To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” – John 8:31-32 (NIV)
Many times over the years I’ve asked, how does the truth set us free? How can I experience this today, and tomorrow as my reality. I’m beginning to see something in these verses that helps me get the truth working in my life to set me free.
Let’s put these verses from James alongside this statement of Jesus, that truth will set us free.
Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.- James 1:22-25 (NIV)
Do the word
Now, we see that listening to the word of truth doesn’t set us free, but doing what it says sets us free. This means we look into the word to see what we look like and hear the word tell us who we are. Then we remember this as we go on our way through the day. Then this truth will give us freedom. As we look into the words of God we exchange our thoughts for his thoughts, our opinions for his opinions, and our understanding for his. Why? Because the Word says: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, ”declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.-Isaiah 55:8-9 (NIV)
Therefore, by looking into the word we think higher and better thoughts about ourselves than we have and feel about ourselves. This is how faith fights against the lies of the enemy. Do you get it? As we exchange our words for Jesus words his faith is fighting for our faith. And because Jesus has already won, as we hold his word in our heart we will win our fight of faith.
Jesus said, “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” -John 15:7 (NIV)
His word is truth, so how does the truth set us free, by remaining in us, being the voice we listen to, the thoughts we think. Remaining in Christ means choosing his voice as the loudest voice in our life; and the loudest voice will dominate our life!
The fight of faith
The fight of faith is lifting our vision from ourself to Jesus. It’s not all about you or me, not our worst or my best, it’s all about Jesus.
Now we are ready for these thoughts:
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. 2 Corinthians 3:17-18 (NIV)
Faith that results in freedom and transformation is contemplating Jesus as our new life. The picture I see in these verses. We look into the word as a mirror, and see Jesus looking back at us. In this place we begin to see ourself in Christ, and we begin to describe ourself as He describes us, and we talk to ourself as he talks to us in his word of truth, the bible. And the truth sets us free!
Try it now, look in a mirror and ask yourself, who am I most aware of, me or Jesus. Find something he says about you in the word, look in the mirror and see that truth in your life in Christ. And the truth will begin to set you free.
Someone reading this is saying. Just tell me what the word says about me. I could, but if you read the scripture asking God to show you his thoughts about you, you will see them, and as you hold them in your heart and mind they will set you free. I know from experience, and I know I need to continue to do this as God calls me to new depths of trust, faith, obedience and freedom.
Please comment. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the truth setting us free.