My chains of bondage are broken. I am no longer a slave.
I have been set free to be who God made me to be.
John 8:31-36 (NASB)
So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him,"If you continue in my Word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."They answered Him, "We are Abraham’s descendants and have never yet been enslaved to anyone; how is it that you say, ‘You will become free’?”
Jesus answered them,"Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son does remain forever. So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.”
What a powerful promise of freedom that Jesus has given us. This means that no matter how many times we have failed in the past to overcome a weakness that keeps us from being who we know we are and want to be, we now have hope. Jesus didn’t just give a promise; He has told us how to attain this promise in our life. We are to continue growing in the knowledge of God’s truths in His Word.
It is important to understand that a thought and a belief are not the same thing. A thought is a resident in our mind. A belief resides in our heart and is a filter that directs our perception and understanding for our circumstances and our experiences. Information can change what we think. It takes revelation from God to change what we believe. Most of us think God loves us. However, many of us do not really believe God really loves us as we are. Well, He might love us, but He doesn't really like me.
These beliefs contradict God's Word and His truth for us. So even though we think them to be true our beliefs held in our heart keep us from accepting them as true for us. This is the result of us being our own source and using our interpretation of our experiences based on what we believe, rightly or wrongly, to determine what truth is.
As a person thinks in their heart, so are they.
Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.
Most of us as our own source for truth rely on our experiences to validate and verify what truth is. Sometimes what we believe doesn't agree with what the Bible says is true. Our experience interpreted through the lens of what we believe contradicts what the Bible says is true. When we change our Source for truth to our Creator, our own self-image and beliefs can begin to line up with God's truth that doesn't change.
All a man's ways seem right to him, but the LORD evaluates the motives. (What we believe that is driving our choices)
When we know a truth of God through revelation and we apply it to our life what we believe about God and ourself has changed. This has an affect on how we act giving us freedom from what has controlled us in the past. This can be our self-destructive habits, lies we have come to believe about ourself, false truths we have believed causing us to arrive at faulty conclusions about ourself and others and even the ability to stop our negative self-talk. We start to see ourself with God’s truth for us and start speaking life into our own life and in the lives of the people around us.
As we start living according to the truths of God we not only think are true, but believe them as truth in our heart we are being transformed. We are discovering the blueprint of our identity that God held for us in His heart when He created us. We are breaking off and out of the person the world and our experiences have led us to believe we are. This is why we are to renew our mind constantly. We are not just learning God’s truths that don’t change; we are changing the way we think as the lies we believed were true are replaced with God's truth for us. We are learning to see ourself the way God sees us and this is a conflict for the world.
We all follow someone based on what we truly believe about life. Jesus is clear that it comes down to God’s truth or the current ruler of this world, Satan, the father of lies. Jesus is either who He claims to be and speaks the truth or not. There is no middle ground as an option. Let us follow the rest of Jesus’ conversation with the Jews He is talking with.
John 8:12 (NLT)
Jesus said to the people,"I am the light of the world. If you follow Me you won’t be stumbling through the darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.”
John 8:37-45 (NLT)
“Yes, I realize that you are descendants of Abraham. And yet some of you are trying to kill me because my message does not find a place in your hearts. I am telling you what I saw when I was with my Father. But you are following the advice of your father.""Our Father is Abraham." they declared.
“No,"Jesus replied,"for if you were children of Abraham you would follow His good example. I told you the truth I heard from God, but you are trying to kill me. Abraham wouldn’t do a thing like that. No, you are obeying your real father when you act that way." They replied, "We were not born out of wedlock! Our true father is God Himself.”
And Jesus told them, "If God were your Father, you would love me, because I have come to you from God. I am not here on my own, but He sent me. Why can’t you understand what I am saying? It is because you are unable to do so. For you are children of your father the Devil, and you love to do the evil things he does. He was a murderer from the beginning and has always hated the truth. There is no truth in him. When he lies it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies.”
To put this in perspective, when Adam and Eve ate of the forbidden fruit in the Garden, they not only died a spiritual death changing all of creation with this action, they submitted to Satan’s authority over them. All of mankind is born under his authority as the current ruler of this world. Satan tried to get Jesus to do the same thing when he tempted Him in the desert. Jesus, being born of God through the Holy Spirit and His mother Mary, did not fall under Satan’s authority.
When we truly transfer our source for truth from ourself to God we are learning God’s truths and wisdom for how we live. It is believing God's truth for us that enables us to live in the kingdom of God today while still being in a fallen world. Our God is patient and wants us to live one day at a time in the truths we know. We are not to have shame or condemnation as we are growing up in God's truths. As we continue to learn and apply them to our life we will grow in wisdom and knowledge maturing into sons and daughters that honor their God in thought, word and deed.
What is the Holy Spirit saying to me…?
How does today’s message apply to my life?…my beliefs?