And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
John 8:32 NLT
The beginning of the book of John explains that Jesus Christ is the living Word of God, that He came in the flesh as both man and God to free us from the consequences of our sin and to teach us to live a life that brings glory and honor to God.
He teaches us that the law is good when respected and followed by a person who is grateful to God for the divine instruction provided in the written Word of God, but that it can be a curse to those whose hearts are in opposition to God’s will.
He teaches us that to surrender to God’s will is to accept that He knows better than us what is good and what is bad for us, rather than us picking and choosing what fits our lifestyle and our desires. This is the difference between submitting our lives to the Lordship of Christ and abiding and communing with a living God – or practicing empty religious rituals and ceremonies – or living in open rebellion against God’s will.
A life lived in obligation to the letter of the law, practicing religion but with no love for God or for others is no life at all – but is the walking death of empty religious practice. It is like white washing the outside of a crypt filled with rotting death in order to make it look the part of an alive and thriving household. But when it’s door is opened, when the mouth is opened to speak, the scent of sin and death and wickedness breaks out and spreads through the air around the words that are spoken.
How many times do I see Proverbs,12 played out:
There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.
Proverbs 12:18 ESV
How many times do I have to question whether I have a motive behind my sharing or if I am just being the faithful messenger of the Word of God that I am called to be?
My only answer is that I find that this Word of God shines light daily on areas of my life that still need correction as I am becoming more like my teacher under the tutelage of the Word of God. I do not stand on high pointing my finger down at others, but I stand in the trenches, crying out like one in the wilderness, a voice into the darkness.
Understand that if the truth of this Word of God stings you, that there is healing that is found in surrendering that area over to Christ. That sting is a result of the sin and death already in your life and killing you – recoiling from the life and power of the Word of God. It is like a snake or scorpion that is attached to you and injecting poison into your daily life.
But know that you can receive power and authority of Christ living in you and strengthening you and guiding you. This power was delegated to the disciples while Jesus was with them in the flesh, before the Holy Spirit was available to them – but now you can have Christ living in you. You no longer have to be powerless to sin and temptation and anger and addiction and wickedness of all kinds.
The seventy-two returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name!” And he said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you. Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”
Luke 10:17-20 ESV
You have two enemies, friend.
One is your own flesh, your sinful nature – so be careful giving evil credit for what might only be your own nature in opposition to God’s will as you are young in this process of reconciliation to Christ, of Sanctification to His image and likeness. But the other are the powers of darkness and principalities of this world who have not yet been sent to the pit of eternal fire with their captured servants that they feed upon and torment.
But you have a friend and a victory in Jesus Christ that is available to you today and each day.
Decide to believe Him.
Decide to believe the Word of God.
Decide to follow Him.
Decide to live.
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
John 14:6 ESV
And see Him change your heart and desires from the inside out.
And see the evil of this world defeated when it comes up against an equipped saint wearing the full armor of God.
Know freedom, not just from the eternal consequences of sin, but freedom today from the chains and bondage of sin.