The Truth Sets You Free!

“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

In this text Jesus reveals that holding to his teaching is a critical element of true discipleship and spiritual freedom.  And holding to Jesus’ teaching could certainly include reading and pondering his Word, but it is more.  You hold to Jesus’ teaching when you embrace it through reading or hearing it along with living in light of it as you continue through your day.  This speaks of spiritual discipline…the intention and effort one gives to remain under the influence of the truth and presence of Jesus rather than just randomly visiting it.

To hold to Jesus’ teaching a person also has to learn what it means to “take every thought captive” as Paul describes in 2 Corinthians 10:3-5:

For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

I believe that most people hover in darkness, fear, negativity, anger, confusion and despair because they allow their thoughts to be controlled by lies.  If the truth sets you free then the lies we live under bring bondage.  For many, the prescription for freedom will essentially include first of all, discovering and rehearsing the truth as revealed by Scripture and the Holy Spirit.  But is also must entail recognizing and renouncing any lies influencing one’s thinking.  Such lies not only need to be renounced but also replaced with the truth each lie contradicts.  A new habit must form where the disciple rehearses the truth and stops rehearsing the familiar lies that sadly had come to feel like the truth.

Along with these thoughts I believe it is imperative for a believer to cultivate an attitude of gratitude.  Without intention it can be easy to focus on the proverbial glass that is half empty rather than half full.  When Jesus fed the 5,000 he focused with gratitude on the few loaves of bread and fish that was available rather than how sparse the provision was (as did the disciples).  Negative people are often the one’s most acutely aware of what’s wrong or lacking in any given situation and have the unusual ability to disregard anything positive.  When you combine an ungrateful heart with a negative perspective you have a person that’s not too fun to be around!  The words “toxic” and “grumpy” come to mind.

But there is good news for such people.  Change is possible through repentance and spiritual discipline.  By utilizing God’s supernatural weapons we can begin to demolish negative attitudes and thoughts that are not true…we can take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ!

Do you believe this?  If yes, are there any lies that you have lived under that need to be confessed, renounced and replaced with the truth?  Consider listing the lies and then find a corresponding Scriptural truth you can rehearse and use to gain and maintain the freedom that Jesus has put within your reach.

About bill4jc

Director of Pioneering Initiatives with CRM (Church Resource Ministries) crmleaders.org bill.randall@crmleaders.org
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8 Responses to The Truth Sets You Free!

  1. Patty Taylor says:

    What a powerful message. I know it…just need to remind myself from time to time! Thanks for your love of the Word and sharing it with all of us.

    Like

  2. Stuart Sutherland says:

    A fresh focus for this week:
    “…the intention and effort one gives to remain under the influence of the truth and presence of Jesus rather than just randomly visiting it.”

    It is far too easy to pick up Jesus like a book and place Him back down when we are distracted. What a noble goal to “…take captive every thought.” How much better equipped could we be if all of our focus was surrendered to Christ? I want to find out!

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  3. Jim Bailey says:

    Yes, yes, yes Bill! I agree wholeheartedly! Thanks to Jesus who gives us a way out of the lies and darkness that infiltrate our minds and hearts!

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  4. Karen Anliker says:

    This hit home to me. I like to think I am a pretty positive person, always seeing the glass half full. However, I am becoming more and more aware of “lies” I have fed myself concerning my own self worth. I find myself building a lie in my thoughts, which always seems to play me out as the victim of a wrong doing. In truth, there was no wrong doing, just my expectation of it.

    This was a focus of prayer earlier today.

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  5. David Mantei says:

    Recognizing and renouncing any lies influencing one’s thinking is hard to do! It is painful to look deeply into your reflection in the mirror. But thank God we have grace to help ease the sting and offer hope. I am thankful for great teachers like you Bill who help us to identify those lies and point us toward truths to contradict those lies. Building new habits require discipline (a dirty word in my life), but Christ can carry that burden too–if only I can trust. It is so hard for me to put off the old self and put on Christ. I believe it will get easier as I do as you say, “rehearse the truth and stop rehearsing the familiar lies that sadly have come to feel like the truth.”
    Thanks Bill, I’m on the road to “truth” and the truth will set you free–indeed!

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  6. Deb says:

    Two of my very favorite portions of Scripture. I just shared John 8:32 with a friend whose husband served in Iraq a few years ago. Because of things that happened there he is really battling with “just how much does God forgive?” and very much needs to bask in “the truth will set you free!” We ALL need to bask in that truth!! Powerful truths and a great reminder of where many of our battles and victories really start and end–in our minds, in what we believe to be truth and what we have embraced as lies. Lord God, reveal and then enable us to cooperate with you in tearing down our strongholds!!

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  7. Tim Fox says:

    Bill, yes The Truth sets you free. Jesus has sent His Spirit to govern the Kingdom of God coming in and through us. We need Him now to renew our minds that we my approve Gods will for us…to be free!

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  8. Linda says:

    Well done Bill! It excites me to know the joy of God’s Truth.

    Like

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