John 8:32 “And you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.”
Ever think you could be blocking you?
Right. Me, neither!
The above verse tends to be a crowd favorite. Who doesn’t want to slap that verse on a coffee mug and sing a praise song?
But the reality underneath–one that Jesus brings to light – is that a person can look very, very free while still living in bondage.
Look at the verse just prior to the declaration of freedom, John 8:31.
Jesus’ audience is people who had been raised to believe that if they followed the law, they would be in a right relationship with God. They just professed Jesus as the chosen Messiah.
At least they outwardly said they believed He was Who He said He was.
But, Jesus looked deeper. He told them If you want to follow me, you need to put my Word deep inside you. (v. 31)
Doing this connects you to Truth. More precisely, it connects you to the One Who is True (8:14,15,26).
And, living out that truth sets you free.
Living it out means slow cooker, not microwave freedom.
It means laying down the thought processes of the world–and picking up the mindsets which reflect the way Jesus thought.
Put God and His Kingdom first.
Love your neighbor as self.
Work on the board in your eye.
Forgive completely. All the time.
The last are first and the first last. The weak are strong. Love your enemies. Turn the other cheek. Put this word in you. Know it. Be set free.
And, this group of newly converted people were a little shocked. Hey! I thought we were free.
You know, based on all the stuff we know and things we do and who we’re related to.
Jesus lovingly gave them a choice. Either live as a slave to sin, in bondage to lies that you can earn your freedom OR become family by knowing freedom giving Truth.(34-35)
And, we’re not talking surface level free. When God’s word abides, it has a way of digging out the sin and transforming the way you think and live.
You become free on the most powerful level. You are “free indeed.” (36)
That is liberating news.
Salvation is more than a ticket out of Hell. God wants us free indeed this side of Heaven.
He wants that word of truth to come alive in us, so that we don’t submit to a self righteous yoke of slavery. (Galatians 5:1)
What is the danger for Christians who unknowingly walk in bondage?
Look at Revelation 2:4-5. The Bible challenges the church in Ephesus–a group of seasoned Christ followers–to repent and turn back to their first love. They had grown cold, and all of their works done without love made them miss the mark. They were justifying behaviors that didn’t align with God’s Truth.
And it was costing them. Blocking them.
In the Kingdom of God, being free indeed is not merely for our own benefit.
Free indeed means being freed up to love as Christ loves. It permeates every part of faith as we transform into His image.
The answer, should you find yourself in bondage, distant, or cold is outlined in Rev. 2:4-5. We humble ourselves, then go back and fall in love again.
Get all sappy and tell God how awesome He is, how much you love Him, thank Him for what He did for you on the cross. Then, go out and share that love with others.
When you do that, whatever holds you back from freedom tends to break.
No wonder Jesus insisted on a deeper response to his gift of salvation than surface level, lip service confession. He wants you free because He wants the people in your world free, too….
Could you be blocking you?
Is the word of God residing in your heart so that you know it and then live it out?
Are you free indeed?
Do you need help in this process? It is a process. Remember, slow cooker….
I compiled what I learned from my own battle of laying religion down and picking up grace in a booklet called Sporkfaith. Because, you know, sporks are trying to be two utensils at once, succeeding at neither. It’s basically a series of what I needed to get rid of (pride, hypocrisy, unforgiveness….) and some encouragement in the meantime.
A heartfelt desire of mine is to see other women walk in the victory Christ died for. I’m all for exposing lies because then they have no power over you. Time to know the truth that sets you free.
I’m including the link here in case you or someone you know might benefit from it.