religion... it is about LIVING in Him. I just read the book of Colossians yesterday, & was shocked to the core of my foundation. I never read it... really understood it before the scales were lifted from my eyes... my revelation came when I experienced God and recognized His presense. I stopped putting the Bible between Him and I... but I went straight to the Source, and He answered. You can't hide bihind the Bible... Satan did that. It is time to get real... and walk out naked before God and TRUST that He loves you.

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    This post also reminded me of Paul. When I have gone head first into Paul's preaching, many times I have felt he was boastful. He isn't of course, but unless you "get" him.... and where he was with the Lord...."One of these people flat out told me he thought I was arrogant and that I acted like I had come to a “more significant revelation of God than he had.” He insinuated that I was boasting in what I had received from God and was patronizing him because he didn’t see the things I saw. He thought I was purposefully trying to point out his lack of revelation and compare it to my abundance."

    Funny how blinded we can be at the simplicity of Christ. Because He justs simply loves us... and because unconditional love is so hard to understand.... many times it is missed. I guess that is really what Jesus meant when He said we should have faith like children.

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    I love the last line that it's obvious to children and impossible for the wise and learned. A truth I am really enjoying as it takes hold in my life. Nothing about the Christian life is supposed to be hard. Anyone can get it. Anyone can live in it's fulness. What's hard is letting go of the script we've been given or the need to feel like we've done this whole Christian thing right. so much freedom in being honest even if it is honestly wrong. I love this relationship of grace He offers. Working through the crap is so worth it to enjoy the love that's always been there.

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    Great blog Darin! I've had a great desire to share what I've learned with family and friends, and have been frustrated with people "not getting it". For awhile, I thought I was helpful by throwing "holy handgrenades" into their belief system - but that just usually made a mess...

  20. Gravatar

    You are only as healthy as you are honest. Living with parent with a personality disorder gave me this insight.

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    I just had a FB-status conversation with someone who totally does not get any of the grace idea. It was about a vote we just had about the unemployment insurance law. She was so upset because to her it is not fair that there where people who get money without working. So another friend said that solidarity is not fair and I just thought it was the same with grace. Grace is so terribly unfair that most people cant stand it. Because it goes to everyone...even those who absolutely do not deserve it. You need an open heart for others...and especially for those who dont fit into society in order to be open to grace. Not that you need to run around and try to help everyone...but just to understand that hating them does not change one bit of their behavior.

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    I just don't think there are too many walking the planet right now with His blood in their veins - Not too many are willing to be as honest as Jesus is. We can ask the question and pontificate on why someone gets it and others don't yet Jesus was pretty clear on the subject and if a person does get it they don't ask the question because they already know the answer. Someone else up there explained it better than me anyway. Still waters run deep.

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    I love it. Blogs like this make the Christian faith vs. Christianity as a religion all the more clear. True to the core, and great comments too everyone. Rob I got a laugh out of your 'holy hand grenades' comment. It is so true, people will only hear what they want to.

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    greg sallee

    awesome blog, Darin. Many sincere believers have been programmed to believe that they cannot find truth inside themselves- that it rather has to be taken directly from scripture. However, the revelation that Paul got was "Christ in me". He makes it very clear that having "Christ in me" was not the result of something He did but rather came one hundred percent from the iniative of God. Religion always majors on trying to find God out there somewhere always placing this distance between us and God, but Paul told a bunch of unbelieving greek philosophers God is not far from them and that they live, move, and have their being IN HIM! before one of them repented Paul came with a message of no distance.

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    Paul ran from Christ; Christ pursued and overtook him. Paul resisted Christ; Christ disarmed him. Paul persecuted Christ; Christ converted him. Paul was an alien; Christ made him a member of the family. Paul was an enemy; Christ made him a friend. Paul was ‘in the flesh’; Christ set him ‘in the Spirit.’ Paul was under the law; Christ set him in grace. Paul was dead; Christ made him alive to God. How does one give reasons for this? He does not give reasons; he sings, ‘Blessed be God who blessed us . . . even as he chose us in him.’

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    Great blog. Being honest with yourself takes guts sometimes, doesn't it? But worth it in the end.

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    greg sallee

    awesome barb. Pauls conversion is the single most compelling, in your face truth of the goodness, mercy, and grace of God. Paul never made a decision to follow Christ. Christ revealed Himself to Paul in such a way that Paul had no other course of action. This is what the gospel does to people when it is preached in the right way. The truth sets people free and God has been at rest since the before the beginning of time because Adams fall could not alter Gods purpose which He secured in Christ from the beginning of time to have us before Him- holy, blameless, and above reproach. There is a value inside of every person that is equal to the value of the resurrected Jesus and this is why Paul could write in 2 cor 5 " from now on therefore we no longer know any man after the flesh". Love is recognised value and God saw fit to lavish man with His grace because He knows the value of man. If we can see how valuable we are it becomes effortless to love our neighbor.

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    greg sallee

    The church places so much emphasis on our need to make a quality decision to follow Christ, Jesus told Peter - You didnt choose me, I chose you. God chose us to be in Christ, and the us does not mean the people that go to my church. Us means mankind. "My sheep hear My voice"-"We ALL like sheep have gone astray". This gospel belongs to every person.

  29. Gravatar

    I think this statement gets to the heart of it: " It’s about finally getting to the point where they’ve got nothing more to lose by just flat out being honest." Hanging on to whatever it is we value above Jesus keeps us blinded. It can be our status, our belief system, our job, anything. Until we are honest with ourselves about it, we can't see what God has so graciously offered. For me it was tradition and the religious system. It took me being at the end of my abilities to deal with all that before I could see that it was in the way between me & God.

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    I love this. Stepping into the light of Gods love you "honestly" have to "need" it first. If you are convinced (as I was for many years) that the law held all the love I needed in it's focus on behavior modification there wasn't one bit of an open mind. The heart will not accept what the mind rejects. He stands at the door and knocks like the Gentle man he is. The day you open that door usually you need God who IS love in that moment way more than changing your behaviors. I had to open my mind/clean it/sweep it out of all my own perceptions of God. It was then that it stopped being about "me" and about Jesus the sinless one, with no absence of love only grace that I could pick up my cross and follow. It was no easy task. In my "mind" it seems it took a long time. I am sure in the "mind of Christ" it doesn't matter. It's what he came to show me. I will walk through eternity with you to show you I love you. That bends my knee no matter what time it is and helps me to have patience.

  31. Gravatar

    I'm amazed at your gift of being able to place into well written words what is within all of us. Great great great!

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    "It’s simple for them because they’ve got nothing to lose by being honest." Bang! It's that easy! The fear people possess is directly related to what they think they will lose. Which is why Jesus said what he said regarding dying to self in order to live. When you are honest you know what you are and who HE is...LIFE! Thanks Darin.

  33. Gravatar

    I struggle with this also, I have a family member who is all about grace and desperately wants the grace walk but struggles deeply because he is still locked into the A/G church. He wants to be free in grace but does not want to leave the institution because at least there life is predictable and he can have someone tell him what to do and has a sense of "belonging" even though it's clearly hurting him. Ever since he was saved he drew his identity from his involvement in and the relationships he has in the IC and to leave would be way to frightening for him. I am convinced that it is at the root of his problem.

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    Darin Hufford

    I think that outlines most people's problem Jeff. Great words my friend!

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    I believe people are not honest concerning themselves because either they do not truly like themselves or are not comfortable with who they are. This is evidenced by the costumes worn on Sundays.

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    David J Brncik

    Dear Darin, I think this is a great message. I remember it being like open heart surgery for me gettting this Love message. I love the fact that though i may be the least of all God treats us all like the greatest. I have gone through many humble ing circumstances in my life and am thankful for them. When i look back at the person i was and how arrogant and self infatuated it turns my stomack. Hows that for honesty. In all honesty i have a deep anger towards the things the institutional church has done to me and especially you. The levels of pain are just unimaginable. I honesty just think alot of people where downright envious of you because you and Angie just are the message. I guess its very hard to understand how people can be so damn blind toward you and Loves message. Anyhow Hope you get this message my friend and keep on bringing in the free believer harvest. I believe in you with all my heart and the thought of you always b Your deepest friend in heart David J Brncik

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    Joe Machuta

    This is an excellent blog post. I have lived this over the last ten years or so... I love the conclusion that you have drawn... that they are just not being honest. Blessings to you!

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    Chris Jefferies

    Some very interesting thoughts in this blog post.

    But I think there's one more aspect to 'getting it'. Quite apart from the Lord's timing and our timing I think there is a matter of processing here for many people. They hear stuff that sounds weird to them but it gets clearer with repeated exposure and it gets clearer as they chew on it and wrestle with it and worry about it. Then one day - they 'get it'.

    Just wanted to add that in as another factor.

    Chris -

  39. Gravatar

    I think we just forget where the true battle is and if we say we can see into the hearts of people because 'we love' them then we would know the true battle and quit this finger pointing crap. Today as I learn that my friends parents asked the crematorium to just dispose of their son's ashes into their trash bin - robbing my friend of a place to lay to rest the father of her child - it is timely for me to remember where the true battle is and practice what I am saying.

  40. Gravatar

    sorry I meant to say the parents of my friends partner. The above made it sound like she had a child with her brother = my bad.

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    "Cheap grace is the deadly enemy of our Church. We are fighting today for costly grace.

    Cheap grace means grace sold on the market like cheapjacks’ wares. The sacraments, the forgiveness of sin, and the consolations of religion are thrown away at cut prices. Grace is represented as the Church’s inexhaustible treasury, from which she showers blessings with generous hands, without asking questions or fixing limits. Grace without price; grace without cost! The essence of grace, we suppose, is that the account has been paid in advance, and, because it has been paid, everything can be had for nothing. Since the cost was infinite, the possibilities of using it and spending it are infinite. What would grace be if it were not cheap?

    …Cheap grace is not the kind of forgiveness of sin which frees us from the toils of sin. Cheap grace is the grace we bestow on ourselves.

    Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, Communion without confession, absolution without personal confession. Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate."

    Dietrich Bonhoeffer - The Cost of Discipleship, pp. 45-47

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    I'm often brought back to The Wizard's First Rule (from the novel of the same name): "People will believe anything if they want it to be true or are afraid it might be true." People would rather follow a lie than simply be honest with themselves about what they really know to be true, regardless of the reasons. Thanks for nailing another one on the head, Darin.

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    Anti Venom

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    Some words of encouragement. It may surprise you as it did me. After years of trying to explain and live grace to the "churched," I just threw my hands in the air and asked God to do it His way. What came my way were ex-convicts, some with felonies, addicts, women who had abortions and the guilt, and other "social rejects." I learned a lot from THEM about grace, more than any church person could teach me. These people are now my family and dearest friends. They were HONEST with me about my shortcomings. We stuck with each other through our struggles. Now here's the odd thing, some of my "churchy" friends are taking notice. They just can't help but notice why this band of social misfits are actually kind, gentle and merciful to each other in a way that they don't even see in their own church. Stay true to the love, grace, mercy and compassion that you know and feel in your heart. It's irresistible even to those who don't think they need it!

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    Great comment Trish...SO TRUE

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    Terry Sweeney

    Wow!, what an awesome article!

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    David l

    Great Article.Trish so true we all need to throw up our hands and just live The grace life.Thats where the rubber hits the road.Its no use trying to do things in our own strength . Jesus said you can do nothing with out me.When i tell people my testimony how i Got Saved and He revealed Himself to me thru Christ in a out of body experience there always is a dividing line between the religious and non religious.Being honest with our selves is so important.Telling the truth and knowing that it is all God. It was nothing i just made up.Of course God uses me in that faith comes by hearing .Jesus told me and showed me His love for a reason.Therefore, i dont worry about it any more.And Like Jeff said people will get the grace message over time as they wrestle with it.As for me the grace message actually came later after I was shown Jesus and his love.It wasnt until I heard the heart of the person that told me the grace message I believed.THE SPIRIT REVEALED IT TO ME and the word became one.

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    bridget hagstrom

    thanks I needed to see this. It helps me see that my Husband and I not off Thanks
    Thank you Jesus

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    Hey Darin,
    I was particularly struck by the "honesty with God" part. Seems that so much of the healing that God so wants to pour out on HIS folks can't come because we insist on pretending that everything's ok, instead of opening our hearts and allowing HIM to touch our hurts. HE impressed me that "denial is NOT faith" and that much of our modern Christianity is about denial, ACTING like Christians, or responding with the correct response to the questions. Hmmm! I guess we have to know that HE loves us before we can trust HIM?

    BTW, thanks for the wonderful encouragement and word on my blog. Hope to cross paths with you soon.

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    I totally needed to read this today.I had one of those "they just don't get it" conversations yesterday and woke up this morning feeling so FRUSTRATED by people who CHOOSE ignorance.It isn't about who God deems worthy of revelation but about who is willing to embrace the truth FULLY regardless of whose toes it may step on.So many of my Christian friends choose to overlook spiritual abuse and deception in the IC in the name of "love". But since when did TRUTH and LOVE stand in opposition of one another? Somehow people have been convinced that you can have one or the other but not both.You can love your fellow believers,your pastor,your elders or you can speak the truth, but never both.So people end up choosing ignorance and avoiding or rejecting anyone "unloving" enough to choose truth.I've learned over the past 2+ years out of the IC that TRUTH and LOVE are inextricably intertwined and that to "press deeper" into Him I must embrace both.It has been a time of profound revelation for me.

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    This writing so connects with my heart. Thanks.

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    it's a journey being misunderstood. My only weapon has been one of a convicting, resounding, "come with me into the world, to the edge of where you are called, the hurting, the lost, the blind... " It has been my pleasure seeing how fast people back out and retreat. Tho, I will say the problem for me is delivery, even here on FBN. Being questioned and called arrogant til I questioned my delivery but definitely not the revelation. I pose people this question, "the evil stands at the gates, challenging- who do we send? The Prophet or the Disciple of the Prophet?"

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    Darin, thanks for this post. My wife and I have been on the "grace walk" now for about three years. When we discuss grace with most people from the organized church, many look at us as if we are speaking a different language. Others give us that look that says, "Don't go there because I'm getting uncomfortable with what you're saying." However, others grab a hold of the message and are thrilled to hear this message of freedom! We love our friends that don't get it, and try to remember that it took us decades to get it ourselves.

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    Love your stuff Darin. I've read almost all of it and it has literally changed how I look at God, life and the world (for the better!)

    I was wondering about your use of the word 'revelation' which I notice you draw upon fairly regularly.

    Maybe its just me, but I have become highly allergic to that word after noticing that nearly everyone I've asked who isn't a "Christian" lumps it into the same boat as hearing voices or some other irrational, dangerous element of uber-pentecostal religiosity.

    When I'm chatting with someone who isn't part of the Christian insider club, sometimes I'll ask "Hey, just curious... what do you think of when you hear the word 'revelation' in a religious context?" Never have I had a positive response.

    Maybe its just up here in Canada, where 2% of our city attends church, I don't really know for sure. But I'm thinking there has to be a better word or phrase to use than 'revelation' if sharing God's grace with people is the goal.

    Keep up the great work!

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    Melissa Saulnier

    Relate with this. When I went through a divorce I was tagged as a whore and a slut. Churches wouldn't let me in and kept me at a distance after miserably failing and making bad decisions during a difficult time. However, later after some healing in my heart, when I founded a music company and magazine that reached 25 states and 8 countries many churches were left trying to deal with their pride. All I can say is I don't have anything to lose anymore and I am free. Not so sure where they are at with freedom...

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    I think this is all about who we are and who we think we are. Its like looking us in the mirror. We see what we want to see, until we decide to see what is really the reflex in the mirror. the real us

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    Darin Hufford

    Hey Rod, sorry for taking so long to respond. I'm actually with you on that point. I think I'd like to find a new word for just about everything in Christianity. I think words like revelation, prayer, worship, church, communion and about a million other words need to be changed because there is so much negative connotations attached to them all. When I talk about "REVELATION" I am speaking about the discovery of something new that has always existed within your heart. I'm not talking about hearing an audible voice or getting a heavenly message through prayer and meditation. I'm talking about finding something within yourself that has always been there. In the case of this article, I'm speaking of a person just being honest with themselves.

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    Hi Darin - thanks for the reply. That makes a lot of sense, and the way you just explains it clears up a lot of things. I too think that most of the jargon Christianity has become enamored with needs a total revamp. Keep up the great work, man!

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    Hey Darin,
    How about " I discovered" rather than revelation?
    meal instead of communion
    talking instead of prayer
    Love your stuff!

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    Tom Schultz

    Isn't it sad how really understanding God's love and grace is so difficult for some who are working so hard!

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    Hey Darin ive been a curious observer of your blog for some time now,but as i stand on the precipice, fear consumes me,and i feel the christianity ive lived will be my demise should i abandon it fully.I no longer go to church or tithe,yet this fills me with enormous guilt,yet when i do go to church there is this massive sense of unfufilled frustration that leaves me confused and bewildered.I did a brief stint in the ministry many years ago but left it thinking i did not have the balls or the character to see it through.I really want to beleive and thought i did, but now i sit in this no mans land. the dilemma people face is that well, what now.Heb10:26 fosake not the gathering of the saints but where the heck do i find other free beleivers to fellowship with.I keep asking the Lord and by that i mean Yahweh to show up but although i feel deep stirrings in my heart,havent seen any burning bushes yet.I totally get what your saying but cant help feeling a little bit of guilt.

  62. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    Yea, I understand how you feel Jim. You're not alone. Pretty much every Free Believer I know has gone through these feelings. It's kind of like a baby in a womb getting ready to be born. You know you've gotta go but you're terrified because the womb is so warm and has always supplied you life.

    First off, you NEED to look in the upper right side of this page and click on the tab that says FORUM. Sign up for the forum and introduce yourself to the people there. I think just having people who understand you is KEY in getting through this and having the confidence to take the next step. I don't think you should leave one minute sooner than you're ready to leave. That deep dissatisfaction and frustration you are feeling is normal. Perhaps you still need some time to soak in it before you're ready to leave. Take your time. Don't rush it. You're a Free Believer whether you leave or not. It's not about leaving your church. It's about not relying on your church.

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    There is always an agenda with those who don't get this. I have one friend who won't accept that all mankind has been redeemed, that all mankind's sin has been forgiven, past, present and future because he needs to feel superior to non-believers. He has something they don't. Besides, how does one evangelize if one can't scare people by telling them they're dirty rotten sinners destined for hell. Never mind that it says "for God so LOVED the WORLD..." Another went to her grave believing she was being judged for some unknown sin because the mental and physical torment she experienced was proof that all those who'd hurt her during her life would someday get theirs too! When I hear serious resistance, I quite talking and remind myself God loves that person right where he/she is. Someday he/she may know differently, or not, but in Heaven it won't make a bit of difference. And, I'm really tired of arguing "my" point of view :)

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    Brutal self-honesty has been my thing for a long time now. My Christian friends were always so shocked by it. It makes so much sense to hear that it is the reason Jesus has revealed so much of His grace to me and my friends have not.
    I have since learned that the only people Jesus ever responded to harshly were hypocrites. It is the one thing He despises with a passion. But the reason for this is so simple it is astounding. You can never know that God truly loves you whilst you are living a lie - especially when you firmly believe the lie. You will always revert back to works and the law.

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    susan b

    sounds like you first preach the Law and then give them the gospel, however your law is not God's law, it's a man made law and like your friend levied against you, it leaves you as "getting it" and able then to boast in yourself. How is that different than any other religion out there?

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    I disagree about the honesty issue...I meet and speak with a woman who I KNOW knows the Lord in a real, authentic, living, close relationship. She used to be a true pharisee- her own admission. She is also a PK. It has been a long hard journey for her. She now counsels me. From the beginning the things she says sound "familiar" even though I have not heard them before. Over the last 3 years, the things she keeps telling me have gone from words to understanding, and now I am waiting for the embracing. She tells me *I* cannot do it. None of us can! Spiritual enlightenment MUST come from God. I can only ask Him to "take me there" as His spirit shows me something. He leads I follow. He shows me possibilities, peaks my interest, I respond. It is slow and frustrating sometimes, but I there is more happening. I have needed emotional growth to handle things. So, my advice is drop a seed. If the ground is ready, it will "take". p.s. I was drawn by love manifested by non-defensiveness.

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    Ya know what, after just an hour's thought I agree, it is about honesty. What do you do when you are fearful about being honest? I've struggled with the concept for years, silly as it may seem.

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    Janet Ross

    Perfectly simple & yes, it pisses off those who stand to lose an entire self-made life but brings such relief to those (like me) who can read the religious script by heart of why I'll never make the cut. Now, that script is embraced, for it is the reason why I could understand something so much better!

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    The 7th King who ride the Beast in book of Revelation has arrived, but will be for a short time.

    For those who don't know, a beast is an animal, the biblical Beast is a Lion and that Beast/Lion is no other place then the Netherlands.

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    Darin Hufford

    Josh, I've searched and searched, but I have no idea what you're talking about in your comment. What have I missed? Can you point me to what it is you are talking about with the 7th king and the beast? Thanks.

  71. Gravatar

    It might be because they haven't reached a point of true brokenness in their own life for their eyes to be opened. What's saddest though is when a believer (whether it's the prominent-church-leader one who hasn't "gotten it" or the less-polished-usually-misunderstood-and-less-respected one who does "get it") takes whatever strength or revelation they have and looks down on the other, or worse, judges & even discards someone who doesn't share the same strengths or revelation. Sadly, rather than believe the best about eachother, our human (sinful) tendency is too often to be offended, assume the worst about and judge one another. Ironically, whether we're willing to admit it to ourselves or not, we're all guitly, no matter which side of the "revelation" we sit.

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    Christine e.

    I only realized I had 'got it' a few years after the fact. After wearing myself out for a rather cultish church, I decided to take a year off, which (due to some health problems and a cross country move) turned into 10. I went back to church just over a year ago, fully intending to get involved. Nice people, good doctrine, but so hooked on formula! My husband and I feel physically sick when we attend. Any chance you could write a post on politely extricating oneself?

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